Posted June 29, 2009
Red Tape

Open For Business Strategy and the Green Economy get boost

TORONTO - Business organizations have long said that one of the most common complaints from business owners is the time-consuming task of filling out government paperwork. Through its Paper Burden Reduction Initiative (PBRI), the Ontario government has identified and eliminated 30 per cent of business forms that are no longer necessary for businesses to complete.

The PBRI has also resulted in many more forms being made available for downloading 24/7 online from the Ontario Government Central Forms Repository (CFR) at Service Ontario's website-another time-saving benefit to businesses, which also supports a green economy.

"The PBRI is about creating better, more efficient service to businesses," says Harinder Takhar, Minister of Government Services, responsible for Service Ontario. "It also supports the Ontario government's Open for Business strategy which will modernize business requirements and services to improve Ontario's ability to compete effectively with other jurisdictions, help our businesses to succeed, and attract new investment and jobs."

PBRI, which was completed in three phases over a three-year period, involved every government ministry allowing a review of business forms and the development of new requirements going forward when new forms are being considered. A significant number of business forms were only available in paper format and businesses had to obtain them from government offices during business hours or through regular mail. As a result, a total of 476 forms were eliminated through the initiative and 347 online forms were added to the CFR on Service Ontario.

"The PBRI is a great example of government modernizing and streamlining its operations, getting rid of obsolete forms, and increasing the number of online forms in the one-stop forms repository on," says Takhar "And that means we're also going green."

The former Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services, together with the Ministry of Government Services, worked with the Small Business Agency of Ontario (SBAO) and Ontario Public Service staff on the project. An initiative of the McGuinty government, the SBAO is an agency that focuses on issues affecting the small business community while working to improve their interaction with government.

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