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.
Background on regulatory quality, see "Archive" tab. To be regularly informed or share your news, join the Smart Regulation Group on LinkedIn: 1,300 members, or register as follower.

14 November 2014

Better RIA to support government policy (Georgia)

Earlier this week, the deputy minister of Economy, Mr M. Janelidze, (second from left on the above photo) opened a workshop for senior officials from several ministries and from Parliament on the development of regulatory impact assement in Georgian ministries. In his introduction, he called on the officials to intensify efforts to give effective application to this tool of better regulation, in the context of preparing the country for EU membership, but also to increase the performance of government by the production of effective and efficient legislation and regulation. The workshop had been organised by the American Chamber of Commerce, the EU-Georgia Business Council and donor organisations.
The main purpose of the workshop (which was moderated by your blogger CH Montin) was to take stock of existing RIA in Georgia and to recommend a plan of action to make better use of this aid to government decision making. Both the evidence base and the consultation process needed to be significantly improved if the full potential of RIA was to be achieved. Some practical steps were agreed between participants at the close of the discussion:
- Issuing a high-level explicit Government statement on the importance of good quality RIA documents to be prepared for the most economically significant new legislations, and emphasizing the importance of effective consultation with stakeholders on draft legislation;
- defining a Georgian RIA methodology after discussion based on international best practice, in particular as reported by OECD publications;
- building capacities in the ministries by freeing officials from other tasks to start practicing RIA on the basis if possible of current or past legislations;
- setting up an oversight body in charge of verifying the quality of RIAs before the corresponding draft legislation is finalised.
Stakeholders and ministry officials expressed their determination to actively pursue the development of RIA in support of more effective, businesss-friendly regulations in Georgia. (photo below: the moderator with some of the course members.)

07 November 2014

Lebanon launches new simplification drive in 4 ministries

For several years, the office of the minister of State for administrative reform (OMSAR) has been conducting simplification projects, with the objectives of raising the efficiency of the administration and making life easier for citizens. See for instance a presentation made at OECD in 2012, with earlier stages explained in a 2008 contribution to an OECD MENA workshop. Now with the support of funding from the EU, things are expected to accelerate. In April this year, EuropeAid issued a service contract notice EuropeAid/134308/D/SER/LB (with OMSAR as contracting authority).
The contract - "Technical assistance to the administrative simplification in selected ministries in Lebanon (Ministries of Social Affairs, Tourism, Public Health and Industry") - was awarded in August 2014 to a consortium composed of ACE International Consultants (leader), the Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU), Aldar Consulting (Lebanon) and the Lithuanian Institute of Public Administration (LIVADIS). See the decision reported by dgMarket. Work is expected to start by the end of the month of November.
The project aims to improve the responsiveness of the administration to the demands of the general public and business community by streamlining and simplifying/re-engineering administrative procedures and business processes at four beneficiary ministries: the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Industry. The project shall focus on complex, non-transparent, time consuming, and vague administrative procedures that result in low quality of public services and in inefficiency in the public administrations. It will allow the beneficiary ministries to operate in a more transparent, efficient, cost effective, and timely manner and reduce Administrative Burdens on citizens and businesses.
ACE had proposed a Technical Assistance Team (TAT) composed of the following experts:
  • Charles Henry Montin, team leader
  • Tareq Touqan, regulatory reform expert (right on photo)
  • Tullio Morganti, Business Process Re-Engineering expert
  • Zouha Sakr-Vayanos, Expert in Lebanese Law (second from left)
  • Imen Dridi, Project Assistant

Cutting EU red tape (UK report)

Network friend J. Farrell (UK) draws our attention to a report of interest to all smart regulation watchers. BIS and the PMO have just published Cut EU red tape: one year on - progress report. This official document gives an update on what the UK has achieved in implementing each of the 30 individual recommendations in the October 2013 Business Taskforce report on reducing EU regulation.
The report also details support received for the COMPETE principles, which aim to filter out any new EU regulations or legislation that are not pro-growth. These principles (see page 8 of the Oct. 2013 report mentioned above) are:
  • competitiveness test
  • one-in, one-out
  • measure impacts
  • proportionate rules
  • exemptions and lighter regimes
  • target for burden reduction
  • evaluate and enforce

06 November 2014

Nudging fully explained (in Spanish)

Smart Regulator Prof. J. Ponce (Barcelona) has just published (in the Acts of the 9th congress of the Spanish association of professors of administrative law) a full-length study entitled "Nudging, administrative simplification and good regulatory governance: the 21st century administrative law and its relations with social sciences." (caution: pdf file 3.7Mb).
Prof. Ponce investigates how the new social sciences tools can help administrative law, including the use of discretionary powers by public authorities, be more efficient in this century. New insights from behavioural sciences into motivations that move the citizen must be factored into a modernised approach to designing and implementing regulation. Nudging is one of these new promising techniques, to be deployed alongside RIA and consultation.