Provincial minister says red tape reduction is making waves
Since 2019, there were 575 red tape initiatives, resulting in a gross reduction of 36% of the red tape the current government inherited, its minister tells the News. The net reduction is 27% as new legislation was brought in during those years, and the plan is to have a net 33% reduction by the end of 2023.
Dale Nally, minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction since 2019, claims this has saved the province $2.1 billion.
“That’s what this is all about, there are different components of red tape reduction,” Nally said. “Ultimately, red tape reduction is the unnecessary regulatory compliance that makes life difficult for job creators and Albertans.”
One initiative, Nally says, is moving to multi-year funding agreements. The first was for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Service Networks and it has been opened up to other groups as well, such as family and community support services. Those services which are eligible are now on three-year grants and Nally says it’s under the umbrella of taking care of Albertans and ensuring these organizations have more time to serve their client base and less time filling out paperwork.
After they’ve reached the 33% target, Nally says they won’t rest on their laurels and pretend the job is complete.
“We have done lots of work to create a culture of red tape reduction within government and we want to maintain that.”
One department that wasn’t focused on, due to the pandemic, is health care. A government report released this week indicates the time is now to reduce regulatory compliance in healthcare.
“Based on the report, they are saying we can free up regulatory compliance (administrative work) in the doctor’s office by 10%, which would translate into 600,000 more patient visits in a year. That’s significant and will go a long way to making health care more accessible to Albertans.”
They don’t have a plan yet, but Nally says he is in conversation with Health Minister Jason Copping and other colleagues to decide how to move forward.
SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News