An official shadows an entrepreneur

We often hear stories about the interpretations of laws and attitudes of public institutions. This year in Latvia for the first time the initiative “An Official Shadows an Entrepreneur” was launched, allowing for the public servant to broaden his view and “step into entrepreneur's shoes” to evaluate how the regulation is applied in practice and what requires further improvements. The initiative promotes a dialogue between the state and the business to reduce the administrative burden.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

In order to respond effectively to the administrative burden reduction measures, the #GovLabLatvia Public Administration Innovation Lab created by the State Chancellery developed the “An Official Shadows an Entrepreneur” initiative. In the public space, we often hear stories about the interpretations of laws and attitudes of public institutions.
During the initiative, the entrepreneur had the opportunity to receive advice from a government as well as get feedback on how to solve the problem. The entrepreneur was also able to encourage the necessary improvements in regulation, thus becoming involved in the process of drafting and improving Latvian and European Union legislation.
Officials, on the other hand, had the opportunity to evaluate the performance of the regulation created directly with the end user, thus improving the outcome of their work. It was an opportunity to gain new experience, broaden horizons, "step into the shoes of an entrepreneur" and evaluate how the framework is being applied in practice and whether it needs further development. It will also further strengthen the application of the "Consult first" principle, which has been introduced in Latvia since 2017, to facilitate a dialogue between the state and the entrepreneur to reduce the administrative burden.
For communication with the public, a website was set up to cover all the details of the initiative and how to apply. In the application forms, the entrepreneurs indicated the specific area they wish to address, thus also indicating the public authority or official they wish to welcome at their facilities. The entrepreneur indicated in the questionnaire the urgent problem that needs to be addressed in order to improve the business environment, as well as the good practices implemented in the company, which he or she would recommend to implement for the improvement of the public administration processes.
The initiative happened on the September 16, 2019, with 35 entrepreneurs and 99 officials from 30 public administrations.
This initiative is an event that allows an official to look around himself and to conclude that each job has its own side and hard comings, both entrepreneurs and public officials have similar needs, only the point of view is different. The “An Official Shadows an Entrepreneur” initiative is a great opportunity to look at what the institution has done right: what works, helps and is useful to the entrepreneur on daily basis. It also shows where we are not as effective or what we could do better. An open dialogue between public administration and entrepreneurs is the key to a more successful business environment. The “An Official Shadows an Entrepreneur” initiative has opened the door to a wider range of contacts and feedback from entrepreneurs on various public administration decisions and day-to-day activities. This initiative will be continuously implemented also in 2020, possibly expanding it in the future, in order to live in the business culture environment and serve as a good example for cooperation of public administration and entrepreneurs also outside Latvia.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

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Year: 2019
Level of government: National/Federal government

Status:

  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

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