PHSO whitewashes my BEIS complaint about imperial units consultation

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has investigated my complaint against the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and told me that they found nothing wrong with their consultation document or survey. BEIS has been widely criticised for its biased consultation and limited options for respondents, but these flaws were ignored by PHSO.

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Questions Government must answer about imperial units consultation

In June 2022, UKMA member Martin Vlietstra responded to the Government’s Imperial Units survey and downloaded his responses. Just over a week later, he downloaded his responses again and found that one of his responses seemed to have been changed behind his back and the option he picked to one question was removed. Despite the fact that the imperial units consultation ended on 26 August 2022, the Government have not yet published their analysis of the responses. When they do, they must answer some awkward questions about their botched consultation.

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PHSO initial response to my complaint about BEIS

After I exhausted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) complaints procedure and they failed to acknowledge or do anything about their misleading imperial units consultation document or biased survey, I sent off my BEIS complaints form dated 31 October 2022 to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) via my MP. After many months, I got an initial response.

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UKMA’s response to the REUL Bill Select Committee

Yesterday, in the House of Lords, the Delegated Powers & Regulatory Reform Committee published its report on the Government’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

The Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on Monday 6 February, is designed to hand power from Parliament to Government Ministers, who will then decide the fate of up to 4000 laws.

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How imperial units survey design flaws could have been fixed

The Government ran the “Choice on units of measurement: markings and sales” consultation from 3 June 2022 to 26 August 2022. The survey that accompanied the consultation received over 100 000 responses. According to Government guidelines (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consultation-principles-guidance), a response should have been published by 18 November, 12 weeks after the closing date. This article explains what was wrong with the survey questions and how the survey could have been improved.

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Government Imperial Units consultation bedevilled by inaccuracy, bias, bodges and computer blunders

The Government consultation into the choice of units of measure in the retail sector [ref 1] has been bedevilled by inaccuracies, bias, bodges and probably computer blunders. The Foreword of the document (unsigned) is not only riddled with inaccuracies and half-truths, but the explanation of the law relating to units of measure in the retail trade bypasses the fundamental principles behind the display of prices.

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Make another U-turn – scrap imperial measures proposals

The Government has recently made several U-turns on economic policy. They are not averse to making U-turns when it becomes politically convenient. The government is committed to dropping the requirement to show metric units alongside imperial units in some or all areas. UKMA is demanding that the Government makes a U-turn on this policy and scraps these imperial measures proposals. There is a way out where they can save face and avoid embarrassment and humiliation.

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How to respond to imperial-only measurement proposals

The Government has published its “Choice on units of measurement: markings and sales” consultation document about their plans to remove the requirement for traders to show the metric equivalent alongside imperial units.

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