The goal of the Department’s Business Regulation Unit is to find ways to reduce the administrative burden of regulation on business.
This goal should be achieved without undermining the policy goals of regulation or the protections provided by them. The Business Regulation Unit supports Departments and Agencies across Government in identifying ways of simplifying administrative processes, with the aim of streamlining the interface between Business and Government.
The work of the Business Regulation Unit (BRU) tends to follow four main strands;
Identify ways to reduce business red tape
First and foremost is identifying ways to reduce business administrative burdens. Generally, this relates to the existing stock of regulation: burdens that have already materialised.
However, it is also important that the flow of new regulations does not create unnecessary burdens; thus, administrative burden measurement / estimation should be included in Regulatory Impact Analyses wherever it is likely that new administrative costs will arise when proposed regulation is enacted.
Improve communication between Government and business in relation to regulatory requirements
Second, the BRU works to improve communication between Government and business in relation to regulatory requirements. One of the things that businesses find quite irritating and time-consuming is not being able to understand the regulatory requirements that apply to them, and not easily being able to find the information and advice necessary to address this gap.
Two strands of the Unit’s activity are devoted to bridging this gap: (1) www.businessregulation.ie , a Portal designed and launched in 2012 to bring together online information and advice about all the regulations affecting business; (2) Taking Care of Business, an event which acts as a concrete version of the Portal, bringing nearly 30 Departments, Agencies and Offices together for half a day to run a free communications event for business.
Co-ordinate a broad range of cross-Government projects
Third, and related to the first two, the Unit has co-ordinated a broad range of cross-Government projects, bringing Departments and Agencies together to identify and measure regulatory burdens, to find ways of making the related processes simpler, and to identify co-operative approaches that can lead both to improved efficiency and effectiveness in delivery.
Represent Ireland in all Better Regulation matters at international fora
Fourth, the BRU has responsibility, since April 2012, for representing Ireland in all Better Regulation matters at international fora. The two main focal points of this work are European Council Working Groups on Better Regulation in Brussels and the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee in Paris. In order to identify Ireland’s position, concerns and objectives across the complex array of subject-matter, the Unit coordinates with the other Departments responsible for various aspects of Better Regulation.