Primary Authority allows a business operating in two or more local authorities to form a legally recognised partnership with one local authority in order to receive tailored advice and support in relation to a range of regulatory functions. Primary Authority helps ensure local regulation is consistent and delivers efficiencies for both business and regulators.
The Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 provides a broad legal framework for the implementation of primary authorities relating to the devolved regulatory responsibilities of local authorities in Scotland.
The support provided by a primary authority may be in the form of assured advice, coordination of enforcement action and the development of inspection plans. Enforcement remains the responsibility of the local authority area in which a business is operating. Where a business has a primary authority partnership, the ‘enforcing authority’ must take primary authority advice in to account.
The operational aspects are of vital importance to ensure that primary authority partnerships in Scotland deliver concurrently for community and business. The consultation explores the categories of regulatory activity proposed to be ‘in scope’ for the scheme, and also considers the definition of enforcement, the coordination of enforcement action and a dispute mechanisms process.