Red Tape Reduction

… a core term in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100


Wikipedia (reference below) defines red tape reduction as a reduction of bureaucratic obstacles to action.

Wikipedia notes that:

“Red tape is an idiom that refers to excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making. It is usually applied to governments, corporations, and other large organizations. … Red tape generally includes filling out paperwork, obtaining licenses, having multiple people or committees approve a decision and various low-level rules that make conducting one’s affairs slower, more difficult, or both.”

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Many governments undertake reforms to improve their operations by reducing red tape. For example, the Government of Canada established an Independent Blue Ribbon Panel on Grants and Contributions Programs (report on right) and a separate regulatory reform process to address regulations affecting business:

“The Government of Canada has made cutting red tape a key priority and as such, is launching a regulatory reform package that is among the most ambitious of its kind today. The Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, the product of business community input to a year-long commission, not only targets specific irritants to businesses, but the systemic barriers that unnecessarily frustrate and burden Canadian business with additional delays, costs and bureaucracy.” (Government of Canada, 2012)

Topic, subject and Atlas course

Modernizing Government in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100.


Frances Lankin and Ian Clark (2006), From Red Tape to Clear Results – The Report of the Independent Blue Ribbon Panel on Grants and Contributions Programs, Government of Canada, at, accessed 16 November 2016.

Government of Canada (2012), Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, at, accessed 21 November 2016.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 21 November 2016.