This week saw Brian Pack launch his final report on how to reduce red tape for farmers and land managers at the Turriff Show.
In the report, which includes 61 recommendations, Brian explains that the goal of his Doing better Initiative was to free up farmers' and land mangers' time and create a more efficient and enabling regulatory regime that improves Scotland's sustainable economic growth. He believes that in order to achieve this goal there needs to be greater transparency leading to improved mutual understanding between our different regulators (including the EU) and also between regulators and the farming and land management sectors.
He believes that mutual understanding relates to understanding and appreciating the objectives and constraints of others. Improved mutual understanding means learning about each other's operational requirements, operational methods, constraints, risks, etc. - and greater transparency is a prerequisite for achieving it. This can lead to greater appreciation of each other's activities and lead to greater empathy and trust amongst all involved in the regulatory chain.
He firmly believes that there needs to be a step-change in the mind-sets of all involved in the farm and land management regulatory chain, and that to facilitate this and create more efficient and effective delivery mechanisms there must also be changes to the governance structures of farming and land management.
One of the recommendations was to establish an Advisory Board to oversee the reduction in red tape. Speaking at the Turriff Show Mr Lochhead said: “The Scottish Government is already taking steps to minimise the bureaucratic burden for farmers – such as the improved online service we are developing to make the new Common Agricultural Policy as accessible as possible - but it is clear we need to do more. I agree that there is a great deal of merit in our regulatory bodies having an integrated approach and the overarching Advisory Board will be the key to driving this recommendation forward and helping me implement the other recommendations in the report. That is why I have asked my officials to look into how and when establishing this new overarching Advisory Board can best be done, taking into account our current priorities of CAP implementation and the Futures Programme.”
To download the report see: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/08/2494
For the Scottish Government Press release, see: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Cutting-red-tape-f64.aspx