Tue | Dec 6, 2016

Gov't urged to cut red tape, improve service delivery

Published:Saturday | January 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

McPherse Thompson, Assistant Editor - Business

Dr David Lowe, chief revenue officer of Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited (CPJ), has called on the Government to face inconvenient truths and act expeditiously to remove the impediments to entrepreneurial and commercial activity.

He was speaking at the Mona School of Business and Management's first international conference on business and management earlier this month in Montego Bay.

Lowe called on the Govern-ment to fast-track public-sector transformation and focus on creating a service-oriented bureaucracy rather than the simple objective of cost reduction.

Without a commitment to service and facilitation, an inefficient bureaucracy - regardless of size - impairs the speed and development of commerce, and diminishes revenue collection by the State, he said.

RED TAPE TO RED CARPET

He challenged the Government to move from "red tape to red carpet" by identifying, reviewing and repealing laws that are obstructive to business develop-ment and growth.

"There are a vast number of essentially confusing procedures that are not justified by the protection of any general interest but, instead, result from outdated legislation that is out of step and out of sync with efficient service delivery," Lowe said.

Environmental and consumer protection are clearly important, he said, adding that this is no excuse for an endless proliferation of bureaucratic procedures.

He suggested that the justice system could also be considered an inhibitor to entrepreneurial confidence and activity, noting that the slow speed of justice removes the certainty that contractual obligations will be enforced.

"Rather than being a process for resolution and enforcement, the courts become the refuge of those in the wrong who wish to make the other party give up," he said. "We should seek funding and technical assistance to address this."

Lowe said he would also like to see "an exercise to identify legislative measures that place the greatest burden on businesses and sectors, followed by a key initiative for reducing the impact of same on business competitiveness."

Above all, he said, reducing the burden on businesses means legislating less but legislating better.

Lowe said that before submitting a new directive or regulation to the legislature, the Government must determine, with a high level of confidence, the subsequent costs it imposes on businesses, particularly micro, small and medium-size enterprises as well as value-creating enterprises.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com