As part of the Red Tape Challenge in 2013 Defra committed to an overhaul of guidance and information requests. The objectives of this were for Defra and its agencies to design guidance around what users need by writing in a consistent style and to make it simpler, quicker and easier to use, and to ensure that Defra and its agencies only collect the same information they need, to collect it as simply as possible and to avoid collecting the same information twice.
The scope of the guidance reforms is any external written content that explains to users what to do it or how to do it or, more widely, expects actions from businesses other organisations and members of the public. This will apply to guidance produced by Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England, APHA, RPA and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
Defra has issued a consultation in the form of a survey to gather views on the costs and benefits to business from reform of the guidance, and to gather feedback on recent experiences of using online guidance and reporting information to Defra and its agencies. Views and comments from the consultation will help assess the impact to business from the smarter guidance and data reforms
The NFU agree with the intentions behind the smarter guidance review but are concerned that at times the reformed guidance is not as clear, simple or accessible as it should be.
We encourage members to respond to the consultation survey and provide their views and experiences to Defra.