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e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

versão On-line ISSN 2183-184X


ETNER, Diana  e  SILVEIRA, João Tiago. Better regulation programs in Portugal: Simplegis. e-Pública [online]. 2014, vol.1, n.1, pp.203-243. ISSN 2183-184X.

This article addresses the issue of Better Regulation programmes in Portugal analysing the SIMPLEGIS programme carried out between May 2010 and June 2011. The SIMPLEGIS programme had three main goals: i) To simplify legislation by having fewer laws, making fewer amendments to laws and by having no delays in transposing EU directives; ii) To make laws more accessible for citizens and businesses by drafting laws easier to understand, by having greater involvement of citizens in law-making procedures and providing better information about the laws; and iii) To achieve a better enforcement of laws by adopting laws that will come with manual of instructions, to ensure that the laws' objectives are achieved and that legislation is evaluated by means of impact assessments. The article describes and analyses the SIMPLEGIS measures to achieve those goals such as i) the repeal of unnecessary laws no longer enforced, ii) the repealing of more laws than are actually enacted, iii) the directives to legislate wisely, only adopting laws when necessary, iv) the target to reduce the number of mistakes and lapses in published laws, v) the goal of timely transposition of EU directives by means of a “zero delays” policy, vi) the adoption of a practical guide for law drafting, vii) the publication of explanatory summaries in plain language in the National Gazette along with the law, both in Portuguese and English, viii) the conception of new formats for public consultations, ix) the adoption of a programme to consolidate laws, x) the reduction of the number of acts published in the National Gazette making them available in specific websites, xi) the creation of a new and user friendly website to access legislation, xii) adopting manuals of instructions to support the enforcement of laws and xiii) the adoption of new methodologies, instruments and training for legislative impact assessments. The results of the programme are also addressed, referring in particular those related to i) the reduction of the number of laws approved making 2010 and 2011 the years when fewer laws were enacted, ii) the approval of bills to repeal a relevant number of unnecessary laws, iii) the reduction of lapses in published laws by reaching 95,88% of not amended decree-laws and implementing decrees, iv) the reduction of the deficit of EU directives transposition and the time to satisfy said transposition, v) the publishing of summaries of laws in clear language and vi) the reduction of the number of administrative regulations published in the National Gazette allowing an easier access to that information. Finally, some remarks on future issues to address on better regulation programmes are referred. The continuation of SIMPLEGIS programme is suggested as well as new measures regarding streamlining the procedure to adopt international conventions and monitoring the approval of implementing decrees to develop laws.

Palavras-chave : Better Regulation; legislative simplification; cutting red tape; quality of legislation; SIMPLEGIS.

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