November 23, 2006

The following statement was issued today by the Honourable Kevin O�Brien, Minister of Business. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

Progress Continues on Red Tape Reduction Initiative

I rise today to provide an update on the red tape reduction initiative. In August 2005, we announced a plan to reduce red tape throughout government, setting a goal of reducing regulatory burden by 25 per cent over a three-year period. This initiative is in an effort to provide businesses and citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador more efficient access to government services and programs.

The red tape reduction initiative reflects our focus on implementing smart initiatives to foster a business-friendly climate and to increase efficiency for all residents of this province, as promised in our Blueprint for the Future.

On October 2 of this year, I provided an update on the success of the red tape initiative. The activity up to June 30, 2006 showed that 16,910 regulatory requirements were removed from the system. That�s 5.41 per cent of our objective to reduce regulatory burden by 25 per cent in the next three years.

The results of the red tape initiative are already getting noticed by the business community. In August, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business presented an award to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, in recognition of our commitment to increased efficiency through the red tape reduction initiative. This tremendous achievement is the result of our commitment to enhance ease-of-use for our clients, individuals and businesses of this province, and it reaffirms that we are headed in the right direction.

This initiative is about more than numbers and percentages. It�s about designing and implementing new policies, regulation and legislation in a manner which is specific, measurable, accountable, results-based, and transparent. It�s about ensuring a smart regulatory environment by continuing to monitor requirements on an on-going basis. All in an effort to enhance the services that government provides to our clients.

I would like to extend my appreciation to the departments, agencies, boards and commissions and all government employees included in this initiative. I�d also like to thank the red tape reduction team within the Department of Business who work with the departments and entities to achieve these results. The commitment of these groups to the red tape reduction initiative is enabling us to create a regulatory regime that is efficient, flexible, and transparent while maintaining high regulatory standards.

2006 11 23                                                2:10 p.m.

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