Burden hunter: hunting administrative burdens and red tape

Burden hunters are civil servants who involve businesses in developing smart regulation that can remove red tape

Burden hunting is an integral part of the Danish better regulation effort. It is a mindset:as well as a method: Always keep the end users in mind, and involve them systematically in the legislative process.

The burden hunter methodology

The burden hunter methodology consists of  a wide variety of methods that involves businesses in the creation of smart regulation. Burden hunters focus on innovative methods and aim at reducing the costs for businesses in complying with regulation. You can hunt burdens in many ways. The methods include: interviews with businesses and observation of their administrative processes, mapping of user journeys, service design and user-centered innovation.

The burden hunter methods allow the authorities to focus on simplifying the regulation that businesses perceive as the most costly and burdensome.

By using qualitative methods the authorities can gain insight into how businesses perceive the regulation and how they perform the tasks that follows from regulation. By further involving businesses in the innovation process authorities can aim at creating simple rules and efficient processes for businesses that reduce their costs.

How to burden hunt

The burden hunting methodology is usable for both focused and explorative projects and for identifying and investigating a problem as well as creating efficient solutions.

Furthermore, the burden hunter approach can deal with both well-defined problems and larger more complex problems. An example of a small well defined problem could be; how do we get more businesses to choose the right NACE code when they start up their business? Whereas a more complex problem could be: How do we develop a smart and efficient Consumer law?

Explorative projects aim at uncovering the burdens in a specific area or from a specific law. This approach can be used when you have a goal of reducing the burdens from certain regulation, but do not know where to begin. It can give you a better understanding of the real challenges businesses face.

Focused projects will ideally give you clear and concise solutions to specific problems. This type of project can generate the groundwork for decisions about how to change workflows, guidelines or input for digital solutions.

When you engage in burden hunting you need to go to the person in the company facing the red tape. That is the person we call the end-user - the person who performs the administrative tasks required by the authorities. That is the person that can help us identify the real problem and develop an appropriate solution.

Who do we cooperate with?

The burden hunters cooperate with end-users, experts and other relevant actors to reduce the amount of red tape and administrative burdens. Among our partners are the following:

The authorities who regulate the Danish businesses

MindLab (MindLab is a cross-governmental innovation unit)

Nudging experts (Among others, iNudgeYou)

Research institutions (both public and private, among others: CBS, RUC).  

Who are the Danish burden hunters

You can find burden hunters in Team better regulation. For more information please contact: Helle Venzo