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FEE FOR INTERVENTION CHARGING FURTHER INFORMATION

HSE Project Director for FFI responds to industry body concerns through forum

In a posting on the HSE Construction Web Communities website Richard Hulmes Chief Executive of Safety Assessment Federation said about FFI that: 

“HSE are having some difficulty with the technical (legal) details of which one will be the definition of a material breach. The current explanation is that it is one which, in the opinion of the inspector, is a breach which he/she feels sufficient to advise the ‘culprit’ in writing.

This is unsatisfactory and comes no where near to satisfying the proof required for a criminal law case, which is what it is. There are also a number of other issues, such as an independent appeals process etc, which has yet to be established.”

HSE will not be changing its enforcement practices

Gordon MacDonald is the HSE Project Director responsible  and he has responded as follows:

“With respect to identification of ‘material breaches’, HSE will not be changing its enforcement practices because of Fee for Intervention. It will continue to use its full range of enforcement options in line with long standing and publicly available policies and decision-making frameworks such as the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS) and Enforcement Management Model (EMM).

Whilst these regulations are part of the criminal law, they will state that recovery of debt incurred under the regulations is subject to the civil law only. Furthermore, Fee for Intervention is about recovery of the regulator’s costs. Prosecution is about public accountability, justice and sanctions and is a matter entirely for the courts.

Comment

The ‘decision-making frameworks’ set out in the HSE Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS) and Enforcement Management Model (EMM) will make good bedtime reading for followers of the FFI developments and those wishing to question HSE determination of ‘material breach’ and appropriate action.

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