The Institute of Public Affairs welcomes the calls for reform of red tape reduction programs in Victoria, including improved measurement, transparency and accountability across the system.

These comments follow the tabling of the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) audit of ‘Reducing the Red Tape Burden’ in Victoria today. The audit examined the effectiveness of Victorian government red tape reduction programs from 2011-15.

Spokesperson for the Institute of Public Affairs, Evan Mulholland, said “We welcome this clear statement on the need to improve red tape reduction programs.”

The report, tabled today, shows a lack of evaluation and communications of the outcomes of red tape reduction, and rightly notes now that the ‘low hanging fruit’ has been cut we need to move towards deeper regulatory reforms.

“It is now more critical than ever that Victoria pushes forward and cuts unnecessary red tape,” said Mr Mulholland.

“While the removal of ‘redundant, duplicative and unnecessary regulations’ is welcome, there needs to be a renewed focus on reducing the red tape that actually creates a burden for Victorian businesses and individuals.

“One of the first steps in tackling the red tape burden is measurement of the burden itself. Earlier this month Institute of Public Affairs research estimated the foregone economic output from red tape at $176 billion each year. That means red tape makes up 11 per cent of GDP and is bigger than any other industry,” said Mr Mulholland.

The IPA also welcomes the recommendation from the Auditor-General that there needs to not only be a reduction in existing red tape but also a dedicated focus on controlling the creation of new red tape.

“There is no point in reducing existing red tape, if it will be replaced with new additional burdens,” said Mr Mulholland.

As per the Auditor-General’s recommendations, the IPA believes that enhanced interaction with businesses, not for profits and remaining stakeholders is important for government to not only understand the concerns they have about programs but also to evaluate whether red tape reduction activities have actually delivered the promised benefits.

For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]