Over 255,000 regulatory requirements imposed on Queenslanders

I was reminded the other day about the massive counting exercise the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has commission regarding the burden of regulation – an exercise that has found over 255,000 regulatory requirements imposed on Queenslanders across State Government portfolios (see chart below). The estimate for 30 June 2013 (the latest currently available) is some improvement over the baseline at the start of the Newman Government of around 265,000 regulatory requirements, but it would appear desirable to further reduce this number. Of course, some regulation is necessary to protect the community and environment from harm, but too much can unnecessarily constrain economic activity at a high cost. As I posted on previously, we need to get our regulations right so we can improve our productivity and living standards (Productivity push from Qld Govt needed as living standards growth stalls).

Regcount

The data I’ve used in this post are available from the QCA website on the page containing the Office of Best Practice Regulation’s Annual Report.

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2 Responses to Over 255,000 regulatory requirements imposed on Queenslanders

  1. Jim says:

    It is a shame to see that the OBPR is continuing to use a regulatory count approach to estimating regulatory burden (effectively a count of how often compelling words like “must” appear in legislation and regulations). It has no theoretical basis, considers each regulatory requirement as having the same burden on the community/business, and completely ignores any benefits that might flow from regulations. Furthermore, agencies can meet their targets by some tricky wordsmithing that has no real impact on reducing the regulatory burden.

    I wonder if the Office of Best Practice Regulation has worked out the regulatory burden of imposing a flawed approach to measuring regulatory burden? I suspect it wouldn’t pass even a superficial benefit cost analysis. The benefits of the measurement are about 99% illusory as the accuracy is woeful, while the costs imposed on taxpayers are 100% real.

    Best practice regulation cannot be measured by counting words and pages. Only robust analysis can lead to efficient regulation.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Yes, good points about the potential for spurious reductions and questioning whether it would pass the CBA test. It must come at a large cost given the hours that must be involved in the counting. Thanks Jim.

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