May 7, 2009
Twenty-Seven Per Cent Less Red Tape as Government
and Improves Service
Dealing with Provincial Government processes and regulations has been
made easier over the past three years � a direct result of the progress
made under the Red Tape Reduction Initiative. The Honourable Paul Oram,
Minister of Business, today announced that the initiative successfully achieved its
three-year target for reducing regulatory requirements and that the
commitment to keeping the regulatory burden in check continues.
"This government set
out three years ago with an ambitious goal to reduce regulatory
requirements by one quarter by the end of March 2009," said Minister
Oram. "Not only was our goal accomplished, but that mark has now been
surpassed, with an overall reduction of more than 27 per cent. That is a
substantial number of needless requirements eliminated."
There has been an ongoing commitment on the part of the Provincial
Government to create a more efficient, flexible and transparent
regulatory regime in Newfoundland and Labrador, while maintaining high
regulatory standards, particularly where public safety and environmental
protection are concerned. Since the launch of the initiative in 2006, 33
Provincial Government departments, agencies, boards and commissions have
taken action to contribute directly to the reduction by identifying and
addressing administrative and regulatory inefficiencies, including
requirements, reporting, processes and paper.
"Through a sustained commitment and effort to reduce regulatory
burden and improve service, we are seeing some positive changes that are
benefiting real people," said Minister Oram. "We are streamlining
processes, reducing paperwork, getting rid of outdated and overly
onerous requirements and making things easier for users of Provincial
Government information and services. All this is making a difference by
alleviating some of the hindrances that people and businesses face when
dealing with government. It is also helping create a more
In addition to reducing regulations, the measures being taken are
fostering innovation and efficiency in the way the Provincial Government
operates, delivers services, and interacts with the public. Efforts
across government are resulting in streamlined processes,
improved regulation and legislation, increased access to
e-government and implementation of online services, less
paperwork, and more efficient service to clients and the public.
The initiative has also
sparked a heightened
awareness and appreciation within government of the impacts that the
regulatory burden can have on citizens and businesses.
A wide range of people and groups are benefiting from the
achievements to date. Many processes and requirements are being made
clearer and easier, for businesses and for the average Newfoundlander
and Labradorian � from registering a business, to accessing career
planning services, to filling out salmon and moose licence returns, to
reserving a campsite, to registering a car.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been an
active advocate for red tape reduction within government. "I am very
pleased the Provincial Government has met its target, and I look forward
to our continued partnership, to ensure this province is the best place
in which to do business," said Bradley George, Director of Provincial
Affairs for CFIB.
Minister Oram applauded the efforts of Provincial Government
employees and attributed the success of the initiative to their hard
work and dedication to improve regulations and service.
The minister also announced that the commitment to relieving the
regulatory burden continues, with the primary objective moving forward
to ensure zero net growth in regulatory requirements and an ongoing
focus on improvements to how people and business interact with
government. The zero growth approach means, in essence, that for every
new regulatory requirement introduced within government, an existing one
must be eliminated.
commitment to better regulation and better service does not end here,"
said Minister Oram. "Improving the regulatory environment is a
long-term commitment. This is about more than counting regulations. It
is about continuously improving the way government does business."
- 30 -
The following are examples of measures taken across government to
improve processes and service. For more, see
paperwork and red tape for small business owners by providing
easy online access to all permitting, inspection and licensing
requirements for business set-up and expansion. To date, it
has been introduced to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Stephenville and
Various business funding program forms and the system for
processing these were reviewed to simplify, eliminate
duplication and make processing more effective and consistent
for clients and staff.
Changes to capital works funding processes have resulted in
greater efficiency and cost savings for municipalities.
Operating grants are now issued twice annually, instead of
four times, meaning that municipalities receive them earlier.
A 10 per cent discount encourages online registration.
Tele-service at the Motor Registration Division has improved
accessibility and customer service.
Advanced reservations for provincial campsites can now be
made online and through a 1-800 toll-free phone service, which
increases convenience for customers and reduces administrative
Apprentices and their employers
Revisions to apprenticeship registration assist greatly in
obtaining journeyperson certification.
Journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio requirements were changed
giving employers more flexibility and allowing apprentices to
gain valuable worksite training.
Hunters and fishers
Excessive requirements on big game and salmon returns were
eliminated, reducing effort for licence holders.
The Mineral Rights Administration Database is a
state-of-the-art system for mineral claim-staking that allows
real-time acquisition of licences from anywhere in the world,
saving the private sector time and money and making the province
more competitive for exploration companies.
Guidelines and forms were reviewed and improved, including:
Mining Act Guidelines; Junior Exploration Assistance Guidelines
and Applications; Prospectors Assistance Guidelines, Application
for Prospectors Grant, and Report Form; Map Request Form; Peat
Workplace health and safety
Web-based services and information have been expanded to
improve efficiency and effectiveness of client services (e.g.
Certificates of Clearance, employer account information, PRIME
status and health care cost reports).
A client service office investigates and facilitates
resolution of client service concerns, identifies system-wide
issues, and recommends service improvements.
Seekers of employment information
Up-to-date information on career and employment planning can
be accessed with ease through a "Click, Call or Come In"
A redesigned wage subsidy program with a single application
makes it easier for employers to secure financial support and
for individuals looking for work experience to receive the
services they need.
Income support clients
Services have been made more accessible, effective and
efficient, including the availability of toll-free telephone,
text telephone, and forms in Braille.
The Timber Purchase Licence was modified from an individual
district application to a single provincial application.
Some species production reports are now provided weekly
instead of daily, reducing the frequency with which operators
are required to submit data.
Applicant fees under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
were lowered, increasing accessibility; and an early screening
process for applications has reduced processing time and
A new immigration portal brings together accurate, current
online information, tools and services for immigrants, foreign
workers and international students.
Occupational health and safety
Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
provide flexibility and allow employers to choose first-aid
Government initiated a review of collective bargaining
legislation, together with business and labour, with a view to
enhancing the labour relations framework.
A number of outdated acts for self-regulating occupations
were replaced with new legislation improving management of the
profession and providing greater consumer protection (including
architects, engineers and geoscientists, accountants, and
embalmers and funeral directors).
A new, complete procurement system will enable users to
collect and analyze critical data and information, assist in
maximizing use of local vendors, improve turnaround times, as
well as reduce paperwork for suppliers by allowing them to
register their businesses and commodities online.
A Master Specification Guide for work on public-funded
buildings was adopted by industry users.
Justice and corrections
The Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Centre implemented
videoconferencing, which is reducing travel time and risk for
clients who otherwise have to be transported during inclement
weather to appear in court.
More than 170 fees lowered or eliminated, resulting in
approximately $30 million in reductions since 2007-08.
Free textbooks for students
Providing free textbooks for students throughout the province
has eliminated the vast majority of documentation previously
required each year for ordering.
Special education programming
Delivery of special education programming was reviewed as
part of the ISSP/Pathways Commission and required documentation
was significantly reduced.
Public housing users
The application streams for rental of public housing were
condensed into one application for the entire province, and the
length of the application was halved, increasing ease of
completion for clients and more efficient administration for
2009 06 07 11:50 a.m.