The reduction of the administrative burden imposed by regulation is crucial for competitiveness of businesses, especially for SME’s.
The reduction of the administrative burden imposed by regulation is crucial for competitiveness of businesses, especially for SME’s (usually, when a big company spends €1 per employee in connection with regulations, a small business has to spend €10 on average). It is also an essential element of good regulatory policy. Because of this, administrative burdens measurement is mandatory in the Catalan Regional Administration for all primary and secondary legislation proposals. Administrative burden impact for businesses is systematically evaluated since 2008 with the introduction of a specific regulatory impact report on the rule-making process to assess administrative burden and simplification of procedures for businesses (Decree 93/2008), and the Standard Cost Model methodology. This measurement is now part of a more comprehensive and integrated regulatory impact assessment (RIA) which must include the analysis of relevant impacts (Law 26/2010).
The SCM methodology calculates the administrative cost of complying with a specific regulation by adding up the internal time cost of each activity required to ensure compliance. To assist civil servants in the application of SCM, the Good Practice Guide for the preparation and revision of regulation affecting economic activity (2010) introduced standard labour costs (Price) for businesses in Catalonia.

Resources needed

Build a database and human resources.

Evidence of success

Governments need to understand the size of burdens and how can affect businesses in every field. They also need to give evidence in a cost-effective way before changing regulations to ensure that reduction measures would be effective and do not create further distortions or complexities.
During this time we obtained from the quantification and analysis of around 1.500 administrative burdens contained in 88 RIA following the SCM.

Potential for learning or transfer

The SCM has become a reference methodology for identifying and quantifying administrative burdens for businesses all over Europe. Most countries as well as the European Commission have adapted the method in order to make it simpler.
In the case of the Standard Unit Costs System is also suitable to be adapted to most countries considering the internal parameters related to labour costs and time values for most representative information obligations.

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Main institution
Regional Government of Cataluña
Cataluña, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2010
End Date


Natalia Cantero Please login to contact the author.