ARCHIVE: Responsibility and cost sharing: Advisory group
The RCS Advisory Group were established to advise the Secretary of State on how best to realise partnership working within the RCS agenda in England. The coalition government decided to maintain the group.
The group was made up of four Directors of the key animal health work areas within Defra, eleven industry and veterinary representatives – who were nominated by the key livestock industries, and a consumer representative.
The Advisory Group have produced a report, detailing the findings of their work.
- Responsibility and Cost Sharing for Animal Health and Welfare - Final report (PDF 2.7 MB)
- Foreword and Executive summary (PDF 300 KB)
- Questions and answers (PDF 40 KB)
The report includes sections on:
- the present situation in animal health and welfare;
- an evaluation framework for assessing options for RCS going forward;
- recommendations for a new governance structure for sharing responsibility;
- recommendations on how the various options for cost sharing should be approached; and
- suggestions on how the recommendations can be implemented.
The main recommendation for enhancing responsibility sharing is the creation of an English Partnership Board. The strategic aim of the Partnership Board would be to reduce the risk and cost of animal disease and improve the welfare of kept animals; but also to rebuild and maintain trust between animal keepers and Defra, and to improve the effectiveness and value for money of policy and delivery.
Rosemary Radcliffe, the independent Chair of the Responsibility and Cost Sharing Advisory Group, said:
“The Group has worked hard for over a year on developing these recommendations. We believe that the proposed Partnership Board offers an excellent opportunity to animal keepers and the farming industry to have an integral say in the development of government policy. Ministers, civil servants, animal keepers and their representative organisations will all need to adapt to new ways of working, but the benefits of doing this will, in our view, far outweigh the costs. But success will depend on appointing the best people to the Board, on excellent communications between the Board and stakeholder groups and on commitment from all parties to making the new model work.”
Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said: “The way we prevent and manage diseases is just as important for the people who look after animals as it is for the Government – they have invaluable experience and knowledge that should be better used. Recent successes in tackling outbreaks including avian flu and bluetongue show how well a true partnership can work, and I want to strengthen and extend that approach to managing all animal diseases.
“Rosemary Radcliffe’s report will a valuable base to help explore the options for responsibility and cost sharing in the future. It provides us with an excellent opportunity to examine how the Big Society can be put into action in this important area of Defra policy.”
Ministers will announce their response to this in early 2011. If you have any queries about responsibility and cost sharing please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of the Advisory Group (when established in summer 2009)
- Examine the proposals for a new independent body for animal health and the responses to the consultation launched on 30 March 2009; [not taken forward by the coalition government]
- In light of the above, advise on the responsibilities, scope and functions of the new body, including how best to ensure its animal health policies and Defra’s animal welfare policies remain aligned;
- Consider the constitution of the new body, its membership and its ways of working in order to maximise the benefits of its creation and the confidence of the public and farming industry;
- Examine the current use of resources by Defra in meeting the challenges of animal health and consider the way in which they should be deployed and prioritised in order to maximise the efficiency of the new body;
- Make recommendations to the Secretary of state no later than 31 December 2010.
In July 2010, it was announced that the Coalition Government would not proceed with the draft Animal Health Bill. The Government confirmed that it will investigate ways to share with livestock keepers the responsibility for preparing for and dealing with outbreaks of disease. The new Government supports the continuation of the work of the Advisory Group and will take stock of its recommendations before bringing forward proposals. The context for the work of the Advisory Group included the Government’s views on the draft Bill and the Government’s Spending Review.
The 16 members of the group, together with the independent Chair, Rosemary Radcliffe, brought a broad ranging experience and expertise in governance, livestock farming, the veterinary profession, public health and consumer interests. Our Chief Veterinary Officer was an ex-officio member, and Kevin Pearce of the NFU was a co-opted member within the Group. The group sought information and expert views from numerous sources and individuals, both inside and outside of Defra.
Updates from the Chair on the RCS Advisory Group Meetings
- 1st meeting: 5 October 2009 (PDF 200 KB)
- 2nd meeting: 4 November 2009 (PDF 170 KB)
- 3rd Meeting: 10 December 2009 (PDF 40 KB)
- 4th Meeting: 11 January 2010 (PDF 40 KB)
- 5th Meeting: 1 March 2010 (PDF 40 KB)
- 6th Meeting: 12 April 2010 (PDF 120 KB)
- 7th Meeting: 5 May 2010 (PDF 150 KB)
- 8th Meeting: 11 June 2010 (PDF 20 KB)
- 9th Meeting: 14 July 2010 (PDF KB)
- 10th Meeting: 6 September 2010 (PDF 20 KB)
The meetings in October and November were taken up with discussions finalising the Group’s report. The RCS Advisory Group reported to the SoS on 13 December 2010, where they presented their proposals for RCS to Caroline Spelman and key stakeholder groups.
Page last modified: 14 December, 2010