Food Law News - UK - 2003

FSA News, 5 November 2003

ENFORCEMENT - Fighting Fund information

Decisions on resourcing for enforcement activity are a matter for local authorities, however, the FSA acknowledgs that some local authorities have to deal with cases with unexpected resource implications.

The Agency has agreed a process developed through its Enforcement Liaison Group which sets out criteria for LAs who wish to apply for Agency support for their enforcement work and for the Agency to consider such applications.

Decisions on the nature and extent of Agency financial support will be made on a case by case basis and will take account of the limited Agency resources available. Documents on the FSA web site give more guidance about the process for LAs and includes an application form for LAs to use. However, given below is the majority of the guidance document.

Agency Support for Local Authority
Enforcement Activity:
The Fighting Fund

General guidance and criteria for support

It is not intended to be overly prescriptive about when a Local Authority could approach the Agency for financial support for enforcement actions. However, the information below is intended to provide some guidance on the issues which will be considered by the Agency Panel and the information that they will need to assess any application.

Decisions on the nature and extent of Agency financial support will be made on a case by case basis and will take account of the limited Agency resources available. The Agency will need to know why the Local Authority is unable to fund the activity itself and will also want to know what financial support the Local Authority has put in itself.

The Agency Panel will be looking for cases where there is

The type of cases which may be appropriate for Agency support would include:

It would be helpful if you could contact the Agency to discuss your request before submitting a formal application. This will be either the relevant Head of Branch in Local Authority Enforcement Division or FSA Wales, FSA Northern Ireland or FSA Scotland if you are a Welsh, Northern Irish or Scottish local authority.

Formal requests by letter will be considered by an Agency Panel. The letter should set out your request and address the points on the attached checklist of information required. Your request should also indicate how urgently a decision is required.

Please attach a copy of all supporting paperwork. This should include details of any proposed courses of action to be taken by the authority, plus, if appropriate, any evidence outstanding.

Any refusal to provide financial support should not be taken as any reflection on the merit of the Local Authority in pursuing any action.

Details of the Local Authorities applying for support (name of authority, summary of case) and the amounts awarded for successful cases will be given to the Agency's ELG Support Sub Group on a quarterly basis. The Agency may also make public details of the outcome of cases it has supported.

Scottish LAs will be aware that the Scottish legal system differs in that the Procurator Fiscals services takes any prosecutions forward and not the LA. This means a fighting fund may not be as pertinent in Scotland and any requests from Scottish LAs will in the first instance be considered by FSA Scotland.

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