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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14 September 2012

Cutting red tape in Colombia

Having just spent one week in Bogota as a guest of the Colombian government (Planning Department), your blogger is in a position to complete and update the previous post on regulatory reform in Colombia.
The most important initiative is the decreto-ley anti-tramites,a red tape cutting and legal simplification exercise based on a delegation from Parliament to the president (Mr Santos) to take all steps required to repeal "burdensome or unnecessary" procedures during a six-month period ending in January 2012. A more complete description of its content is available on the Legislative Observer site, with most significant measures described on Urna de Cristal. This "'omnibus" streamlined many procedures, gave legal status to certain electronic records (like company accounts) and modernised many procedures, like replacing fingerprint ID by official documentation.
A public consultation on further steps is also under way where citizens are invited to "denounce" a time consuming or uselfess administrative procedure, under the banner of "Anti-Red-Tape Crusade". The site reports that 70,000 citizens have already contributed. Most popular demands: the deletion of certification of documents, especially the three-monhly declaration of existence (to prove you are not dead) or the authentication by notary of each sheet of company accounts.
Another channel, more specifically designed for business, is the Competitive Regulation program, which comprises an online questionnaire but also a schedule of regional roundtables by sector, set up by the ministry of industry, trade and tourism in partnership with private actors.
For the same stakeholders, the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce has set up a network of well endowed one-stop-shops for registering a new business or formalising an existing one, with offices throughout the country where new entrepreneurs can receive legal help and carry out all the related procedures.
Finally, under development, a single online database of all administrative procedures (SUIT) already helps citizens, business and public officials (each has a separate access module) find relevant legislation. The site contains the official forms as well as information on completing the requirements to secure an ID document, a passport, a driving licence, etc.

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