It is a commonly held view that you’ll hear expressed in one way or another around the BBQ, at the local pub or when you’re at work – “bureaucrats are out of touch.”
While of course that is a generalisation there is a grain of truth to the fact that a number of the people who put the laws and regulations into place have not had any direct experience with the businesses who will be affected by these rules.
In recognition of this, one of the first recommendation of the Belcher Review—which examined red tape across the federal government—was for “more effective consultation” to engage with stakeholders on issues around deregulation, including a suggestion for “red tape open days”.
What exactly are “red tape open days”? The idea is that businesses, including small businesses, could directly engage with relevant Ministers or the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary, who has traditionally had responsibility for red tape reduction, or senior public servants to explain the human cost of new and existing red tape.
This will allow direct interaction between those making the laws and those most affected by them. Businesses can tell politicians and senior public servants what the real affect is of poorly designed red tape on the ground.