The Federal Government’s campaign to reduce regulation and thus streamline business in Australia has gone live online. The Cutting Red Tape website outlines the thinking of the government’s approach to red tape and the key components of changes to regulation.
While the primary purpose of the site is to promote the government’s deregulation stance it also facilitates the process of actually making a submission to see regulation repealed. Aimed at public servants, the guide and handbook outlines why regulation is important and how creating, changing or repealing regulation should be approached.
The Office of Best Practice Regulation is responsible for the process of checking new regulations and was moved from the productivity commission to the Department of Finance and Deregulation in 2007. It is now part of the Deparatment of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and promotes deregulation as an initiative of the Prime Minister. The style of the Cutting Red Tape website and its approach differ quite markedly from the standard bureacratese of the department responsible for its activities. http://www.dpmc.gov.au/deregulation/obpr/
The interactive components of the new site are limited to a feedback form and a simple submission page. By following the steps in the handbook aimed at public servants, however ordinary citizens can effectively make their case for the removal of foolish regulation. A long way from citizen referenda, the goverment has taken the first steps toward using technology to provide a direct link from the citizenry into the corridors of power.
Let’s hope they listen to the feedback they get.