The Government has agreed to token reforms of existing laws, including working to harmonise conveyancing laws ... man, what great reforms!!!! This is in the same league as floating the AUD, or reducing tariffs.
A more important aspect of the redtape reforms is the plan to address the flow of bad regulation. This is where the government-ese is at its best. The government has proposed to:
- include a cost-benefit analysis for new regulation;
- renaming the irrelevant Office of Regulation Review to Office of Best Practice Regulation;
- use of the business-cost calculator; and
- adoption of six principles of good regulation.
Oh, but what about the fabled compliance cost calculator .... the glorified excel spreadsheet that the best minds of the Office of Small Business (I know it’s an oxymoron) miraculously thought up .... well, all it does is multiply hours taken to complete forms by the hourly wage rate .... and, wait for it, each of these elements have to be manually entered by the user. So, the Government, in its analytical best, has solved all regulatory problems by adopting an excel spreadsheet that is completely user dependent!!!! In fact, the only government-value-adding is to enter the =A1*A2 code!!!!!
The RIS has become irrelevant largely due to the incompetence of the Office of Regulation Review, and the absence of any consequences of failure to do a RIS. Hands up who knows that Treasury only did a RIS for around 60% of regulations? And what consequences are there? None!!!! So what is the response of Government? Let’s change the name of the ORR to the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Wow!!!! Who would have thought that the problem of non-compliance by government agencies could be solved by a name change. Can you imagine it? I mean poor public servants completely oblivious to the ORR, but the OBPR!! I can see them trembling over their morning teas.
Ah gosh, anyone who thinks the flow of crap regulation will be reduced is smoking the same stuff Costello was when he thought he'd be PM.
In all seriousness though, the Government cannot be serious that this is economic reform. It is a disgrace. And to think of the resources spent on the Redtape Reduction Taskforce, and in preparing the response. It amazes me how expensive hot air can be.