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HSE ACCEPTS FEE FOR INTERVENTION PROCESS UNFAIR

Regulator acts to settle FFI judicial review before hearing

It has been reported by solicitors Fisher Scoggins Waters that HSE has settled a judicial review of its dispute process under its Fee for Intervention Scheme (FFI) out of court before the planned High Court hearing on 8 March 2017.

FFI was introduced in 2012 with the aim of passing the cost of health and safety regulation from the taxpayer to businesses that in the opinion of an inspector are in breach of safety legislation.

The successful claim was brought by Michael Appleby (Partner at FSW) representing OCS Group UK Limited. Keith Morton QC of Temple Garden Chambers was instructed on behalf of the Company.

Independence, fairness and transparency

FSW state that the decision of  OCS Group UK Limited to ask for a judicial review of the FFI dispute resolution process was not about opposing the idea of FFI.

The company had concerns about the independence, fairness and transparency of the dispute process in which HSE effectively acted as prosecution, judge and jury.

In the consent order, approved by the High Court on 23 February 2017, HSE has agreed to introduce a revised process for determining disputes on or before 1 September 2017 which addresses these concerns.

The schedule to the consent order sets out the detail of the revised process which HSE will now consult stakeholders upon.

As part of the settlement HSE has also agreed to withdraw the original FFI notification of contravention that led to the judicial review and to pay OCS’s costs.

 

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