What We Do

The Office leads, advises and is a resource on best practice in regulation, regulatory reform and service effectiveness to government and stakeholders.


To ensure we understand the impacts of regulation on business and to track our progress in reducing undue burden to business, the Office developed the Business Impact Assessment application.

The Business Impact Assessment (BIA) is based on an internationally-recognized and utilized method for estimating the cost of regulatory compliance on business. The BIA assesses regulatory proposals for alignment with the Premier’s Charter of Governing Principles and generates an estimate of anticipated costs or savings to business. 


The BIA estimates the dollar costs or savings of individual regulatory proposals on business. To supplement this measure and to broaden what we measure beyond business, the Office also completed a count of regulatory compliance requirements contained in all Nova Scotia Government Acts, Regulations, and related administrative policy and forms.  Through this work, we estimate there are 157,000 regulatory compliance requirements imposed on Nova Scotia citizens, business, and government. 

This result is roughly comparable to the results of other governments that have completed a count using comparable methodology.  However, as counting methods vary greatly, nationally and internationally, the main value of this count is to provide another baseline for measuring progress in Nova Scotia.

Improving Service to Business

The red tape that businesses sometimes encounters is not always regulatory in nature, but where government service delivery is not meeting the needs of business. While there are many instances of service excellence within government, businesses have highlighted issues of service delivery as a barrier to their growth and development.

The Joint Office has listened to many business and industry organizations about issues of service such as:

  • Effective regulation is essential to a productive business climate;
  • Easier interaction with government from business will save time, effort, and money;
  • Business want easier navigation of rules and regulations;
  • Dealing with multiple departments on an issue is frustrating, duplicative, and is costly in time and money.
  • Businesses want and expect inspectors to be helpful and informative.


Regional Regulatory Efficiency

In Nova Scotia, significant work on regulatory reform and modernization has been undertaken to remove barriers to economic growth. However, optimal regulatory reform is a cross-government initiative with all elements of government striving towards removing regulatory obstacles to growth and coordination within the region to further enhance economic opportunities and growth.

  • Work with Atlantic governments and businesses to identify and address regional regulatory barriers.
  • Facilitate the work the Atlantic Red Tape Partnership. The partnership works to streamline business regulations and administrative processes to make it easier for businesses to work and grow across the Atlantic region.
  • Measure regulations to improve accountability on government and to reduce the burden to business.


Contact Us

Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness
Suite 302, Collins Bank Building
1883 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1S9