Better Regulation Task Force

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The Better Regulation Task Force was Chaired by Lord Haskins. Set up by New Labour to free business from 'red tape', their intention is to save bosses from what they see as 'unnecessary' restrictions on their profits. The Task Force became the Better Regulation Commission on 1 January 2006.[1]

The Better Regulation Task Force (BRTF) is an independent advisory body set up in 1997 "to advise the Government on action to ensure that regulation and its enforcement are proportionate, accountable, consistent, transparent and targeted." It has become a very influential body in influencing the Government's policy on regulation. The Government has recently accepted the conclusions of its report, 'Imaginative Regulation' and will now promote "the use of alternatives to [legal] regulation" across Whitehall and the wider public sector. Also From this year, each Government department must now report on their 'regulatory performance' and the BRTF will analyse these reports. Appointments to the BRTF are made by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, and are unpaid. A team of officials based in the Cabinet Office supports the Task Force.[2]

The Task Force Claim

From the Web Archive of the BRTF webpages circa 2005:

The Better Regulation Task Force was established in September 1997. It is an independent body that advises Government on action to ensure that regulation and its enforcement accord with the five Principles of Good Regulation
  • Proportionality
  • Accountability
  • Consistency
  • Transparency
  • Targeting
The Task Force does this by carrying out studies of particular regulatory issues. [3]


Membership circa 2006-2009

  • Steven Gould, Director of Professional Regulation and Consumer Protection at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS);
  • Philip Jansen, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive of Sodexho UK & Ireland;
  • Lord James Lindsay, Chair of the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS);
  • Sharmit Saggar, Professor of Political Science at the University of Sussex and Non–Executive Chairman of the Consumer Complaints Board at the Law Society of England & Wales;
  • Simon Walker, Director of Corporate Affairs at Reuters Group plc;
  • Professor Helen Wallace, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute, Italy

Membership circa 2004-5

[4], Those with a * stood down as at July 2005. Although, eight of the BRC's existing members were re–appointed until 31 March 2007:

Membership circa 2003-4

§ Stood down from Task Force on 31 March 2004 ^ Appointed to Task Force in 14 April 2004 [5]

Membership circa 2002

Former members of the Task Force

Former members of the Better Regulation Task Force include:

  • Stephen Alambritis, the Head of Press and Parliamentary Affairs for the Federation of Small Businesses. He is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Work-Life Balance and is a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party. Soon after the New Deal started, the Brighton Federation of Small Businesses distributed a letter praising the virtues of the scheme as a supply of free labour for bosses. The letter was headed 'Have you ever thought how profitable your business would be if you didn't have to pay out any wages?' Left in September 2000.
  • Anthony Tinsley is a Senior Member of the Unilever Plc Tax Executive and a director of Unilever UK Holdings Ltd. He is the former Chair of the London Chamber of Commerce Tax Committee and is a member of the Tax Committees of both the CBI and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The ICC is a highly influential organisation which represents 'the international voice of business' and is actively involved in countering the anti-globalisation movement. Its President is Helmut Maucher, the Chairman of Nestlé. Left in June 2000.
  • Hugh Field is a Director of BCB International, suppliers of medical and food products, camping equipment and military survival equipment. He is Chair of the Cardiff Local Business Partnership. Left in September 1999.
  • Sir Simon Gourlay is a Farmer. He is the former President of the NFU from 1986-91. He is the Vice-Chair of Herefordshire Health Authority and a Partner in Maesbrook Nursing Home. Left in September 1999.
  • Robert Purry is Head of Tax at Grant Thornton, an auditing, tax planning and business advisory company. Left in February 1999.
  • Peter Salsbury is Ex-Chief Executive at Marks and Spencer Plc, where his annual salary was £560,000 in 2000. He resigned in September 2000. He is also a Non-Executive Director of TR Property Investment Trust Plc. Left in September 1999.
  • Pamela Meadows Independent Economist. Former Director of the right-wing Policy Studies Institute. Left in September 2000.


  1. Cabinet Office 06/02/06Press Release Accessed April 2007
  2. This paragraph adapted from the Corporate Accountability Centre website, Better Regulation Taskforce
  3. About
  4. Source
  5. Better Regulation Taskforce