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The management and rationalisation of existing regulations

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This chapter covers two areas of regulatory policy. The first is simplification of regulations. The large stock of regulations and administrative formalities accumulated over time needs regular review and updating to remove obsolete or inefficient material. Approaches vary from consolidation, codification, recasting, repeal, ad hoc reviews of the regulations covering specific sectors, and sun setting mechanisms for the automatic review or cancellation of regulations past a certain date. The second area concerns the reduction of administrative burdens and has gained considerable momentum over the last few years. Government formalities are important tools to support public policies, and can help businesses by setting a level playing field for commercial activity. But they may also represent an administrative burden as well as an irritation factor for business and citizens, and one which tends to grow over time. Difficult areas include employment regulations, environmental standards, tax regulations, and planning regulations. Permits and licences can also be a major potential burden on businesses, especially SMEs. A lack of clear information about the sources of and extent of administrative burdens is the first issue for most countries. Burden measurement has been improved with the application by a growing number of countries of variants on the standard cost model (SCM) analysis to information obligations imposed by laws, which also helps to sustain political momentum for regulatory reform by quantifying the burden. A number of governments have started to consider the issue of administrative burdens inside government, with the aim of improving the quality and efficiency of internal regulation in order to reduce costs and free up resources for improved public service delivery. Regulation inside government refers to the regulations imposed by the state on its own administrators and public service providers (for example, government agencies or local government service providers). Fiscal restraints may preclude the allocation of increased resources to the bureaucracy, and a better approach is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the regulations imposed on administrators and public service providers. The effective deployment of e‐Government is of increasing importance as a tool for reducing the costs and burdens of regulation on businesses and citizens, as well as inside government.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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