New Risk and Regulatory Advisory Council appointed

The Prime Minister today appointed the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council (RRAC) as a key part of his drive to improve the way risk to the public - from public health to pensions - is understood and managed by government.

A report, published today, by the BRC (Better Regulation Commission) recommends the establishment of the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council.

The Prime Minister accepted the recommendation and said: ‘The issue of public risk is one of the most challenging areas of policy-making for any government. I have asked the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council to provide a catalyst for the change we need in the way policy is developed across all departments. I am pleased to offer my support to the Council as they embark on their work to improve public policy making.’

Chaired by Rick Haythornthwaite, the new, independent Council has seven unpaid members. The RRAC will take forward the UK's first ever work programme dedicated to understanding and promoting proportionate responses to public risk.

“The issue of public risk is one of the most challenging areas of policy-making for any government.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown

The choice of topics to be addressed over the next year at present include obesity, regional regeneration failures, systemic risk aversion and aspects of corporate governance, as well as good practice from the recent approaches to pension issues and the animal disease outbreaks.

The RRAC has been asked to give its immediate attention to considering how best to ensure that policy responses to the frequent 'superbug' scares are timely, proportionate and effective.

Chair of the RRAC, Rick Haythornthwaite, commented: ‘ The BRC's Risk Report touched a nerve and put the spotlight on the relationship between risk and regulation, acknowledging that all parts of society are responsible for a disproportionate attitude towards risk. The RRAC's work will involve regulators, risk experts, Parliament, lobby groups, the media and the public; it will not solely focus on government but also work towards improving the quality of dialogue with the public on risk issues. We accept the PM's challenge with enthusiasm.’