In 2007 the European Commission launched its Action Programme on Reducing Administrative Burdens (AB), setting a 25% target to reduce administrative burden for businesses arising from European legislation by 2012. The Irish government set its own 25% target in March 2008 to reduce the administrative burden for businesses by 2012. In order to be able to reduce the administrative burden it is necessary to determine the baseline level. The Irish government decided that a baseline measurement of the administrative burden for businesses must therefore be carried out. This baseline measurement should determine the administrative burden of Irish legislation in 2008 using the method of the Standard Cost Model.
Experiences with baseline measurements of the administrative burden in other countries have shown that 90% of the administrative burden results from only 5% of the information obligations in the legislation. Based on this the Irish government decided to carry out the baseline measurement for those information obligations that cause the most administrative burden. These information obligations were selected from the legislation of seven government departments and Revenue by representatives of the departments and were then verified by businesses. In total 170 information obligations (IO’s) were selected.
The main goal of the AB baseline measurement is to measure the administrative burden for the 170 selected information obligations. Therefore a number of business interviews were conducted to establish the average cost and length of time it takes a typical business to comply with a given in-formation obligation. The procedure of complying is described and quantified in the standard cost model by multiplying the average administrative burden (P) and the number of businesses that have to comply (Q). The results of the measurement are discussed with the relevant government bodies, businesses and business associations (see annex II for the list of organisations involved in the measurement).
This baseline measurement is part of the simplification plan that states how this Department plans to identify measures that may reduce the administrative burden for businesses. Any simplification plan will be available in May 2012. In this report the AB baseline measurement for information obligations of the Department of Social Protection is described. The first Chapter of this report contains background information and sets out the goals of the project. In the second Chapter it is explained how the measurement has been carried out and how the information was gathered in interviews with government experts and businesses. The information obligations that were measured for this Department and the relevant target groups are described in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 sets out the results of the baseline measurement for 2008 and 2011. The potential reduction measures examined are discussed in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 presents a summary of the measurement results for Department of Social Protection.
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