The NSW Government issued a revised Guide to Better Regulation last month. Better Regulation is something we keep an eye on because of the importance of process in streamlining regulatory action.
You may have encountered the term “failure demand” previously – I’ll blog about it elsewhere – but often it is process failure that causes time delay and extra work. This extra work is “failure demand” – workload that only occurs because the process isn’t working properly. More than one frontline visit, client phone calls to check on progress or get help filling in forms, followup because supporting documents not supplied, and so on.
Failure demand is a key part of regulatory load experienced by both agency staff and the public client. If you don’t address it, you can create as many targets and reviews as you like, but the experience will still be one of red tape.
For us at AG though, the most interesting thing about the review is what the (then) Premier is reported as saying:
Mr Rees said key amendments in the revised Guide included placing greater emphasis on the quantification of impacts to help reduce red tape; placing greater emphasis on simplifying existing regulation; additional information on preparing and submitting Better Regulation Statements; and simplifying Executive Council proposals.
Quantifying impacts of process change. Mmmm.