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JC&A worked with the OSCE and the Government of Kyrgyzstan to conduct a 44-month long Regulatory GuillotineTM Project ‘Strengthening Regulatory Governance and Countering Corruption in the Kyrgyz Republic. Six JC&A staff worked on the Project, based in Kyrgyzstan, completing the Project very successfully at the end of 2017.

The Project was organized into two components. The first one consisted of a Regulatory GuillotineTM organized into two Phases. Phase 1 consisted of working with the OSCE and the government to set out the reforms’ scope and process, designing deep and systematic reform, and advocating this at the highest levels of the Government. A Communication strategy was also developed. The phase culminated in the enactment of a Guillotine Decree.
Phase 2 consisted in undertaking the Guillotine. JC&A trained and deployed an IT solution customized for the project. The aim was to make as autonomous a Guillotine Unit comprising 25 local professionals OSCE funded as possible. A Systematic Regulatory Review Council (SSR Council) chaired by the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister was empowered. The first stage of the Guillotine consisted of the self-evaluation by each of the 33 state bodies participating (15 Ministries, 6 State Agencies, 7 Services, two State Funds, two Inspections, and the Central Bank) by answering a ten-page long justification questionnaire testing for each of their legal measures their legality, usefulness, business friendliness, and anti-corruption design. This self-assessed inventory of more than 30,000 legal documents (laws, bylaws, decrees, ordinances, administrative procedures, etc.) was posted on the project portal. The second stage involved organizing a consultation with business representatives to discuss the self-assessment questionnaires. In total, more than 500 meetings were scheduled. The Unit oversaw the collection and analysis of all the comments and suggestions. During the final stage, the Unit’s economists and lawyers reviewed businesses’ responses and assessed the MDA’s answers.

The Guillotine ended with the JC&A team presenting more than 650 individual reform recommendations to the Government Cabinet. These were presented during seven SRR Councils. The project recommended eliminating or reforming 44% of the stock of legal acts and 65% of the most frequent administrative procedures. Many involved eliminating overlaps, duplications, and contradictions; others proposed reducing the number of complying businesses (in particular SMEs), and special emphasis was made on the potential of using online One-Stop-Shop and re-engineering their processes using ITC solutions.

Component II was a more limited appraisal of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) system. For this, JC&A undertook an extensive impact assessment of the existing RIA system (i.e., the RIA Decree, procedures, outputs, and outcomes); based on this baseline, JC&A set up new objectives for RIA and assessed three policy options: i) maintaining the existing RIA system based on a ‘command and control approach, ii) adding resources and enforcement powers to the RIA Unit of the Ministry of Economy, and iii) developing a new approach based on ‘trust, but verify.’ Phase II concluded with JC&A presenting concrete recommendations to the Ministry of Economy.

Using an internationally recognized methodology, the Unit estimated that compliance costs for businesses before the reforms amounted to €134.9 million and that the proposed recommendations will reduce these costs by €34.8 million (26%). Based on this conservative estimate, each euro of the €2 million project will generate at least €17 million in cost savings for Kyrgyz businesses.

Political solid support indicates that during the project, five Prime Ministers chaired and supported the recommendations proposed. Many of them are currently being legally transposed and administratively deployed.

Kyrgyzstan, OSCE Center in Bishkek Krygyzstan, 2014-2016.