New Digital System Improves Regulation and Simplifies Procedures in Public Institutions in Costa Rica

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    Through a digital tool, citizens will be able to participate in the processes of consultation of the results of revisions of the regulations and their procedures. In addition, the administered will be able to know diagnoses and other aspects that impact the simplification of regulations and their procedures, as well as the proposals for regulatory improvement that derive from such processes and diagnoses.

    These are some of the results of the Costa Rica project, a public-private alliance between the Ministry of Economy Industry and Commerce (Meic) with the positive horizon business association. It also had the financial support of Fundación Costa Rica United States for Cooperation (Crusa) and the Inter -American Development Bank (IDB). This alliance has been working on the initiative since May 2020.

    Elimination and simplification of procedures

    The Pilot Plan of Costa Rica flow was carried out based on the best practices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), adapted to Costa Rica. Through an “intelligent regulation” strategy, the program provides a complete solution to design and attend to the elimination or simplification of those requirements, procedures, and regulations that are no longer necessary.

    It is a work methodology, information, and digitalization systems to give sustainability to this effort. Likewise, the Ex-Post Regulatory Impact Analysis Methodology (Air Ex-Post) was designed, which is replicable in all the institutions and municipalities of the country. With this model, 47 regulations were reviewed and 28 proposals for regulatory improvement, 21 technical reports, and 11 commitment and action plans were generated.

    The pilot plan was executed in these institutions:

    • Ministry of Economy

    • Ministry of Finance

    • Migration and Foreigner Directorate

    • Mixed Social Assistance Institute (IMAS)

    • Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT)

    • Municipalities of Carthage, Santa Ana and Belén

    • Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AYA)

    • National Force and Light Company (CNFL)

    Through Executive Decree No. 42368- MEIC, the project has a declaration of public and national interest. The project was developed in 2 major stages. The first preparation and diagnosis were carried out in about 6 months. The second consisted of the application of the tools. We worked in groups of institutions, for 4 months per group.

    Maximizing the impact

    “The methodology, support in implementation, and computer platform are tangible actions of our genuine purpose to contribute to a prosperous, fair, and inclusive Costa Rica, as we have done in our almost 10 years of existence as an organization”, said Rodrigo Uribe Uribe, President of the Board of Directors of the Positive Horizon Association. Uribe added that he is confident that the incoming government maximizes the use of the tool to achieve impact, “promoting institutional efficiency and generation of more formal employment for Costa Ricans”.

    From the Ministry of Economy, the progress of this initiative was held as it will contribute to the reactivation of the economy. There are already trained officials to continue advancing with the analysis of existing regulations, said Victoria Hernández, MEIC’s hierarchy.

    This regulatory impact analysis methodology, the technological platform, findings, and improvement proposals constitute an important innovation in the search for the improvement of procedures and norms in the public sector, considered in turn, Flora Montealegra, executive director of the Foundation of Foundation Crusa.

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