Nature: The burden of excessive paperwork is more than just a financial and time-consuming inconvenience. It cause delays which may inhibit entrepreneurial motivation; international trade of raw manufactured or cultural goods; the distribution of food aid; and, in cases of law, medicine, and social services, could constitute the difference between life and death.
Incidence: In 1984 in Lima, Peru, an entrepreneur registered his new clothing factory. It took him 289 days to complete the 310 required steps; and the paperwork involved, if stretched end to end, would have extended 30 metres. Also in Peru, the owner of a bus company spends 46 hours a month completing government demanded paperwork; and in and average year the Peruvian legislature issues almost 20,000 laws, decrees, and edicts, all of which must be written down. A 1985 report in the UK found many jobs had been lost and/or small businesses closed because of the reticence of owners to tackle all the governmental paperwork; and in Australia, excessive paperwork can lead to delays in search response time (by the government-controlled Search and Rescue operation) for people lost at sea, sometimes resulting in their deaths.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 20.04.1998 – 00:00 CEST