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NWT to start rewarding employees who ‘raise red tape alert’

Caroline Wawzonek cuts some red tape in the company of the CFIB's Dan Kelly, left, and Brianna Solberg
Caroline Wawzonek cuts some red tape in the company of the CFIB's Dan Kelly, left, and Brianna Solberg. Photo: CFIB

The territorial government is preparing a program whereby employees who flag unnecessary bureaucracy are given rewards.

Caroline Wawzonek, the NWT’s minister responsible for finance and human resources, said her government was “actively planning” such a program in an Instagram post accepting an award related to red tape.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said last week the NWT is 2023’s recipient of its Golden Scissors award for “innovation and leadership to cut red tape.”

The CFIB said the award recognized the NWT government’s red tape reduction working group, established in November 2020, which requires that GNWT departments respond to complaints about “regulatory irritants identified by businesses” within five days.



Examples from a 2022 progress report show the working group ensuring that all GNWT forms are digitally fillable, and requesting a review of Department of Infrastructure boiler registration fees after it transpired that annual registration payments are required but boilers are not inspected annually.

“The Government of Northwest Territories has proven that you don’t need an army of civil servants to take actions to make red tape reduction a priority and to improve government services,” said Brianna Solberg, the CFIB director for the territories, in a press release.

Sharing on Instagram a photo of herself using a pair of scissors to cut some red tape, Wawzonek celebrated the award by pledging more action.

“I consider this just the beginning,” she wrote.

“We are actively planning an incentivized opportunity for public servants to raise the alert of red tape they encounter when serving residents and businesses – stay tuned.”

Responding to news of the award, the NWT Chamber of Commerce said it was “pleased to see the efforts of the red tape reduction working group being recognized nationally” and hoped more would be done “to make the NWT a better place to do business.”