Cutting the red tape burden: where public servants come in

The public sector has a significant role to play in cutting red tape, Tony Abbott’s regulatory point man told bureaucrats yesterday. The Mandarin was there.

In the lead-up to the second “red tape repeal day” next Wednesday, the prime minister’s parliamentary secretary Josh Frydenberg spent yesterday morning trying to increase support among public servants for the government’s deregulation agenda.

Speaking at a seminar hosted by the Institute for Public Administration Australia, ACT branch, Tony Abbott’s point man on red tape reduction conceded the shift to a lighter-touch regulatory culture would not succeed without the support of public servants.

“We want to change the government away from its default position of new regulation,” Frydenberg (pictured) said, “to a position where we ask the question: is regulation actually needed, have all avenues been exhausted, and what is the true impact in terms of cost, innovation, entrepreneurship, barriers to entry, on the particular stakeholders impacted by those regulations?”

Deregulation units are now in place in each department; cutting regulatory overlap between different levels of government is now a standing item on the agenda for the Council of Australian Governments; and a new framework for auditing the performance of regulators is being developed, based largely on a draft produced by the Productivity Commission in March.

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