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The machinery of the French administrative and regulatory simplification programme

Simplification of regulation and administrative procedures  – a programme decided at the highest level of the French state and coordinated by the Secretariat-General for Government Modernisation (SGMAP), meets a strong demand from individuals, businesses and local authorities. Within the SGMAP, the Simplification Task Force coordinates the process and provides support to ministries and institutional partners. The programme is based on a participatory approach in which users are involved at every stage: from choice of measures to assessment of their implementation

Ideas for simplification suggested by users in France

Individuals, businesses and local authorities can either submit their proposals directly through a web platform or send them to the authorities responsible for managing such proposals.
Surveys of individuals and businesses are carried out by the SGMAP to identify the ‘life events’ deemed to be most complex. Individual interviews are used to deconstruct administrative processes and determine points of dissatisfaction at each stage. Public policy assessments also provide ideas for simplification.
Individual users and businesses are invited to discuss their experience and ideas about simplification with ministry officials in participatory workshops.

A cross-ministerial decision

Following the workshops, reasoned proposals are submitted to the various ministries for a decision at meetings chaired by the Prime Minister. Consideration is given to the feasibility, relevance and impact of the proposed measures.

User assessment

At the end of the process, workshop participants are called upon once more to report on the adoption and impact of the measures implemented.

A new raft of measures every six months

The simplification programme is a work in progress, with a new raft of measures every six months. Since 2013, over 750 measures have been adopted, most of which already have a direct effect on the lives of citizens and businesses.

A typical measure: the simulator

The online simulator allows individuals to determine the types of social assistance to which they are entitled and calculate the corresponding amounts after having filled in a form covering marital status, resources, accommodation, etc. After receiving an individual estimate, a user can then start the administrative procedures with the relevant public bodies. This service, developed by a government start-up, is intended to tackle failure by the most vulnerable to take up the government assistance to which they are entitled.

Information on measures taken

To publicise what has actually been done, partnerships have been built with the ecosystem (ministries, not-for-profit organisations and trade bodies) to reach as many people as possible. The participatory approach thus continues throughout the process: from the ideas at the beginning to information on the actual measures taken.

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