Better Regulation in Lithuania
As better regulation was becoming an increasingly more important measure to improve the business and investment environment, Lithuania adopted the Better Regulation Programme and the Ministry was entrusted with the coordination of the implementation of this Programme (the English version of the Programme) in 2008.
Better regulation comprises systematical measures that are created to ensure the efficiency of state policy, improve the drafting, adoption and implementation of legal acts as well as the quality of legal regulation, thus increasing its efficiency and consistency.
The aim of the Programme is to ensure continuous improvement of legal regulation by improving the business and investment environment, reducing administrative burdens and providing public services.
When the Better Regulation Programme was adopted in 2008, plans of measures to implement the Programme were prepared anually by paying major attention to the ad hoc measures to reduce administrative burdens on business. State institutions constantly amend the legal acts within the limits of their competence by repealing the obligations causing the unreasonable administrative burden.
In 2008, the first stage of the assessment of administrative burden – mapping of information obligations in national legal acts, was completed.
In 2009, in response to the obligation imposed by the European Council on EU Member States to set a national quantitative target to reduce administrative burdens on business, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania by its resolution entrenched the target for reducing the national administrative burden on business in the priority areas – 30% by the end of 2011 and identified the following priority areas for reducing administrative burdens on business:
1) tax administration;
2) employment relations;
4) environmental protection;
6) real estate transactions;
7) territorial planning and construction.
In 2009, The Commission for Improvement of the Business Environment (the Sunrise Commission) and its working groups formed mainly of representatives of business entities commenced their activities. The purpose of the Commission and its working groups is to consider issues related to the improvement of the business environment and submit proposals on how legal regulation could be improved and administrative burdens could be reduced in those areas that cause the most problems for business. A special Bureaucratic Burden For Business Reduction Working Group was formed to address any issues related to administrative burdens. In 2009, this working group addressed 108 issues related to business environment improvement, burden reduction and regulation streamlining and submitted 80 proposals regarding them.
In 2009, The research study “The Analysis of the Quality of the Impact of Decisions, Methods and Efficiency of Consultations with the Public and Interest Groups” commissioned by the Ministry of Economy was carried out.
In 2010, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, the European Social Fund Agency and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania concluded the financing and administration agreement for the project “Assessment of Administrative Burdens, Improvement of the Quality and Efficiency of Legal Regulation and Strengthening of Administrative Capacities in the Context of Better Regulation”. The works to assess administrative burdens in monetary terms and to reduce administrative burdens have started.
In 2010, when reviewing the applicable legal acts, state institutions prepared more than 150 draft legal acts eliminating administrative burdens on business.
In 2011, the following main works were carried out:
• Administrative burdens were assessed in monetary terms in seven priority areas determined by the Government; administrative burdens on business were accounted for in the electronic database (calculator). The internationally recognised formula was used not only to estimate, in monetary terms, costs incurred by economic entities in order to comply with legal acts but also to assess the burden reduction since 1 January 2009. The most significant achievements related to administrative burden reduction were achieved in the priority areas of territorial planning and construction, statistics and transport.
• Civil servants were trained to assess administrative burdens in monetary terms, to use the administrative burden database (calculator), to supplement it with new data and carry out a data analysis;
• On the initiative of the Ministry of Economy, the proposals for reduction of the national administrative burden on business in the priority areas were drafted; upon implementation of these proposals to the fullest extent possible, the national administrative burden on business would be reduced by more than 30%;
• Over 90 urgent measures to reduce administrative burdens in the priority areas were approved by decision of the Government; the majority of them have been implemented.
In 2012, the methodology for the determination of administrative burdens on business was updated, and the mechanism to prevent the formation of new administrative burdens was designed. It was established that administrative burdens of all legal acts providing new or amending the existing information obligations for business must be assessed, and these draft legal acts must be submitted to the Ministry of Economy for estimation. The administrative burden reduction works were further continued. The Urgent Action Plan to Reduce Administrative Burdens in the Priority Areas was approved by the Government.
Further initiatives in the area of better regulation are provided in the Programme for the Improvement of Public Administration 2012-2020:
• it is planned to improve the legal regulation of public consultations – to establish the main principles, deadlines and standards of consultations;
• it is sought to expand the provision of electronic services and improve the availability thereof, and to further promote the application of one-stop-shop principle;
• it is sought to reduce regulation and improve the quality of legal acts. The law-making process must be based on analysis and public consultations; it must reflect qualitatively the chosen solution to the problem and the purpose of regulation;
• it is provided that a new regulatory initiative must be assessed in terms of administrative burdens on citizens and other persons, business and public administration institutions. If appropriate, new requirements of legal acts increasing administrative burdens on business must be established, and other requirements that impose administrative burden on business will have to be repealed (the requirements repealed must be no fewer than those newly established);
• in order to assess whether the regulation of a particular sector complies with the set targets, to identify implementation problems and to ensure optimal and sustainable legal regulation, regulatory fitness-checks encompassing not only individual legal acts but also entire sectors will be carried out; the burden caused by costs incurred due to the adaptation and implementation of legal acts and costs of the compliance with unreasonable requirements of legal acts, particularly on small and medium-sized economic entities, will be assessed and reduced; a lot of attention will be paid to the end-user (for example, the economic entity, citizen or other person) in order to facilitate compliance with the requirements of legal acts.
Last date edited: 2012-05-11