This independent blog collects news about projects or achievements in regulatory reform / better regulation. It is edited by Charles H. Montin. All opinions expressed are given on a personal basis.
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21 June 2011

Great expectations (US)

Cutting red tape and simplification are often seen as fertile ground for political promises, but delivery can be tricky, as it can be quite complex to simplify regulation. This seems to be borne out by recent experience in the US following President Obama's executive order (already reported on this blog, see "US" category). The President’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council has recently released its initial recommendations after three months of work (in an article by its chairman for the Wall Street Journal, not on the official website). Commentators seem unimpressed:
  • Acccording to a Bostom Globe columnist: "The ideas ranged from woefully uninspiring to unhelpfully vague."
  • Another comment, under the title "the Council's fairy tale" is equally critical: "Part of this council’s problem is the inherent limit on the effectiveness of all government commissions and blue-ribbon panels. To start with, they are heavily staff-driven. Immelt and Chenault are busy people with limited experience in government. They rely heavily on a staff, assembled mostly from inside the White House. The staff puts a few ideas on the table, the council approves, and the staff fleshes out the details."
From our own experience, we BR experts know how difficult it can be to implement, in measures taking effect on the ground, such attractive ideas as "make it easier to visit the US through improved visa processes,” “put construction workers back to work.” or “streamline permitting.” In general, it is advisable to wait, before announcing them, till details of the legal changes have been finalised, and if possible checked for realism and applicability in field enquires.

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