IPC chairman queries BII role

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bii

Sharp: BII not suited to role
Sharp: BII not suited to role
Independent Pub Confederation chairman Bill Sharp questioned the role of the BII as the policeman of the codes of practice.

Guild of Master Victuallers and Independent Pub Confederation chairman Bill Sharp questioned the role of the BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) as the policeman of the codes of practice and voiced concern over the fact it could not levy a penalty against breaches.

"The BII is a training and standards body and not fit for the purpose of policing the codes," he claimed at the recent All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group meeting.

He admitted that while the BII is "well-meaning" in helping the industry, what is really needed is a statutory code of practice.

However, the British Beer & Pub Association's chief executive Brigid Simmonds backed the

BII's role.

"The BII has been testing us and has been honest in taking on issues raised by licensees. I think that the costs of having an ombudsman would be huge and totally out of proportion."

Enterprise's chief operating officer Simon Townsend added: "Our experience is that the BII

help has gone beyond the guidelines. It doesn't feel like the code of practice doesn't have teeth as we expect to be held to account.

"There is a great deal of scrutiny not just from the Save the Pub Group but from the select committee, the trade media, the campaign groups who will be looking for areas where we fail and where we are perceived to be acting unreasonably.

"That is a level of scrutiny that I believe drives standards of behaviour in a very positive direction."

BII chief executive Neil Robertson added: "I think where the BII has done well is where it has sought and secured a resolution to problems. Regulators don't get resolutions to individual situations — they allow (failures of) compliance to add up and then there is a penalty."

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