Regulatory policy

Cutting Red Tape: Publication Series


Heavy administrative burdens - red tape - can stifle smaller companies, inhibit entrepreneurship and reduce competitiveness in global markets. For these reasons cutting red tape is a political priority throughout most OECD countries - and beyond.

What can governments do? Strategies include reviews of the stock of regulations, reduction of administrative burdens, codification, simplification of administrative procedures and re-engineering, better multi-level co-ordination, and rapid introduction of e-government services. Supported by task forces and advisory committees, governments increasingly locate responsibility within a central administrative unit. This "whole-of-government" approach represents a major step in recent years, embedding administrative simplification in the overall regulatory quality system at the national level.

The OECD "Cutting Red Tape" series helps governments in formulating strategies for administrative simplification by: comparing policies across countries, presenting policy options, providing guidance on available tools. A series of country studies is also available.


Why Is Administrative Simplification So Complicated? | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

Publication date: 27 September 2010

ISBN: 9789264089754

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. 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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Comparing Administrative Burdens across Countries | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

Publication date: 23 Oct 2007


Comparing Administrative Burdens Across Countries

Cutting red tape to improve business conditions has become a priority in OECD countries. This pilot study measures and compares administrative burdens in the transport sector across eleven member countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Turkey. The aim of the exercise is twofold: to identify good practices and provide input for national simplification strategies, and to develop and test a method for cross-country comparison.

This report is published in English only. However, a French translation of the executive summary has been included in this volume.

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Cutting Red Tape | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

Publication date: 28 Nov 2006

ISBN: 9789264029798

National Strategies for Administrative Simplification

Red tape is burdensome to companies, inhibits entrepreneurship, and reduces competitiveness.  This publication examines country strategies and tools for reducing red tape and the institutional frameworks set up to reduce red tape, and finds what the trends are and what strategies are working. 

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Country studies

Administrative Simplification in Viet Nam | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

Publication date: 14 Feb 2011

ISBN: 9789264096639

Administrative Simplification in Viet Nam: Supporting the competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy

Administrative simplification in Viet Nam has reached a defining moment. In 2007, the government launched  “Project 30”, the goal of which was to reduce administrative procedures by 30% as part of ambitious reforms to modernise the public service and simplify the regulatory environment for businesses. These reforms support the development of infrastructure, increased productivity, greater foreign direct investment and a high rate of growth. Administrative simplification efforts, once fully implemented, will enhance regulatory quality and stimulate competitiveness and equitable growth. It was within this context that Viet Nam invited OECD to evaluate achievements so far and suggest future directions, including options for a ten-year programme for regulatory reform grounded in international best practice.  

This report details Project 30 and related initiatives. Using international comparisons and incorporating experience from similar reforms in other countries, it explores how Viet Nam can rapidly bring about the full potential of Project 30 and introduce a complete range of regulatory reform instruments in the near future. The lessons learnt from the management of a major administrative simplification initiative in Viet Nam will be useful to other countries seeking to improve their regulatory framework and to reduce administrative burdens, especially in the developing world and in transition countries. 

This report is published in English; a French translation of the executive summary has been included in this volume.

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Publication date: 24 Jan 2011

ISBN: 9789264097261

Administrative Simplification in Poland: Making policies perform

Now more than ever, administrative simplification is a priority in countries seeking to improve public governance and regulatory quality in order to boost competition and growth. To date, Poland has adopted a complex administrative simplification programme, based on methods successfully used in other OECD countries. It has two main streams: one focused on simplifying licences and permits, the other on measuring and reducing regulatory burdens. This report reviews the programme with the aim of helping Poland to make it and its implementation more efficient. 

The report shows that although many important elements of regulatory policy are now formally in place in Poland, in practice, there is still an implementation gap. The OECD recommends that Poland re-launches its programme by:

  • Setting new, realistic targets and timelines
  • Developing action plans for individual ministries
  • Creating efficient co-ordination structures and reporting mechanisms
  • Improving continuous stakeholders involvement 

Poland should also strengthen its regulatory impact assessment system by improving quality control, strengthening capacities, and possibilities for public control. Consultations throughout the whole process of making legislation should also be improved.

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Making Life Easy for Citizens and Businesses in Portugal | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

Publication date: 18 Dec. 2008

ISBN: 9789264047884

Making Life Easy for Citizens and Businesses in Portugal: Administrative Simplification and e-Government

Reducing the time for registering a company from weeks and months to under one hour is a concrete result of a unique and ambitious initiative in Portugal to make the public sector more efficient and effective. The Simplex initiative aims at making life easier for citizens and businesses. It focuses on how e-government can be used as a lever for broader administrative simplification, making service delivery more coherent and efficient.

This is the first integrated study undertaken by the OECD to analyse administrative simplification and e-government in a national context. By bringing those two areas together in the context of public management reform, this review helps countries identify how these reform activities can best support overall government performance and economic growth.

Also available in: Portuguese

Administrative Simplification in the Netherlands | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

Publication date: 25 Sep 2007

ISBN: 9789264037496

Administrative Simplification in the Netherlands

Cutting red tape and improving business conditions have become a priority in OECD countries. This study of the Netherlands, one of the front runners in the field, is the first OECD review of a national programme for administrative simplification. The report describes the key features of the Dutch programme including the measurement of burdens, the use of incentives and targets, and whole-of-government co-ordination. The OECD assessment of the success of the Dutch programme is based on comparisons with other countries, and on evidence of the economic impact of reforms. The report explores options for future work on administrative simplification relevant to OECD countries, highlighting the need to communicate better with stakeholders, cover compliance costs for business more broadly, and look at burdens on citizens and administrations.

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