A while back (2010) some senior British bureaucrats, acknowledging that administration of governmental decision taking was becoming unwieldy, chaotic and constipated and they decided to address parts of the increasingly dysfunctional situation with a new set of rules which had the force of law - obviously because self control was non existent.. One clear intent was to force bureaucracies to arrive at decisions within a fixed time frame and not to allow them to spin out things as far as funds were available and beyond anybody but their own interpretation of common sense... Reconciling and consolidating duplicated services was also a major aim to reduce redundant activity by officials.
You can read a copy of the Penfold Review in Google's PDF viewer here
A copy of The Department of Business Innovation & Skills implementation document is here PDF in Google viewer again
As a commenter on the blog said (and other places like the CLA have observed) - this isn't a popular move in quango-land. The Environment Agency have dutifully signed up - but then when one wants to see how they're going about implementing Penfold Rules.... their website coughs an error - page not found.(May 09 2013)
Then we have an official (Ben Johnston) telling us :
Hydropower determinations require particularly complex checks and balances and because of this they are not included in our 13 week Penfold determination target.
(email to Brendan Barrow of eWaterPower 03 May 2013)
Lawyers Stone King have a useful overview web page