03 January 2009

Not my department:

The provincial government’s innovation department achieved almost all its targeted reduction in “red tape” during the fiscal year ending March 2008.

They killed 22% towards the goal of a 25% reduction.

Innovation Trade and Rural Development, the people who never learned google, did it the old fashioned bureaucratic way.  They didn’t actually eliminate the sorts of pointless, redundant bureaucratic obstacles imposed by government departments that the reduction initiative  is aimed at.


These clever innovators shuffled responsibility for 731 “regulatory requirements” – whatever that is – off to another government department.

Human Resources, Labour and Employment is now the proud owners of 731 regulations.


In 2005 the Provincial Government introduced a Red Tape Reduction Initiative to reduce regulatory burdens for the business community by 25 per cent within three years. INTRD originally identified 6,692 business
regulatory requirements but that number was reduced by 731 when the Provincial Nominee Program was moved to HRLE. The Department has achieved a 22 per cent reduction and expects to attain the additional three per cent within the required timeframe. INTRD is committed to ensuring high-service standards with its clients and the public.

That little piece of "innovation" only took three years to figure out.

The year before that, the department focused on finding issues with what the red tape reduction was really all about:  counting up the number of lines of forms and seeing if there were creative ways of collapsing the number of lines.  They weren’t concerned so much with reducing the actual amount of information gathered, mind you, just the number of specific lines it took to collect the information. 


To support the Province’s initiative to reduce red tape and regulatory road blocks for the business community by 25 per cent, the Department conducted a full inventory of its programs. INTRD identified 6,692 business regulatory requirements – 80 per cent of which were various funding program forms. INTRD reviewed all forms as well as the departmental processing system looking for ways to simplify the forms, eliminate
duplication and make processing more effective and consistent for clients and staff. During 2006–07, the Department reduced the number of regulatory requirements by 20.6 per cent.

An earlier external review of INTRD’s programs found a high client–approval rating for the Department’s response time and service. A departmental review in 2006–07 explored ways to benchmark the major–funding
approval process. A report to recommend clear standards for client services is nearing completion.

Oddly enough, the 2007-08 HRLE annual report doesn’t mention any red tape reduction.

But notice that in 2006-07, the department was proud that its clients gave it high marks.  Well, they should. Companies like SAC Manufacturing got cash and folded four months later, apparently with very little security left for the public cash they took. Over a half million dollars of public cash. No mention of SAC in the 2007-08 annual report, though.