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On the SIMPLEX programme

What is the SIMPLEX programme?

The SIMPLEX programme is a programme aimed at correcting and simplifying the rigidity of administrative processes, procedures and practices. The overall objective is to reduce the bureaucratic burdens imposed on citizens, improving their quality of life and the overall environment for businesses, thus promoting development and economic growth.


How did the SIMPLEX programme come about?

The SIMPLEX programme results from a negative assessment of processes and procedures that are defined in laws and regulations currently in force, and a perceived need to change them.
The effort aimed at increasing citizens’ trust in public administration and promoting Portugal’s competitiveness by reducing context-related costs for all economic activities is not a task assigned to a particular Ministry but rather a responsibility shared by all.
Thus, the SIMPLEX programme is the outcome of an initiative involving the Government as a whole. As the body tasked with promoting the modernisation of public services, UCMA was responsible for planning and monitoring the implementation of the first SIMPLEX programmes.


Where does it fit into the overall European strategy aimed at administrative and regulatory simplification?

The European Commission launched an “Action Plan for Simplifying and Improving the Regulatory Environment in the EU”. In the Spring of 2007, the European Council ratified such plan and set a target of a 25% reduction in administrative burdens affecting companies to be achieved by the European Union as a whole and by Member States individually by 2012. It also invited Member States to establish their own targets at national level.
Portugal took on the challenge and made a pledge to support the EU-wide programme aimed at reducing administrative costs for businesses, as well as made a commitment to develop its own national programme.


Who is in charge of the SIMPLEX programme?

The SIMPLEX programme brings together the measures aimed at administrative and regulatory simplification that are being undertaken by the various departments of central public administration. Their design and the monitoring of their implementation are coordinated by the Office of the Secretary of State for Administrative Simplification, with technical assistance being provided by the Agency for Administrative Modernisation.