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Reducing Red Tape Within Government Rex Deighton-Smith. OECD Meeting of Senior Budget Officials Vienna, 2 June 2008. The red tape problem. Problem analysis Lack of knowledge of actual requirements (“myths”) Limited understanding of costs of internal regulatory requirements

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Reducing red tape within government rex deighton smith

Reducing Red Tape Within GovernmentRex Deighton-Smith

OECD Meeting of Senior Budget Officials

Vienna, 2 June 2008


The red tape problem
The red tape problem

  • Problem analysis

    • Lack of knowledge of actual requirements (“myths”)

    • Limited understanding of costs of internal regulatory requirements

    • Adoption of unduly risk-averse policies

  • Major areas of concern identified:

    • Government wide:Procurement & recruitment

    • Internal to agencies: chief executive’s financial delegations, chief executive’s instructions


Solutions implemented
Solutions implemented

  • Adoption of specified processes for developing new rules, including:

    • problem analysis,

    • identifying options,

    • BCA,

    • stakeholder consultation,

    • independent advice

  • Regular reviews required

  • Correcting myths

    • Adoption of a “myths vs realities” framework


Comments on the programme
Comments on the programme

  • New processes closely reflect regulatory reform best practices

  • Underlying issue of risk aversion also a theme re: external regulation

  • Potential to “optimize” internal regulation is high:

    • costs/benefits are more readily determined

  • Potential gains also seem substantial

    • Due to the scale of govt procurement & recruitment operations


Broader application
Broader application?

  • The Australian reform programme appears to be a new innovation

  • However, the problems identified are likely to be widely experienced

  • Adopting a system based process is sound

  • Potential gains from change are large

  • May be merit in a review of:

    • Scale of problems

    • Other programmes in this area


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