The NKR calls for a more ambitious fight to red tape in Germany


Since April 2006, the German Federal Government has launched an ambitious program  for “Bureaucracy Reduction and Better Regulation”, setting measurable goals to monitor the reduction of administrative burdens for citizens, businesses and public administration. The independent body Nationaler Normernkontrollrat (NKR) has been operating since September 2006 to provide methodological advice as well as monitoring the progress of the Federal Government in the reduction of red tape.

Annual report 2014 highlights a significant rise in compliance costs complemented by the lack of cost transparency in many new initiatives launched by the Federal government since the start of the new legislature when a new reduction target was not introduced following the attainment of the 25 percent reduction in administrative costs. According to the NKR, in the absence of reduction target, there is the danger that the interest and ambition within the Federal Government is not sufficient to actually keep follow-up costs to a minimum.

The report also calls for greater efficiency in electronic administration as a driver of burden reduction and for more systematic involvement of the Federal States and municipalities in cost estimation. The NKR would also welcome the launch of more specific projects for practical simplification measures that create appreciable relief.

Finally, the NKR supports the campaign of the Federal government for an independent scrutiny of costs at the European level. However, the NKR underlines that the so-called EU ex-ante procedure needs to be improved soon as complaining about unnecessary costs from the European level is pointless when cost transparency and cost reduction with respect to EU projects are not implemented at the national level.

(Paola Coletti)

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