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Why Is Administrative Simplification So Complicated?

Looking beyond 2010

image of Why Is Administrative Simplification So Complicated?

“Too much ‘red tape’!” is one of the most common complaints from businesses and citizens in OECD countries. Administrative simplification is a regulatory quality tool to review and reduce administrative and regulatory procedures. It has remained high on the agenda in most OECD countries over the last decade and continues to be so. Countries’ efforts to strengthen their competitiveness, productivity and entrepreneurship during the current recession have made simplification efforts even more urgent.  

Until now, efforts to reduce administrative burdens have primarily been driven by ambitions to improve the cost efficiency of administrative regulations, as these impose direct and indirect costs on regulated subjects. Many countries will finish their current projects over the next few years and must decide how to continue their efforts and how to make them more efficient.  

This report looks beyond 2010 and presents policy options for administrative simplification that are in line with current trends and developments. It provides policy makers with guidance on the available tools and explains common mistakes to be avoided when designing, undertaking and evaluating administrative simplification programmes.

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Future Policy Directions for Administrative Burden Reduction

Chapter 2 presents policy options in line with trends and developments and provides policy makers with guidance on possibilities and common mistakes to be avoided when designing, undertaking and evaluating administrative simplification programmes. The report finds that the focus of administrative simplification projects should be broadened. Governments should quantify administrative burdens and set quantitative targets for their reduction, however quantification should be used cautiously and complemented by qualitative methods. Administrative simplification should be integrated and co-ordinated with other activities in the area of regulatory reform. Efficient institutional structures for co-ordination and monitoring of administrative simplification projects should be created, and communication with stakeholders must be strengthened. Last but not least, administrative simplification efforts should be evaluated for their “value for money”. An evaluation strategy should be developed before launching the project.

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