The Health and Safety Executive settled a judicial review of its the Fee for Intervention Scheme dispute process out of court; before the High Court hearing 8 March 2017.
Using the ‘polluter pays’ principle, Fee For Intervention seeks to put the cost of health and safety regulation onto organisations that an Inspector considers to be in breach of legislation. The Judicial Review did not challenge Fee for Intervention in principle. It concerned instead the independence, fairness and transparency of the dispute process.
By current arrangements, if a duty holder challenges the imposed Fee, the HSE police the decisions of their own Inspector. Under a consent order in the High Court on 23 February 2017, HSE agreed to introduce a revised dispute resolution process by 1 September 2017.
HSE ran a consultation between 21 April and 2 June 2017 seeking views on:
- the information which HSE will provide
- how representation can be made
- how disputes will be considered
- suspension of the dispute process where an investigation or appeal against an enforcement notice is on-going.
The consultation ended on 2 June 2017.
The attached document gives our response to CD284 on behalf of the industry which we submitted on 1 June 2017…
19 September 2017 Update
HSE makes cost recovery dispute process fully independent
HSE made the change following a six week public consultation. A spokesman for HSE said: “We have consistently said that we would keep the dispute process under review, and are making sensible changes following the consultation and in light of four years’ experience of running fee for intervention.
“The revised process also provides greater clarity about the information which HSE will give to businesses to allow them to make appropriate representations to the dispute panel.”
Previously, disputes were considered by a panel with two HSE members and one independent. Disputed invoices raised under the fee for intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme will from 1 September be considered by a fully independent panel, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed.
All disputes will now be considered by a lawyer – acting as chair – and two others who have practical experience of management of health and safety.
Revised guidance on the new process has been published on HSE’s website