Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs welcomes new calls for improving New South Wales’ red tape reduction system, particularly relating to increased accountability, transparency and measurement of reform.

These comments follow today’s release of the New South Wales Auditor-General’s report, Red tape reduction, which examined the effectiveness of recent efforts to prevent and reduce of red tape.

The comprehensive Audit found that “red tape savings were inaccurate and the regulatory burden of legislation increased”, and, further, that the “NSW government initiatives and processes to prevent red tape were not effective.”

These criticisms echo the recent Victorian Auditor-General’s report, Reducing the Red Tape Burden, which also questioned the effectiveness of red tape reduction programs.

Spokesperson for the Institute of Public Affairs, Evan Mulholland, said “Australia desperately needs to tackle the burdensome and unnecessary rules holding back our growth and prosperity.”

“Recent Institute of Public Affairs research demonstrated that red tape costs Australia at least $176 billion in foregone economic output every year. That number is the equivalent of 11 per cent of GDP and is larger than any other industry,” said Mr Mulholland.

“Australia needs a systematic whole-of-government approach to cutting red tape.

“The IPA particularly welcomes the recommendation to stocktake the number and cost of existing regulation, and to maintain a central public repository of all final regulatory decisions and regulatory impact assessments.

“Devising a transparent baseline measurement of current regulatory burden is an important starting point to cutting red tape,” said Mr Mulholland.

Several of the recommendations in the Auditor-General’s report are similar and should run in conjunction with those outlined in recent IPA research by Darcy Allen and Dr Mikayla Novak, Ten Red Tape Initiatives for the Next Australian Government, which you can read here.