Red Tape Reduction: A New Approach

Book chapter published in Australia’s Red Tape Crisis: The Causes and Costs of Over-Regulation

Abstract: Policymakers pursuing regulatory reform can take one of two complementary paths: first, identifying and repealing specific regulatory instruments or sectors; or second, through placing institutional constraints on the regulatory process itself. This paper reviews the political economy of these two paths in Australia before focusing on the latter path, of red tape reduction policies and procedures. Developing effective red tape policies and procedures relies on the quantification and measurement of the red tape burden so that success or failure can be benchmarked. Finally this paper introduces a new approach to measuring regulatory burden—counting the number of restrictive clauses as applied in British Columbia—as the potential future of red tape mechanisms in Australia.