Step 2: Identify which arms of government to influence

In analysing the approach to resolving a constraint on enterprises, EOs need to take into account that the source of the constraint - law, regulation or administrative function –may fall within the remit of several government agencies, at perhaps different levels of governance.

2.1 Which Ministries to influence

The EO in the first instance needs to identify which Ministry is responsible for the area it wants to change or reform. This is usually straightforward. The Education and Training Ministry is responsible for skills' policies and initiatives; the labour Ministry labour legislation and so on.

All government Ministries are relevant to the EO, as from time to time issues may emerge that are within the purview of Ministries that are not usually the first point of reference in government for an EO.

An EO's proposal may well fall within the remit or affect several Ministries, so all, to different degrees of intensity, need to be targeted for engagement. Plans for an increase in a 'visitors' tax' may have emerged from the Finance Ministry and may be driven by that Ministry, but the Ministry charged with tourism may be the EO's best ally in seeking to temper the proposal.

The EO needs to take a holistic view of government and develop a wide network of contacts with officials across ministries. Policies increasingly cut across different areas and officials from one department may take a different view to officials from another. The EO can influence both.

The EO needs to maintain and foster close and deep relations with officials at all levels in the key Government Ministries that the EO interfaces with ,such as Financ, Planning, Trade, Education, and Environment.

2.2 Government agencies and authorities to influence

Government agencies and authorities (e.g. tax collection agency or a food safety authority) mostly do not create policy, they implement it. They can be equally important actors and should not be ignored in the EO's anylsis.

These bodies do have control over how they implement policy - the means and the degree of interpretation. This can be crucial and can be much more impactful on business that the actual regulation. Regulatory bodies can add to the administrative burden placed on businesses by 'improving' the administrative rules within the overall defined policy framework.

They can also influence Ministries on the application of a policy and can be advocates for change – although usually never towards a diminishment of their own role. So they are important actors in the advocacy chain which the EO must influence, notwithstanding the fact that they can be difficult entities to influence. The EO is probably more likely to effect change with a given agency if it focuses on reducing the administrative burden rather than arguing for a change in policy that leads to them playing a less important role.

The Government rating index is a useful tool for the EO in mapping Ministries to target(1).

Have you had contact with this agency/dept over the past 12 months? LevelIf yes, how helpful did you find the agency/dept?Jurisdiction and audienceStrengthsWeaknessesRank
President’s Office Yes/No    National Provincial Local helpful
Advises president on appointing
structure of
government, new
policy initiatives
Personal access to
President. High
concentration of
enthusiasm for
private sector
development and
technocratic ability
among foreign educated
Regarded as out
of touch with the
public. Often
has difficulty in
practice in
getting their
accepted by
green amber  red
Ministry of Trade and Industry       Regulates
industry and
government in
trade talks.
Strong negotiators.
Minister is one of the
most powerful figures
in government.
Many civil
servants have
mindset and take
a confrontational
approach to
private sector.
Finance Ministry              
Planning Ministry              
Environment Ministry              
Transport Ministry              
Department of Labour              
Education Ministry              
Health Ministry              
Ministry for women's affairs or gender policy              
Enterprise Development Department              
Accident Compensation
Environmental Risk Management Authority              
Companies Office              
Food Safety Authority              
Taxation authorities              
Intellectual Property Office              
Local Authorities              
Agriculture & Forestry Ministry              
Customs Services              
Immigration Services              
Occupational Safety & Health Services              
Transport Agencies              


(1) Adapted from: Business New Zealand-KMPG Cost of compliance annual survey