Master Class regulatory reform

In close collaboration with the University of Hasselt we organise bi-annual master classes in regulatory reform. Our master classes are always taught by an expert in the field and we guarantee that the instructor teaching the master class will have plenty of knowledge, experience and charisma.

One-off special events

We strive to make each of our master classes one-off special events. No matter your background or experience, you shall feel totally engaged and have your attention captured by the master trainer. In the field of regulatory reform there is always something new to learn whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional.

If you want to know more about our Master Class regulatory reform please do not hesitate to contact us.

In-house trainings for public authorities

Our in-house trainings for public authorities are designed to teach you and your team how to best use available methodologies (such as SCM, CAR or MGPS), or how to conduct baseline measurements and RIA´s, or how to develop your project-management skills (such as planning, budgeting and stakeholder-management).

Tailored to your needs

The content of our in-house training courses is specifically tailored to your needs. This allows the training to be more focussed on the specific topics and skills that are relevant to your team. Training in-house means that the courses can be used to address individual challenges using real life examples and therefore have the most effect. The participants will be able to work on current work or use examples of work which relate to their roles so that they will not have to rely on generic examples.

Fully competent staff

At first our in-house training program is directive; driven by the trainer. The trainer will control both the process and the content in order to transfer knowledge and develop new skills. Later on your staff members will work independently but will still receive coaching. Coaching will be driven by questions of the trainee. The coach controls the process but the trainee owns the content. Upon completion of our in-house training program your staff members will be fully competent to work with all the taught methodologies and skills.

If you want to know more about our in-house training program please do not hesitate to contact us.

Local Impact Assessment

Choices have to be made whenever local authorities establish municipal by-laws. A local Impact Assessment help local authorities by making all the effects of policy choices clearly visible. This makes local Impact Assessments an important element of any policy-evaluation-cycle.

Making the right choice

Local authorities respond with their policy choices to whatever happens in society. In order to make the right choice it is extremely useful to understand all the effects, costs and benefits of proposed policy choices. A local Impact Assessment is an instrument that allows local authorities to visualise and calculate the effects of their policy choices. This enables them to quickly identify cost saving measures, reduce regulatory burdens, and improve service-delivery.

The results of a local Impact Assessment

A local Impact Assessment guides local authorities through an evaluation of existing policies: “Should policies be reformulated or adjusted to bring them more in line with stated policy goals?” It also guides local authorities through the optimisation of core procedures: “What can you do to optimise the processes in your organisation and how much will that save you in costs?” A local Impact Assessment also provides clear insight into the impact and possible risks associated with policy choices. Finally a local Impact Assessment gives an overview of the effects and costs of policy alternatives.

Developed in collaboration with and on behalf of local authorities

The local Impact Assessment method has been developed in close collaboration with the Dutch association of local authorities, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, as well as a great number of pioneering local authorities.

Reducing local red tape

Municipalities, provinces and other local authorities often are the first point of contact when they encounter constraining regulations or slow procedures. We support local authorities in their efforts to reduce unnecessary local regulatory burdens.

Local legislation

Municipal by-laws are one example of local legislation. Local rules and requirements are a cause of regulatory burden. In addition local authorities are responsible for certain national regulations. The way they handle this responsibility can also be a cause of regulatory burden.

Deregulation program

We have developed a deregulation program that is aimed at establishing appropriate rules and processes for local authorities. In this program we focus on cleaning up old regulations and superfluous requirements. We also investigate whether or not existing regulations and processes are still functional. To this end we ask the question: “What principles, choices and arguments support existing regulations or processes?” We quantify the regulatory burdens imposed by regulations on businesses and citizens, and the costs incurred by local authorities.

After completing our analysis, we formulate concrete improvement measures together with local authorities. Furthermore we quantify the effect of each improvement measure and identify what is required for their successful implementation.

Toward appropriate rules and processes

IIn our experience local authorities are nearly always able to significantly reduce regulatory burdens, simplify their procedures and improve their service-delivery. The implementation of improvement measures achieves results that are directly measureable. This means that there is always concrete evidence to measure the level of success of a deregulation program.

Improving public services

Good service-delivery by local public authorities can reinforce economic growth. The Mark of Good Public Services (MGPS) allows local authorities to significantly improve their service-delivery to businesses.

We developed the MGPS in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and in co-creation with a dozen pilot-municipalities, the Dutch association of local authorities, and representatives of various business associations. The MGPS methodology has been implemented in over 160 local authorities such as municipalities and provinces.

 “Outside in”

The MGPS is an instrument that improves your service-delivery based on 10 quality standards. MGPS projects move from the outside in. That means that customer experience take center stage. Customer experience is, quite simply, how customers perceive their every interaction with their local authorities. Businesses are asked: “When is the service-delivery of your local authority adequate?” Asking businesses this question provides concrete insights into the strengths and weaknesses of local authorities.

By engaging in a transparent dialogue with businesses, we formulate realistic improvement measures together. The result of an MGPS project always consists of a measurement report and an action plan. The measurement report spells out the current strengths and weaknesses of the local authority. The action plan defines the improvement measures that must be taken in order to significantly improve service-delivery to businesses. Local authorities receive a certification upon successful completion of a MGPS project.

Concrete results

By introducing the MGPS into your country, you can save on costs incurred by local public authorities, improve the ease of doing business, generate local economic growth and stimulate job creation. In addition, the MGPS can be instrumental in establishing standards for good governance and increase transparency and public participation.

AB Baseline measurements

Laws and regulations are necessary, but regulating a society and an economy imposes costs on businesses and citizens. It is understandable that businesses and citizens complain about red tape and the various obligations they have to comply with. An administrative burden (AB) baseline measurement clearly provides policy-makers what these complaints are about, by quantifying total costs imposed and identifying reduction measures.

Administrative burden (AB)

AB are the costs for businesses and citizens which result from complying with Information Obligations (IO) laid down in government regulations. IO´s are the various obligations to provide information and data to the public sector or to third parties. Examples of IO’s are obtaining licences, filling out tax declarations forms, reporting about environmental parameters, providing statistical data, etc.

Complying with these obligations means that administrative activities have to be carried out, such as collecting, processing, registering, archiving and delivering information. These administrative activities have to be carried out and cost time and money. The sum of these costs is the AB and measured in cost per year.

Measuring for further improvement

In a baseline measurement the AB are quantified with the Standard Cost Model (SCM). The SCM is a systematic approach to identify information obligations, quantify all necessary administrative activities and identify reduction measures. The basic principles of the SCM are shown in the picture below:

Regulatory burden

 

We developed the SCM originally for the Dutch government so that they could carry out a baseline measurement of the total AB in the Netherlands. Nowadays the SCM is used broadly as a systematic approach to quantify and reduce regulatory burden (see also Reducing burden from regulations with the SCM and Reducing burden for business sectors with the CAR Methodology).

Working together in one team

Our consultants have assisted a variety of governments in conducting AB baseline measurements. Our approach is to work closely with your team. Together we conduct the baseline measurement and initiate an AB reduction program. In this collaboration we provide the tools, methodologies, knowledge and experience; you provide the resources and local legal knowledge. This ensures knowledge transfer and guarantees that tangible burden reductions are achieved.

Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)

A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) provides insights in the impact of newly proposed (or changing) legislation on citizens and businesses. These impacts can be positive or negative. Examples are the need for new investments, significant market effects/impacts, or other socio-economic and societal effects. An understanding of the effects of proposed legislation is crucial if you want to improve legislation and government processes.

A practical approach

We have conducted many Regulatory Impact Assessments for a large number of clients. In the course of these assessments we put a variety of different policy-analysis methodologies into practice. With our pragmatic approach, we define which methodology is most suited for the RIA on an individual basis. This added layer of reflection helps prevent the RIA becoming a goal itself. By using the latest academically proven methodologies and techniques we ensure that the results are transparent, reproducible and directly lead to better regulation

Stakeholder consultation

Changes in legislation and regulations not only affect the primary target, but often also affect other parties down a chain. For this reason, we involve all relevant stakeholders when determining the effects of (changes in) policy and regulations. By conducting interviews, workshops and extensive stakeholder consultation, we determine, describe and analyse the effects of regulatory changes. By deploying established measurement methodologies and engaging in continuous consultation with stakeholders, we can guarantee that the results of the RIA are recognised by all parties as valid. This creates a broad base of support for the project findings and provides a solid base for decision making.

The CAR Methodology – A business sector approach

To determine the extent to which all regulatory costs impact on a business’ profit, we developed the CAR methodology. This methodology provides us with a clear insight into the impact of legislation on profitability and viability in a specific business sector. Sectors, in this way, can then bring specific regulatory pressures to the attention of government authorities.

The added value of the CAR methodology

The CAR methodology looks at the actual costs listed in a company’s accounting records. Regulatory burdens are traced back to the laws and regulations from which they originate. The result is a complete overview of all the (unnecessary) regulatory burdens imposed on a specific businesses sector and their impact on the viability of businesses.

The CAR methodology is focused on the impact of laws and regulations on a specific business sector. It measures the total regulatory burden on a business, and identified unnecessities. The CAR methodology is evidence-based and examines traceable business costs that are shown as cost centres in business accounts.

In addition, the CAR methodology identifies unnecessary burdens that are not directly quantifiable, such as impediments or bottlenecks encountered by businesses that want to expand, innovate or further develop their business. The removal of unnecessary burdens can make a noticeable contribution to the viability of businesses and hence to economic growth and employment – often not just for the sector in question, but for other sectors too.

The CAR methodology in practice

The CAR methodology has been used successfully at both national and international level in:

  • The chemical sector (designated as a Top Sector by the Dutch government);
  • The mental healthcare sector;
  • The bakery sector;
  • The apothecary sector;
  • The catering and hospitality sector.

The results of the CAR methodology provide businesses with hard data which they can then use to engage in a dialogue with public authorities. The experiences gained in these projects have been incorporated in a CAR manual made available by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Standard Cost Model (SCM) – A national approach

Businesses and citizens spend time and money annually in order to comply with (information) obligations laid down in laws and regulations. Sira Consulting can provide you with the tools and/or the capacity needed to measure these regulatory burdens on a national level and to identify reduction measures. By implementing these reduction measures it is possible to achieve more effective and efficient regulation, and create space for innovation, economic growth and active public participation. In addition, reducing regulatory burdens also cuts the costs required for public administration, increases transparency and reduces corruption.

An evidence-based, systematic approach

The SCM is an evidence-based, systematic approach to quantify and reduce the regulatory burdens imposed by national legislation. The SCM methodology was developed by Sira Consulting in close collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

We have improved the SCM methodology over the years. We now use an integrated approach to measure, analyse, explain and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens. This gives insights into

  • The administrative burdens imposed on businesses and citizens.
  • The compliance costs imposed on businesses and citizens.
  • The costs incurred by public administrations.
  • The obstacles legislation introduces to competition, innovation and growth.

The SCM methodology is used to measure regulatory burdens for existing regulations (ex-post) and for proposed legislation (ex-ante). All measurements are accompanied by a thorough analysis and concrete suggestion on how to reduce or prevent regulatory burden. The SCM methodology is also used to design better regulation and to decide what policy tools are most effective and efficient. A key component is the active engagement of all relevant public authorities and stakeholders.

Tangible results

Our SCM projects have enabled us to contribute greatly to the reduction of unnecessary regulatory burdens and the improvement of processes and compliance. Whenever and wherever we applied the SCM methodology, it has resulted in a tangible burden reduction for businesses, citizens and public administrations.

An alternative approach

The SCM methodology is focused on the national impact of laws and regulations. We recently incorporated the benefits of this approach into the Cost driven Approach to reduce Regulatory burden (CAR). The CAR methodology is focused on the impact of laws and regulations on a specific business sector. We developed the CAR methodology together with the Dutch government.

Designing regulatory reform

Regulatory reform concerns the improvement of the quality of government regulation. It is about designing and evaluating policies and regulations transparently, with evidence, and backed up by the views of businesses, citizens and other stakeholders. Regulatory reform can cover each policy area and aims for targeted regulation, achieving targets cost-effectively.

A combined (quantitative and qualitative) evidence-based approach

The aim of regulatory reform projects is to provide an accurate insight into the quantitative and qualitative impact of rules and regulations and identify regulatory burden reduction measures. We piece together a complete picture of all the effects of policies and regulations and do this together with all relevant stakeholders. We are then able to identify and help implement reduction measures designed to achieve direct and tangible improvements. In our experience, regulatory reform projects contribute directly to the prevention of future regulatory burden.

Objectives of regulatory reform

In case you engage us for a regulatory reform project, we aim to achieve the following objectives in close cooperation with you and your team:

  • Policies and rules are based on evidence and a good understanding of their impacts.
  • Policies and rules are formulated in such a way that regulatory burdens are kept to a minimum.
  • The decision-making process is open and transparent.
  • All stakeholders can contribute throughout the policy and law‑making process.