2016 - 2017 Annual Report
The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness – in its second year – is focused on reducing regulatory burden to business and making service improvements to support economic growth in our province and region.
The Office’s first year built a strong foundation for regulatory reform, outlined in our first Annual Report. The Office’s second year has built on this foundation, delivering real results and cost savings for business. To date, work to reduce unnecessary burden or red tape, is estimated to save Nova Scotia business more than $5.3 million annually. These savings were estimated using a tool developed by the Office – and in use across government – to assess regulatory impact to business called the Business Impact Assessment application. The $5.3 million annual savings represent a small proportion of the efforts to date.
In its second year, the Office launched a first-of-its-kind Business Navigation service to help business navigate what can be a complex regulatory environment, saving time and money. More than 400 businesses have used this service since it officially launched in late January 2017.
The Joint Office continued to focus on regional regulatory efficiency, working with Atlantic Provinces to eliminate unnecessary barriers in areas such as trucking, procurement, occupational health and safety and insurance.
The significant economic opportunity of eliminating unnecessary differences was highlighted by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC), which estimates a 10 per cent reduction of trade barriers between the Maritimes, would result in more than $1 billion of additional annual economic activity in region. Of the $1 billion of increased regional economic activity, $543 million would be specific to the Nova Scotia economy.