The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is seeking views on proposals to revise Harbour Order (HO) application fees. The consultation, which launches on 16th July, gives Local Harbour Authorities and anyone interested in, or involved with, harbour activities that take place in England and the Port of Milford Haven (a reserved trust port) the chance to have their say on the proposed changes.
HO has been administered by the MMO since 2010, through a delegated function from the Department for Transport (DfT). However, the current fee structure was last updated 25 years ago in 1994 and does not reflect the actual costs to the MMO in determining HO applications, nor does it recognise the increased complexity of these applications.
Despite significant under recovery of costs since 2010, the MMO has taken actions to improve services and increase efficiencies in the processing of HO. This includes the allocation of dedicated resource via the creation of the Harbour Orders Team, improving online guidance to assist applicants, and streamlining internal processes, all of which have contributed to a significant decrease in the average application time from 29 months (2008-2011) to 12.5 months (2012-2018)
Going forward the MMO intends to make further improvements to the HO service by further enhancing online guidance and providing a named case officer for each HO application. However, it is difficult for the MMO to sustain the current level of service provided or pursue any further improvements to the HO service at the current level of cost recovery; especially as we face competing priorities and increasing pressure on resource and Government subsidy.
As a result, the MMO and DfT are now proposing to revisit HO fees, in-line with HM Treasury guidelines on Managing Public Money and to ensure that a greater proportion of the cost of a HO application is met by applicants.
To submit your response to the consultation you are invited to:
- complete the online questionnaire provided through Citizen Space a response through this means would be preferable as it allows for more efficient analysis of responses and a quicker government response to the consultation.
Or if this is not possible, you can also respond: