The Special areas are seeking input from the public regarding their part in the Government of Alberta’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative.
Beginning in late 2019, the initiative is a program designed to streamline the process for ratepayers, businesses and organizations by removing unnecessary red tape or regulatory requirements from processes and public forms.
“The first part of the process was to establish kind of a baseline number of red tape requirements back in late 2019, early 2020,” said Maeghan Chostner, communications officer for the Special Areas Board. “Every year after we reduce more of the requirements. In 2020, we reduced our red tape requirements by 5%. For 2021 our goal was to reduce them by 12%by March 2021. So we achieved that goal.”
The current goal is to reduce the number of requirements by 20% by March 2022, with a final goal of a 33% reduction by March 2023.
A red tape requirement is anything that a ratepayer, organization, or business has to take in order to access services or programs or conduct business in the area. One place these can be very obvious is in public forms, said Chostner.
“One good example was that we had two different rental forms for water pumps,” said Chostner. “One was for large pumps, and one for small pumps. We took a look at those, and we asked ourselves: why do we need two forms? First of all, does that really make sense? Does that really give a good experience for ratepayers when they're interacting with us?”
“So what we did is we took those two forms, which together had 52 requirements between the two of them, and then we consolidated them to a single form, and then cut the number of requirements on that form down to 12,” said Chostner.
“The entire purpose of the red tape production is to help us become more efficient, or streamlined and more user friendly,” said Chostner. “Ideally, the outcome of our red tape reduction is going to streamline our processes and reduce the bureaucratic burden being placed on ratepayers through our public facing forms and policies.”
Currently, the Special Areas Board is taking public input, which can be given online on at specialareas.ab.ca/cutredtape/.
“We really want to hear from the public, and we’re taking input up until September 15th. We want to hear all the ideas and how we can become more efficient, more streamlined, and serve them better. The way that they can do that is they can actually submit those directly to us,” said Chostner.
“One of our main focuses for the next few months is going to be hearing the feedback from ratepayers in the public on their experiences, and where we can do better based on how they've interacted with us.”
Anna Smith, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prairie Post East