HC Deb 25 November 1999 vol 339 c200W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the occasions in the last two years when Government Departments have pressed the European Commission to carry out impact assessments; and if she will list the directives, regulations and decisions concerned. [99626]

Mr. Stringer

The Government do not keep information in the form requested and could not do so without disproportionate cost.

My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office raised the general question of the importance of impact assessment when she met Commissioner Liikanen recently. This is part of our commitment to ensure that regulation is fair and that it has the minimum possible negative impact on prosperity and jobs. We want the European Commission to improve and extend its procedures for carrying out impact assessments. This is an on-going process and not confined to individual directives, regulations or decisions.

My Department has also issued guidance aimed at UK Ministers and officials that reminds them of the importance of assessment from the earliest stage of proposal. Copies of this Guide to Better European Regulations and the accompanying checklist were put in the Libraries of the House on its publication last July.