Grandmaster Flash’s lyrics spring to mind when I consider our red tape challenge: ‘It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.’
600 hours on red tape
On average, public servants devote 600 hours each year complying with red tape processes. This is time spent on process rather than output. Imagine the impact on productivity and mention job satisfaction, if we could halve the time spent on red tape?
28 days to change a habit
Our inclination to cling to the red is strong, so reducing red tape will be a long-term endeavour. Our progress may be sporadic. Hit and miss even. But it’s a worthwhile goal. Imagine the rewards... 300 hours a year to do interesting, productive, worthwhile stuff. Yes, please!
5 elements of good red tape
So what is our ambition exactly? Surely not to expunge all red tape forever? How do we decide when it’s appropriate and when it’s OTT? Sometimes there are really sound reasons to use regulation or compliance activities—financial management and transparency springs to mind. But other times, the process seems to be at the cost of the impact we’re trying to achieve. So, when I approach my work, I have a checklist that I keep on my desk to verify that a red tape or regulatory process is healthy and worthwhile:
3. Coherent and not duplicative
The jungle now feels far less wild.