Regulatory Policy in Colombia

Going beyond Administrative Simplification

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Prudent macroeconomic management and recent structural reforms have helped Colombia weather the recent financial crisis remarkably well.  The Government of Colombia has placed particular emphasis on simplifying formalities affecting business and citizens.  In addition, a number of initiatives have been launched to make the administration more transparent and accountable vis-à-vis citizens.

However, after several years in place, this approach needs to be re-shaped , in order to go deeper into the legal background of regulations.  Colombia still lacks a whole-of-government policy for regulatory quality and needs to rethink the institutional set up to implement different regulatory tools in a coherent manner.  It also requires the adoption of a systemic approach to challenge the reasons for and the logic behind formalities (trámites) and, most importantly, regulations.  Furthermore, as in many other countries, the development and application of a comprehensive regulatory governance approach for sub-national governments and multi-level co-ordination are pending issues.

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Multi-level regulatory governance in Colombia

Chapter 9 describes the organisation of the Colombian territory and the distribution of regulatory powers among the different levels of government. Despite the fact that the mandates of territorial entities are residual, there are fields in which their powers impact significantly on economic activity. The chapter also introduces different means used in Colombia to advance multi-level co-ordination, such as associations, alliances, and pacts agreed by sub-national jurisdictions. It discusses the need to establish a multi-level dialogue platform and to clarify the roles of sub-national governments in promoting better regulation and the support the central government can provide. The chapter then briefly analyses challenges for and good practices in regulatory reform at the sub-national level. Finally, it provides recommendations to improve multi-level dialogue and co-ordination.

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