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UK Shifting Responsibility for Compliance Cost Control to Government Departments

Lora Bentley

The UK Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) wants to spare businesses the cost that usually accompanies implementing new regulatory requirements, according to a vnunet.com piece published Thursday.

 

Instead, individual government departments will be required to account for the cost to businesses of any new legislation. IT Week explains, "Departments will be allocated annual budgets to ensure those costs do not spiral out of control." As I understand it, if the costs of new legislation would exceed that budget, then the departments are responsible for cutting costs in other areas so that businesses will not be saddled with too heavy a burden. The government will also provide IT departments with free best practice guides to aid in implementation.

 

John Hutton, the UK's Secretary of State for Business, said the program is the first of its kind. He noted:

If the UK is to remain a respected place to do business, we must not expect business simply to absorb the costs of a stream of new government initiatives.

I daresay the UK has watched corporate America struggle since Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted six years ago, and its leaders are doing what they can to avoid the same.


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