This study will examine whether product safety regime effectively protect UK consumers from harm.
Regulation exists to protect people, businesses, the environment and/or economic growth, stability and market operations. When proportionate, targeted, consistent, transparent and accountable, regulation delivers important benefits. However, regulation also creates costs for organisations and, if overused, inappropriately designed or poorly implemented, it can stifle competitiveness and growth.
Government has therefore rightly decided that rule-based approaches should be a last resort - used when alternatives such as market-based structures, self-regulation and other enforcement practices aren't enough. Departments have also been told to limit the cost of regulation to organisations.
Although regulation is only used when necessary, it is an important way of ensuring that public services work as desired, especially when more are being delivered locally. And where there is regulation, government needs to balance the protection of customers against prices, costs and organisational efficiencies.
Key NAO publications:
- A Short Guide to Regulation (Aug 2015)
- Using alternatives to regulation to achieve policy objectives (Jun 2014)
- Business Perceptions Survey 2014 (May 2014)
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