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Fee for intervention comes under fire again

20 January 2014

Findings of the Triennial Review of the Health & Safety Executive published on the 9th January suggest that the HSE’s controversial Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme has damaged its reputation for acting impartially.

The review, which was undertaken by Martin Temple,  concludes that the functions performed by HSE are still required, and that it should be retained as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) but suggests that stakeholders' concerns over FFI must not be ignored. 
Temple was not briefed to look at FFI but the level of concern about the issue was so high he says he felt compelled to tackle it, highlighting concern that "inspector decisions will be, or be seen to be, skewed by the need to raise income”.
Temple recommends: "Unless the link between "fines” and funding can be removed or the benefits can be shown to outweigh the detrimental effects, FFI should be phased out.”

Responding to the criticism of the scheme, HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: "No decision will be taken on the future of FFI until we have compiled and reviewed the evidence. The principle of charging those who are found to be in material breach of the law remains a sound one and one which was supported by Government.”
Other key conclusions of the review include: 
Identification of the need for closer links between the HSE and other government departments and local authorities 
Calls for a new approach to measuring the HSE’s performance and impact 
Recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the HSE’s board 
Recognition of the opportunity for smarter use of new media to reach small and medium enterprises (SMEs) 
Identifcation of the need to speed up the enforcement process 
A desire for greater focus on work-related health issues 
A more active role in the EU