On the Approval of the Programme for Better Regulation


Published: 0000-00-00

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Official translation
9 June 2008
 
 
 
The Government of the Republic of Lithuania
 
resolution No 185
 
of 13 February 2008
 
on the approval of the Programme for Better Regulation
 
Vilnius
 
Implementing Point 382 of the Implementation Measures of the 2006-2008 Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved by Resolution No 1020 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 4 October 2001 (Valstybės Žinios (Official Gazette) No 86-3015, 2001), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania h a s  r e s o l v e d:
1. To approve the Programme for Better Regulation (hereinafter – the Programme) (attached).
2. To commission the Ministry of Economy:
2.1. to coordinate the implementation of the Programme;
2.2. to submit the draft plan of measures for the implementation of the Programme to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania before December 1 of the current year.
3. To recommend to public and local authorities and bodies that when implementing within their competence measures not included into the Annex to the Programme they follow the provisions of the Programme.
 
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                                 Gediminas Kirkilas
 
 
 
Minister of Economy                                                                      Vytas Navickas
 
 
 
 
 
APPROVED by
Resolution No 185 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 13 February 2008
 
 
Programme for better regulation
 
I. General Provisions
 
1. Improvement of legal regulation is one of the key directions for the implementation of the re-launched Lisbon strategy (COM(2005) 24) aimed at ensuring economy growth and creation of jobs. Provisions related to the quality of legal regulation are increasingly included into the European Union (hereinafter – EU) and national documents of the economic policy, including national programmes of the EU Member States for the implementation of the Lisbon strategy. Communication from the Commission to the Spring European Council of 12 December 2006 “Implementing The Renewed Lisbon Strategy For Growth And Jobs – a Year Of Delivery” (COM(2006) 816) states that EU Member States have made significant progress in implementing the initiatives of better regulation. At the same time it emphasises that a new regulatory culture at both national and Community level should be created in order to secure further progress.
2. In 2006, on the initiative of the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development drafted a review of Lithuania’s regulatory management capacities which analyses Lithuania’s capacity to implement the policy of better regulation, points out weaknesses, and presents recommendations. The Programme for Better Regulation (hereinafter – the Programme) has been drafted considering the 14 November 2006 Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – a Strategic Review of Better Regulation in the European Union (COM(2006) 689 final), and provisions of other EU strategic documents on better regulation.
3. The Programme sets forth the key tasks of better regulation and the implementation of such tasks, and defines the conditions and main risk factors for the successful implementation of the Programme.
4. For the purpose of the Programme:
Administrative burden shall mean costs incurred by natural persons and legal entities or their branches and representative offices (hereinafter – entities) in meeting legal obligations to provide information (hereinafter – information obligations) to state or local authorities and bodies (hereinafter – public authorities) or to persons authorised by them.
Better regulation shall mean the aggregate of measures that are systematically applied to ensure the efficiency of the public policy, to enhance drafting, adoption and enforcement of legal acts, to improve the quality of legal regulation, to make it more efficient and consistent.
5. The principles of better regulation are the following: necessity (regulation is used only when it is necessary), proportionality (chosen regulation instruments correspond to the goals of regulation), transparency (the process of adoption of legal acts is public, legal acts are simple and understandable), availability (legal acts are publicly available), accountability (adopted decisions are justified and the public is given account of them).
6. The implementation of better regulation policy is based on a systematic approach, i.e. different regulatory aspects (economic, social, environmental, etc.) and interests of small and medium enterprises that are subject to disproportional burden of legal regulation are taken into consideration.
7. Successful implementation of better regulation policy needs a clear, consistent and long-term political support and an institutional framework with sufficient human and financial resources for coordination of the implementation of the Programme.
8. Aiming at proper harmonisation of interests of the state, citizens and business, better regulation should become an integral part of public reforms. An important condition for the creation of competitive business and investment environment is clearly formulated and continuously enhanced state policy, well-founded, proportional and understandable requirements that do not require considerable costs related to the implementation of legal acts or increase administrative burden to entities. Better regulation, differently from most measures of economic policy that impose various restrictions related to maintaining macroeconomic stability and international obligations, allows the Government of the Republic of Lithuania considerable freedom of choice as to what decisions should be made.
 
II. Analysis of the current situation
 
9. The European Commission has defined four priority directions for the efforts of the EU Member States that pursue better regulation, namely: improvement and efficient implementation of the mechanism for consultations with stakeholders; systematic decision impact assessment ensuring transparency of assessment results; drafting and implementation of programmes for simplifying legal acts; better application of the European Community law. On 8-9 March 2007 the European Council approved of the proposal of the European Commission to cut the administrative burden related to the EU legal acts by 25% by 2012. The European Council also requested that the EU Member States set national targets similar to the target of the European Commission with regard to the reduction of the administrative burden.
10. Implementing the decision of the European Council of 8-9 March 2007 regarding the reduction of the administrative burden of the EU legal acts, in July 2007 the European Commission, and the EU Member States started the implementation of the Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens in the European Union. National coordinators for the administrative burden reduction appointed in the EU Member States will be responsible for the cooperation with the European Commission, and for coordination and supervision of measuring the administrative burden of the EU legal acts in a EU Member State. Every EU Member State will develop a cooperation network of public authorities to be involved in the reduction of the administrative burden resulting from the EU legal acts.
11. The progress of better regulation in the EU Member States achieved while implementing the Lisbon Strategy in 2006 was assessed in accordance with the following criteria: formulation and implementation of a clear strategy for better regulation; creation of the institutional framework responsible for better regulation; efficiency of the decision impact assessment system and consultations with stakeholders; drafting and implementation of legal acts simplification plans; and implementation of measures for calculating and reducing administrative burden. According to the assessment of the European Commission, Lithuania has achieved certain initial progress on better regulation. In 2007, Lithuania’s progress on better regulation while implementing the Lisbon strategy was evaluated as limited and it was indicated that a national target of administrative burden reduction had to be defined, simplification plans had to be drafted, and measures for decision impact assessment and consultations with stakeholders had to be enhanced.
12. Better regulation policy encompasses the Outline of the Legislation Improvement of the Republic of Lithuania approved by Resolution No. X-933 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 28 November 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 134-5066, 2006) and the Draft Law on the Basics of Legislation Process of the Republic of Lithuania.  Strategic Guidelines of State Regulation Reduction approved by Resolution No. 1333 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 22 December 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 144-5477, 2006) define the role of better regulation policy in the reduction of state regulation. The implementation of the Strategy for the Public Administration Development Until 2010 approved by Resolution No. 488 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 28 April 2004 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 69-2399, 2004), the Strategy for the Information Society Development approved by Resolution No. 625 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 8 June 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 73-2649, 2005), the Position Paper on e-Government approved by Resolution No. 2115 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 31 December 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 2-54, 2003), and other legal acts of Lithuania contributed to considerable progress on the implementation of the principle of the e-government and “one-stop-shop” through the improvement of the public administration, wider application of information technologies and implementation of other instruments related to better regulation.
13. The current institutional framework of Lithuania is not fully prepared for the implementation of better regulation policy, namely: an authority responsible for the coordination of the formation and implementation of better regulation policy has not been assigned; representatives responsible for better regulation have not been assigned in public authorities; and the framework for inter-institutional coordination has not been set up. Setting of the institutional framework responsible for better regulation should also encompass structural rearrangements and provision with the necessary human and financial resources of the authority responsible for the implementation of better regulation.
14. Some measures for better regulation are defined in legal acts of Lithuania and applied in practice but their planning and implementation is inconsistent, they are included in different programming and other legal acts, different authorities are responsible for their preparation and implementation, namely: the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of the Interior, the Commission for Enhancement of Public Administration System and the Committee on Investment Promotion and Business Condition Improvement set up by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The Ministry of Economy, following the working procedure, drafts, seeks agreement with the concerned parties and presents positions of the Republic of Lithuania on the issues of better regulation analysed in the EU authorities; while in certain cases these functions are carried out by the Ministry of Finance.
15. Lithuania does not measure the administrative burden of legal acts and no measures for the reduction of the administrative burden are foreseen. Following the Methodology for Determination and Assessment of Administrative Burden on Business approved by the Order No. 4-152 of the Minister of Economy of 2 May 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 51-1896, 2006) the pilot project of measurement of administrative burden in the sectors of rural tourism and public catering has been carried out, and it has revealed that preparation of public authorities and entities itself to perform such measurements is insufficient.
16. Lithuania has not yet drafted programmes on simplification and administrative burden reduction in certain fields, neither has it set administrative burden reduction priorities; besides, only individual ad hoc measures, which sometimes lack harmonisation, for simplification of legal acts and procedures related to the issue of licences, permits and other documents have been implemented.
17. The assessment of the efficiency of the valid legal acts is relatively unsystematic; there is lack for information and empiric data on the efficiency of their implementation. Public authorities responsible for the implementation of the public policy in certain areas do not prepare reports on the efficiency of the public policy.
 
III. Goals and tasks of the programme
 
18. The goal of this Programme is to ensure a continuous enhancement of legal regulation through the improvement of business and investment environment, reduction of the administrative burden, and provision of the public services.
19. The tasks of the Programme are the following:
19.1. to create the institutional framework that implements better regulation policy; to strengthen administrative capacities in this field; and to raise public awareness on better regulation;
19.2. to formulate integral better regulation policy; to improve the quality and efficiency of legal regulation through development and use of complex measures; to ensure monitoring of legal acts;
19.3. to reduce administrative burden and unjustified compliance costs.
 
IV. Results and assessment criteria of the Programme implementation
 
20. The following results of the Programme are foreseen:
20.1. more attractive business and investment environment;
20.2. transparent legislation process;
20.3. efficient implementation of legal acts;
20.4. lighter administrative burden on entities, and simpler and shorter procedures related to issue of licences, permits and other documents;
20.5. transparent transposition of the EU directives into the national law;
20.6. wider application of information technologies for provision of the public services;
20.7. lower-level corruption.
21. The implementation of this Programme shall be assessed on the grounds of the following criteria chosen considering the nature of measures being implemented during the reference period:
21.1. indicators of the assessment of consultations with the public and stakeholders, and of the impact assessment of project decisions (number of consultations, number of impact assessments, etc.);
21.2. reduced administrative burden (in total or in certain sectors or fields of economy, simplification of different procedures, in particular those related to licence and permit issue, accessibility of such procedures on Internet, etc.);
21.3. indicators of simplification of legal acts (number of consolidated, codified, recast, repealed and other legal acts);
21.4. entities’ opinion on better regulation policy (based on the data of company and citizen surveys).
 
V. Implementation of the Programme
 
22. The experience of the leading EU Member States shows that the development of an efficient institution framework, preparation for the implementation of certain measures of better regulation and the implementation of these measures usually takes several years (for example, up to 2 years should be given for the measurement of the administrative burden).
23. During the implementation of this Programme, the application of separate better regulation measures with regard to newly drafted legal acts will be gradually replaced by their consistent inclusion into the processes of the public policy formation, implementation and enhancement in all public authorities responsible for decisions preparation, adoption and implementation.
24. An institutional framework will be developed for the proper implementation of this Programme, better regulation measures will be improved, legal acts in the field of services will be reviewed, the level of competence of public servants will be increased, the public will be informed of better regulation, in particular of complex improvement of better regulation measures in drafting and implementing new legal acts. The valid legal acts will be reviewed, the policy efficiency in certain fields will be assessed, and systematic administration burden reduction measures in certain fields will be adopted and implemented.
25. The authority responsible for the coordination of the implementation of the Programme (hereinafter – the coordinating institution) shall draft new plans of the Programme implementation measures (hereinafter – the plans of measures) and submit them to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, it shall prepare methodological and other recommendations necessary for the implementation of the Programme, it shall also evaluate the institutional framework of Programme implementation and, where necessary, make proposals regarding its improvement.
26. The plans of measures shall be developed following proposals of the public authorities, the coordinating authority, business, science, NGO and other public groups.
27. The implementation of the national better regulation measures will be accompanied by the implementation of the EU initiatives related to better regulation, in particular simplification, consolidation and administrative burden reduction of the EU legal acts. One of the key actions in this field shall cover the review and simplification of national legal acts, assessment of the necessity of licences and permits, making procedures related to the issue of licences, permits and other documents accessible on Internet, the application on “one-stop-shop” principle in the implementation of the provisions of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market (OJ 2006 L 376, p. 36). Another wide-scope action shall cover the participation in the assessment of the administrative burden of the EU legal acts.
28. An essential condition for the successful implementation of the Programme is public support that could be achieved only through continuous cooperation with different public groups, business, science, NGOs, and through their involvement into the process of the implementation of this Programme.
29. The key risk factors related to the implementation of this Programme are the following:
29.1. limited and inconsistent political support;
29.2. the coordinating authority that lacks powers and resources and that is not capable of providing methodological support, coordinating the implementation of this Programme in a centralised way and initiating further reforms of better regulation;
29.3. lack of information on better regulation and insufficient estimation of better regulation potential;
29.4. dependence of the implementation results on the coordinated efforts of many public authorities, stagnancy of the dominating legal culture, resistance of the public authorities to changes and their formal approach towards the implementation of better regulation policy;
29.5. attempts for rapid results without considering proper preparation and consistency of actions;
29.6. the results of the implementation of the Programme the quantitative assessment of which is hardly possible.
 
VI. Accountability and Financing
 
30. The responsible implementers of the Programme shall annually provide the coordinating authority with information on the dates set by the latter. The coordinating institution shall before 1 March of the current year submit the report on the implementation of the Programme to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The report shall be published in public as a separate publication and shall also be available on the website of the coordinating authority.
31. The implementation of measures listed in the Annex to the Programme (and in later plans of measures) shall be financed from the appropriations provided in the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania and/or municipal budgets for responsible implementers. The measures that meet the goals of the EU Structural Support Absorption Strategy 2007-2013 and its implementation programmes could be financed from the EU Structural Funds following the procedure set in legal acts.
 
 
 
––––––––––––––––
 
 
 
 
Programme for Better Regulation
Annex
 
 
Plan of measures for the implementation of the Programme for better Regulation, 2008
 
Tasks
Measures
Implementation period
Responsible implementer
1. Creation of the institutional framework that implements better regulation policy; strengthening of administrative capacities in this field
1.1. To prepare and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania a draft resolution on setting up of the commission for the Programme for Better Regulation implementation analysis and supervision
2nd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy
1.2. To arrange a conference (seminar) on the issue of better regulation
2nd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy
1.3. To initiate preparation of the programme for civil servants’ training on the issues of better regulation policy and its implementation
4th quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy Ministry of the Interior
2. Formation of integral better regulation policy, and improvement of quality and efficiency of legal regulation
2.1. To commission all ministries to review legal acts within their administrative field and to find out fields in which legal regulation could be simplified, and to make the list of legal acts that are subject to simplification
3rd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Justice and other ministries
2.2. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania amendments to the Resolution No. 118 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 4 February 1999 on publication of draft laws and other legal acts on Internet ((Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 15-389, 1999) and the Resolution No. 480 of 18 April 2003 on approval of general requirements for websites of public and local authorities ((Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 38-1739, 2003; No. 115-4376, 2006) to provide that publication of the results of the impact assessment of draft legal acts submitted to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the results of consultations with the public and stakeholders is public
4th quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Justice
2.3. To carry out an applied research to analyse the quality of the impact assessment of decisions taken, the methods and efficiency of consultations with the public and stakeholders, as well as to propose solutions regarding consultations with the public and stakeholders and regarding control of the quality of decision impact assessment
4th quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice
2.4. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania amendments to the Resolution No. 276 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 26 February 2003 on approval and implementation of the methodology for draft decision impact assessment ((Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 23-975, 2003) to establish the duty of the public authorities and bodies to consult stakeholders regarding decisions to be made
4th quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
3. Reduction of administrative burden and of unjustified costs of meeting requirements of legal acts.
3.1. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the plan of measures for the reduction of administrative burden on citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and other natural persons
1st quarter of 2008
Ministry of the Interior
3.2. To review legal acts under the requirements of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market (OJ 2006 L 376, p. 36) following the principles of better regulation, and, where necessary, to draft appropriate amendments of legal acts
3rd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy, other ministries, public authorities and bodies responsible for regulation of the service sector
3.3. To carry out applied research to make the list of information obligations imposed on business set forth in legal acts
3rd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy
3.4. To draft amendments of Methodology for Determination and Assessment of Administrative Burden on Business approved by the Order No. 4-152 of the Minister of Economy of 2 May 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 51-1896, 2006) to simplify its application
3rd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy
3.5. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the list of priorities of measurement of the national administrative burden on business and the quantitative commitments to reduce it
3rd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy
3.6. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the list of legal acts within the priority areas for the reduction of the administrative burden on business
3rd quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy
3.7. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania amendments to the Resolution No. 276 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 26 February 2003 ((Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 23-975, 2003) to provide the assessment of the administrative burden of draft legal acts on citizens
4th quarter of 2008
Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
3.8. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania amendments to the Resolution No. 276 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 26 February 2003 ((Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No. 23-975, 2003) to provide the assessment of the administrative burden of draft legal acts on business
4th quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy  
3.9. To draft and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania amendments to legal acts regulating the transposition of the EU legal acts into the national law to establish the mechanism for the assessment of the “gold-plating” of the EU legal act requirements transposed into the national law
4th quarter of 2008
Ministry of Economy, European Law Department under the Ministry of Justice
 
 
 
 
 
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