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 Red tape is stifling innovation!

NewyddionRed tape is stifling innovation and putting people off voluntary and community sector work, an independent task force warned this week.

Launching the Better Regulation Task Force’s latest study, chair Sir David Arculus said too much bureaucracy could have ‘a negative impact’ on the public’s willingness to volunteer and the sector’s ability to make a difference to people other sectors fail to reach.

The study said poor, unresponsive regulation could hamper social innovation, especially in poorer areas where residents depend more on the third sector. Some 61% of people who responded to a task force survey thought regulation inhibited social innovation.

In one example, the report described how the environmental regeneration charity Groundwork is weighed down by nine separate pieces of regulation and ten regulatory bodies. Such burdens could lead to service cuts, it said, as is happening with Citizens’ Advice Bureau's being forced to cut opening hours to cope with the burden of paperwork.



Mwy...More...

Sukhvinder Stubbs, director of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, who led this study for the task force, said: ‘Many public services we now take for granted, such as hospitals for all, originated as social innovations from the voluntary and community sectors. Good regulation should not undermine the emergence of more creative and effective approaches to the problems we face within our society.’

The task force recommended using a kitemark system to put some service providers on a ‘lower risk’ grade to free them from unnecessary regulatory burdens. A better balance should be struck between regulation and more flexible rules and guidance, it said, while the government should avoid making self-regulation mandatory.

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: ‘Its recommendations will make a real difference to voluntary and community organisations and their ability to work for the public benefit. We therefore call on government to implement these recommendations at the earliest opportunity.’

The task force said plans for simplifying regulation should be developed by November 2007 and that all its recommendations should be put in place by the end of the same year.

Urban Forum spokesperson Rupa Sarkar said: ‘On one hand, the government really needs to see results and feels it has to impose measuring tools, but it’s very difficult to trade that off with achieving targets. It will be interesting to see if the government can enact this. They will have to lay off a little, which is risky, and lots of governments will take a risk so far before finding that the electoral cycle gets in the way.’

source - Better Regulation Task Force



 
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