Evidence-based Instruments

   

Does the RIA process ensure participation, transparency and quality evaluation?

EUOECD
 
RIA analyses consistently involve stakeholders by means of consultation or collaboration, results are transparently communicated to the public and assessments are effectively evaluated by an independent body on a regular basis.
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Czech Rep.
Consultation with stakeholders is an essential part of the RIA process. In principle, all those who are affected by new legislation are able to express their views in advance. The parties concerned may include, among others, public authorities, professional organizations, nongovernmental organizations or business entities. However, the intensity and form of consultation varies from case to case. Since 2011, quality control has rested with the RIA board, an independent commission affiliated with the Government Legislative Council. This body a) coordinates and methodically manages the RIA process; b) processes the material documents for the working commission; and c) on the basis of an opinion of the working committee, if available, drafts the draft opinion of the Legislative Council of the Government or the Chairman of the Legislative Council of the Government for the RIA area (this opinion is an independent part of the Draft Opinion).
Denmark
The ministry in charge of preparing a specific piece of legislation or regulation includes relevant stakeholders in the RIA process, such as affected ministries and interest organizations. If, for instance, a proposal is expected to involve costs for business, the Ministry of Business would be consulted. The ministry would also consult with business interests. The proposal to be submitted to the legislature would list all departments, agencies and organizations that had been consulted. The rules require the assessment to be in non-technical language so that it is accessible to the public. The corporatist aspect of preparing laws may have decreased in the last decade, but organizations are still very involved in administrative structures.

There is a strong tradition of publishing impact assessments as reports or special publications. In addition, parliamentary committees and members of parliament can request further information and documentation.

After new legislation enters into force, feedback from stakeholders, the broader public and media are taken seriously by members of parliament.
Citations:
Cirkulære om bemærkninger til lovforslag og andre regeringsforslag og om fremganhsmåden ved udarbejdelse af lovforslag, redegørelser, administrative forskrifter m.v. https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=20940 (accessed 3 May 2013).

Jørgen Grønnegård Christensen, Peter Munk Christiansen and Marius Ibsen, Politik og forvaltning. 4th edition. Copenhagen. Hans Reitzels Forlag, 2017.
Germany
The National Regulatory Control Council (Normenkontrollrat, NKR) cooperates with a large number of different actors on various levels of the administration. Its cooperation with German states and local authorities has intensified, in particular with the development of methodological standards for assessing compliance costs.

In its 2017 annual report, the NKR claimed that the costs of new regulations and laws increased about €2.1 billion whereas the bureaucratic costs remained stable. However, the NKR complained that digitalization processes in public administration lagged well behind other European countries, wasting important opportunities for further cost reductions.

The new “one in one out” rule, introduced in 2015, reduced the financial burdens on enterprises by about €1.4 billion. This rule means that all new costs for enterprises and state bureaucracy (the “ins”) have to be compensated for by additional regulations that reduce costs respectively (the “outs”).
Citations:
Normenkontrollrat (2017): Jahresbericht des Normenkontrollrates 2017:
https://www.normenkontrollrat.bund.de/Webs/NKR/Content/DE/Publikationen/Jahresberichte/2017-07-12-nkr-jahresbericht-2017.html?nn=1669400
New Zealand
The Treasury’s Regulatory Impact Analysis Handbook offers comprehensive guidance with regard to consultation within government as well as with stakeholders, to transparency and to quality evaluation. The major instrument for consultation and transparency is the regulatory impact statement (RIS). Independent quality assurance is to be obtained either by a unit located within the Treasury or through a suitable internal review process. A quality-assurance statement is to be provided in the cabinet paper.
Citations:
Regulatory Impact Analysis Handbook (Wellington: The Treasury 2013).
Norway
The quality of RIAs associated with parliamentary bills shows great variation, but is generally good. At a minimum, parliamentary bills describe the financial and administrative (governmental) consequences of a proposal. Some also consider environmental and climate effects. Other costs are not quantified systematically or regularly when preparing bills. Affected parties will be also typically be invited to present their views in a public hearing, before a decision is being made. The RIA system is strong in terms of consultation, transparency and creating a broad political consensus around decisions. However, it is weaker in terms of technical quality.
 
The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
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Finland
Impact assessment guidelines adopted in 2007 still provide a general framework for the process of regulatory impact assessment. The Revision Bureau of the Ministry of Justice’s Law Drafting Department monitors compliance with these impact assessment guidelines. Impact assessments cover the economic, administrative, environmental and social impacts of proposed legislation. The guidelines describe what kind of impact may be involved, how the impact may be assessed, and what methods and information sources are available. The guidelines also specify the extent to which this information must be provided in the assessments. For instance, assessments may deal with proposals’ potential economic impact on households, businesses and public finances as well as overall economic impact. Concerning methodology, guidelines recommend the use of statistical data, questionnaire data, expert analyses and when necessary, qualitative methods. Generally speaking, the regulatory impact assessment process is well-structured and of a high quality. However, in its 2017 assessment, the Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis found deficient impact assessments in a significant proportion of the draft government proposals and recommended a more regular use of quantitative measures and more time for reworking the draft proposals.
Citations:
Ministry of Justice (2008): “Impact Assessment in Legislative Drafting - Guidelines”. Helsinki, Publication 2008:4.
http://oikeusministerio.fi/fi/index/toimintajatavoitteet/lakiensaataminen/parempisaantely/vaikutustenarviointi/saadosehdotustenvaikutustenarviointiohjeet.html.
http://vnk.fi/en/article/-/asset_publisher/arviointineuvosto-vaikutusten-arviointien-tasoa-on-parannettava
Netherlands
RIAs are obliged to identify one or several alternatives to the option chosen by an initiator. According to the Advisory Board on Administrative Burden Reduction (ACTAL) guidelines, alternative options for administrative burden reduction assessments (ABRAs) are investigated. In principle, the option involving the greatest cost reduction ought to be selected. The extent to which practice follows theory is not known. Stakeholders and decision makers have been involved in the process of producing RIAs, making burden-reduction analyses more effective. The status of ACTAL as an independent body for evaluation has been changed to a legally established permanent advisory body.
Citations:
www.actal.nl/over-actal/taken-en-bevoegdheden/ (consulted 26 October 2014)

Staatscourant nr. 29814, 29 Mei 2017, Besluit van 17 mei 2017, nr. 2017000809, houdende instelling van het Adviescollege toetsing regeldruk
UK
The Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC), a body established in 2009 and independent since 2012, is responsible for quality evaluation and impact assessment. The RPC provides feedback to the Reducing Regulation Committee, a sub-committee of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, on the quality of the analysis and evidence presented. The RPC does not actively solicit input from outside the government department concerned, but is open to submissions from other stakeholders on the impacts of proposed regulation. Transparency and guidance is provided on the government website (gov.uk) detailing how to contact the RPC. The government invites direct comment on the process in an effort to engage citizens and, perhaps more importantly, businesses. To reduce regulatory costs for businesses, the government committed to a Business Impact Target (BIT). There is a one-in-three-out principle for new regulations, with information regularly updated online.

This is again contrasted by the fact that these rules are not applied in the planning and execution of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
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Chile
Given the informal and non-institutionalized character of instruments used for regulatory impact assessments, reports do not necessarily specify the purpose of and the need for a regulation. Furthermore, they do not tend to analyze alternative options. Depending on the topic, stakeholders may play a certain role in the RIA process, but this does not entail a high degree of relevance within the political process over the middle or long term. RIA assessments are not routinely evaluated by independent bodies.
Citations:
OECD (2016), Regulatory Policy in Chile: Government Capacity to Ensure High-Quality Regulation, OECD
Reviews of Regulatory Reform, OECD Publishing, Paris.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264254596-en
Japan
According to the Basic Guidelines for Implementing Policy Evaluation, revised in March 2007, the necessity, efficiency and effectiveness of measures are to be the central considerations in evaluations. However, issues of equity and priority are also to be included. The structure and content of assessments are further clarified in the Policy Evaluation Implementation Guidelines of 2005 and the Implementation Guidelines for Ex Ante Evaluation of Regulations of 2007; all of these specifications contain quite demanding tasks that must be performed as a part of the evaluations.

Critics have argued that many officials regard RIA as a bothersome disturbance, and lack strong incentives to take it seriously. Having RIA run by a line ministry, the MIC, instead of a powerful independent agency, does not seem to be very effective.

According to recent data, Japan scores considerably below the OECD average with regard to RIA implementation, particularly in the areas of oversight and quality control.
Citations:
Andrei Greenawalt, The Regulatory Process in Japan in Comparison with the United States, RIETI Column 318, 2015, http://www.rieti.go.jp/en/columns/a01_0431.html

Naohiro Yashiro, Regulatory Coherence: The Case of Japan, ERIA Discussion Paper 2016-16, March 2016, http://www.eria.org/publications/discussion_papers/DP2016-16.html

Nikolai Malyshev, Regulatory Impact Assessment: State of Play in OECD Countries, Paper for the KDI-OECD Seminar on Improving Regulatory Governance: trends, practices and the way forward, 6 September 2017
Latvia
The annotation requires a description of stakeholder participation. Minimum requirements can be met by a simple statement detailing when stakeholders were consulted. Annotations may include information on stakeholder inputs, reactions or needs.

Annotations are publicly available along with the draft act of legislation. They serve as an explanatory accompaniment to the draft and are often referenced in communications about the draft.

Annotations are not assessed by an independent body. However, they are monitored by the government office as part of its oversight of the decision-making process. Inadequacies in the annotation can lead to proposals being returned for revision prior to consideration by the cabinet. An annual monitoring process by the government office can lead to improvements in the system. The latest such revision took place in 2013.
Citations:
Cabinet of Ministers (2013), Simplification of Draft Legislation Annotations, Press release, Available at (in Latvian): http://www.mk.gov.lv/lv/aktuali/zinas/2013-gads/04/290413-vk-03/, Last assessed: 20.05.2013
Mexico
RIA was introduced in Mexico in 1997 and its usage has spread from the federal government to some state governments. It has established itself as a legitimate part of the policymaking process. The relevant government agency, COFEMER, is responsible to an interdepartmental committee that ultimately reports to the Ministry of Economy. COFEMER does not have a veto on new proposals, but it must be consulted and can express an opinion. Its position vis-à-vis the ministries was strengthened by an additional presidential order by Calderon in 2007. It can prevent new regulations from coming into force until the consultation process is complete. COFEMER has also been active in negotiating the streamlining of procedures with individual Mexican states. This is significant, as much regulation is generated at subnational levels. After a quiet start, COFEMER has played a significant role in Mexico’s pro-competitive policy. Its annual reports are publicly available and provide critical assessments on regulatory projects.
Sweden
As mentioned, RIAs play some role in Sweden but the system is less elaborate compared to many other countries. The Swedish model of RIA seems to perform reasonably well with regard to participation and communication but less so in terms of independent evaluations.

Overall, simplifying regulatory frameworks appears to be conducted fairly ad hoc. For instance, the Simplex project in the Department of Industry and Economic Development aimed at removing regulations that were either obsolete or unnecessarily obstructing private businesses. The project appears to have practiced RIA without applying the entire RIA framework.
Switzerland
While stakeholder participation in regulatory impact assessment (RIA) procedures is a particularly strong point in Switzerland, communications processes vary between regions and policy fields. For in-depth RIA, an extended version of standard RIA, Rissi and Sager (2013) shave how procedural assessments used to be the most prominent form of RIA utilization in Switzerland. RIA are often outsourced to independent research companies, though this does not affect utilization. In the course of the debate about the Federal Audit Office report on the quality of RIA, an independent Regulation Assessment Unit was demanded by some politicians. However, the proposal is yet to be made concrete.
Citations:
RISSI Christof and Fritz SAGER (2013). “Types of Knowledge Utilization of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). Evidence from Swiss Policymaking,” Regulation & Governance 7(3): 348–364.
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Canada
The quality of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) in Canada is in general satisfactory. Stakeholder participation in the past has been encouraged, although recent changes in environmental legislation have put limits on such participation. RIA results are accessible under Freedom of Information provisions. However, there is little evaluation of the quality of RIA by independent bodies.
Estonia
Legal regulations established by governmental decree (2012) require involvement by relevant interest groups and public consultations in the lawmaking process. It must be formally documented which interest groups have been involved, what their proposals have been and to what extent the proposals have been taken into account. All this information is publicly available in the explanatory paper accompanying the draft law. Alongside these formal requirements, involving stakeholders and hearing their opinions has become a common practice. However, two reports on the quality of the RIA process (see citations) have found that stakeholder involvement needs to be improved at all stages. RIA analyses are not communicated to the public, and only those partners closely participating in the process are sufficiently informed.

RIA results are not subject to regular evaluations by an independent body, and far more stress is put on the further elaboration of impact-assessment methods than on making use of results to create better policies.
Citations:
Praxis (2015). Arengukavade mõjuhindamine. Valdkonna arengukavade mõjude hindamise süsteemi analüüs. http://www.praxis.ee/tood/arengukavade-mojude-hindamise-susteemi-analuus/ (accessed 29.09.2015).
Praxis (2014).Mõju hindamise metoodika rakendamine Euroopa Liidu asjades. https://riigikantselei.ee/sites/default/files/content-editors/Failid/moju-hindamise-metoodika-rakendamine-euroopa-liidu-asjades.pdf (accessed 29.09.2015)
South Korea
RIA committees are often criticized for not being fully autonomous and for being influenced by political and economic interests. Other criticisms mentioned by the OECD are a lack of time to carry out assessments, insufficient staff, and a lack of expertise and financial resources. Many civil servants in South Korea perceive RIA to be merely a formality. Stakeholders are consulted during the RIA process, which includes regular meetings with foreign chambers of commerce.

The general public and specific stakeholders can be integrated into the process via online channels such as the Regulatory Information Portal, Regulatory Reform Sinmungo, and the e-Legislation Center (www.lawmaking.go.kr). For example, the e-Legislation Center gives the general public the opportunity to propose a bill, submit opinions on regulatory bills or request a clarification of how laws have been interpreted.

The Board of Audit and Inspection, as well as related NGOs, have assessed and inspected the process of RIA at times when it has become controversial with regard to specific policy issues. The RIA performed on the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile defense system is a clear case of a failure to allow participation, transparency or high-quality evaluation, largely due to the security imperative and American pressure.
Citations:
OECD, 2007, OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Korea 2007 Progress in Implementing Regulatory Reform
OECD, 2017. OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform Regulatory Policy in Korea: Toward Better Regulation. May 23, 2017. http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/regulatory-policy-in-korea_9789264274600-en#page1
USA
Regulatory impact assessment is a highly political process, with a strong tendency for results to reflect the preferences and expectations of the agency or political official that controls the process. Under Republican presidents, the process was frequently directed toward containing or curtailing environmental and work-safety regulations put out by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Health and Safety Agency. Under Obama, the process is more biased toward issuing new regulations. Indeed, a 2011 study of regulatory impact assessments by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations demonstrated the biasing effect of political priorities. The Obama administration has issued new rules at a rate 40% higher than either Clinton or Bush. While Obama’s regulators reported costs triple those of Bush’s, they report benefits eight times higher.

In any case, the differences in overall results between administrations suggests that many or most proposed regulations would receive opposite assessments from the Bush and Obama administrations, rendering the value of the assessments questionable at best. Trump administration regulatory officials have had little concern about impact assessment. In canceling the Obama era’s “net neutrality” regulations, the Federal Communications Commission relied on a large volume of citizen messages that it had already determined were produced by internet bots, rather than actual people.

Regulatory assessment will thus be of limited value until the government adopts clearer standards and best practices for the conduct of the analyses, presumably under the auspices of a nonpartisan institution such as the Congressional Budget Office.
 
The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
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Australia
The preparation of a RIS follows a standard procedure in which policymakers gather the information that will enable them to evaluate the extent to which the proposed regulatory changes will result in a net benefit to the community. The Office of Best Practice Regulation within the Department of Finance and Deregulation, which administers both the federal government and COAG’ regulation requirements, seeks a range of information about any new regulation. The level of information required is commensurate with the magnitude of the problem that is being addressed, and the size of the potential impact of the proposal. The Office of Best Practice Regulation uses a number of “adequacy criteria” to assess whether a RIS contains the appropriate levels of information and analysis for it to be assessed as adequate.

In 2012, the Productivity Commission, at the request of the Australian government, produced a report assessing the performance of jurisdictions’ regulatory impact analysis processes, including those at the level of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), and identifying leading practices. Findings of major concern from the report include the following: a number of proposals with highly significant impacts are either exempted from RIA processes or are not rigorously analyzed; public consultation on policy development is often perfunctory or occurs only after development of draft legislation; and public transparency – that is, informing stakeholders about revisions to policy proposals and providing information used in decision-making, or providing reasons for not subjecting proposals to impact analysis – was a glaring weakness in most Australian RIA processes. Furthermore, a major problem in implementing RIA requirements was that the policy decisions often occurred prior to commencement of the RIA process. However, the commission concluded that the regulatory impact analysis process was worth retaining despite unclear benefits.
Citations:
Productivity Commission, ‘Regulatory Impact Analysis: Benchmarking,’ Research Report, November 2012: http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/120675/ria-benchmarking.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/Breakout-session-2-Rosalyn%20Bell-RIA-Australia%27s-experience.pdf

https://www.pmc.gov.au/regulation/regulation-impact-analysis-training
Austria
RIAs must be attached to every legislative proposal. The publication of draft laws for public assessment (while previous publication is legally required in many cases, in practice virtually all draft laws are published before they are voted upon) allows stakeholders within the public to comment, a frequent occurrence. Trade unions and economic chambers in particular, but other institutions as well are regularly invited to provide comment on draft laws.

However, RIAs are not written by sectoral experts, but rather by the ministry or department preparing the draft law. As a result, expertise may in some cases be limited to the sectoral expertise of the body preparing the draft law. Currently, there is no independent body that evaluates RIA quality. As the FPÖ is in government for the first time in more than a decade, it is difficult to predict how this will impact RIA procedures.
Bulgaria
With the exception of the assessment of budgetary and environmental impacts of proposed legislation, so far RIA has had a largely formalized nature in Bulgaria. Once a proposed draft has entered the phase of public consultation, civil society and academic actors are able to offer their own assessments, which then become a part of the documentation accompanying the proposal and are available to the public online. There are a number of examples of such assessments, but they encompass a very small proportion of new proposals, and also tend to focus on separate aspects of the potential impact, like economic activity or the environment, rather than the entirety of the situation. Formalism in impact assessments continues, even though the legal framework for impact assessments was reformed in 2016. However, with respect to acts proposed by the Council of Ministers, there seems to be some improvement, especially in the process of consultation with potentially affected parties, and problems mostly concern proposals by individual members of parliament.
Cyprus
The present system of impact assessment took effect in January 2017. All government bodies must implement RIAs. Stakeholders, in particular SMEs, also have a role in the process.

An evaluation of the extent and quality of RIA implementation will be only possible through the 2017 annual report. Public access to submitted RIA documents is not provided and no independent evaluation of the system is foreseen by the current system.
Iceland
The new regulations on cabinet procedures (Reglur um starfshætti ríkisstjórnar), including paragraph 13 about impact assessments of cabinet bills, partly ensure participation, but they are too limited to ensure quality because the methodology is not presented. Stakeholders, other ministries, and the public shall be informed during the process, which is an important step toward transparency.
Citations:
Reglur um starfshætti ríkisstjórnar. Nr. 292/2016 18. mars 2016.
Italy
The RIA process is still in its infancy in Italy. The participation of stakeholders remains limited and is not systematically pursued. The annual reports, which are presented by the Prime Minister’s Office to parliament, indicate a gradual improvement in this field. Communication to the public needs also to be significantly improved. The impact of RIAs on the policymaking process is still insufficient.
Lithuania
The process of regulatory impact assessment does not ensure sufficient participation by relevant stakeholders. According to the OECD, external stakeholders in Lithuania do not see impact assessment as a useful tool, because it provides little room for their feedback or contributions. Although four institutions are tasked with overseeing the quality of impact assessment, the quality of impact assessments is not in fact systematically monitored. Therefore, draft government legislation is checked primarily for legality, with little attention paid to the possible impact of the proposed legislation. Though RIA results are available for decision-making, they are rarely debated or otherwise used in the policy process.

The OECD has issued several recommendations for improving the RIA process, including strengthening quality-oversight monitoring, consolidating oversight of the quality of impact assessment in a single lead institution (the Government Office) and ensuring that stakeholders are consulted in the early phases of the RIA process. In response, the Government Office has reviewed regulation policy, strengthened central coordination capacities and proposed improvements to the RIA process.
Citations:
OECD, Regulatory Policy in Lithuania: Focusing on the Delivery Side, OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform, OECD Publishing, Paris, 2015 http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/regulatory-policy-in-lithuania_9789264239340-en.
Romania
The legislation explicitly states that the RIA process should integrate other impact-assessment methodologies, especially those related to economic- or environmental-impact assessment. The public policy unit, located in the General Secretariat of the Government, is the central RIA coordination unit, and addresses functions such as the improvement of ex ante impact assessments, state-capacity evaluations, and intra-governmental epistemic exchanges. Although the access-to-information legislation stipulating that results should be posted for 30 days on ministerial websites is usually respected, the majority of RIA processes involve stakeholders or transparent methodologies such as public hearings, surveys or debates to only a small degree. Moreover, in practice, RIA exists in many areas mainly on paper and has been primarily aimed at assessing potential legal conflicts arising from new proposals rather than focusing on their policy impact. However, in some areas (such as environmental policy), there has been greater progress toward true policy-based RIA.
Slovakia
The general quality of RIA has slowly improved thanks to the new methodology introduced under the first Fico government and the attention that the Radičová government paid to the issue. However, while a more efficient implementation of RIA, mainly with a view to improving the business environment, has been a declared priority of all Slovak governments, full achievement of this goal has been elusive. Consultations with stakeholders take place, but have become more selective under the second and third Fico government.
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Croatia
In 2011 and 2012, the government’s Legislation Office created a new legislative framework for RIA. It also developed the administrative capacities for implementing RIA procedures and established stable partnerships with representatives of the business community (Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Croatian Employers Association, Croatian Chamber of Crafts, Croatian Banking Association), some civil-society organizations (Croatian Law Center, Croatian Youth Network, Forum for Quality Foster Care, Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development) and unions (Trade Union of Textile, Footwear, Leather and Rubber Industry). However, there is little inclusion of the public in the RIA process and RIAs do not have much impact on regulatory plans. The RIA Act stipulates that the proposed regulatory plan be posted on the official website for a minimum of 15 days. In practice, the attitudes of regulators (ministries, agencies) toward the openness of the policymaking process have varied considerably. Some ministries have opened the entire RIA process to the public, asking stakeholders for feedback to their bill drafts. Other ministries ignore the importance of getting feedback from the public, thereby undermining the effectiveness of the whole RIA project
France
Studies analyzing the impact of RIA have stated that, although the initial skepticism of administrative bodies toward RIA has been overcome, the content of assessments has been too general and often tended to justify the need for action rather than attempt a critical, well-grounded, assessment. In addition, there are few international comparisons when examining possible alternatives. The assessments are conducted by stakeholders with a perspective of fighting for or against a policy measure. Thus, in general, such assessments have little to recommend them. It remains to be seen if the recommendations for conducting independent assessment by the think tank France Stratégie will be followed. A more thorough analysis (“étude d’impact”) is done in case of large public investments (train tracks, highways, airports etc.) and the final decision as well as the process is submitted to judicial control.
Citations:
France Stratége: Comment evaluer l’impact des politiques publiques? Document de travail, 16 September 2016
(http://www.strategie.gouv.fr/publications/evaluer-limpact-politiques-publiques)
Ireland
The accessibility and communication of the RIAs that have been performed are poor and independent quality evaluations are not conducted. RIAs have been required since 2005 for issues that involve changes to the regulatory framework.

The shortcomings and problems that have arisen with regard to the launch of Irish Water illustrate a failure to create transparency and enable participation in the assessment of at least this important project.
Malta
Malta’s policy on regulatory impact assessments (RIA) is still evolving. In some areas, the process of consultation is superficial, based mostly on public reaction to published consultation papers or a dedicated government website created for the purpose. In others it is more sophisticated. When regulations deal with economic or labor issues, consultation prior to implementation is more extensive. In such cases, the government usually consults key economic actors through the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development. Thereby, the RIA process allows for the possibility of informal evaluation by independent bodies. Government has increased consultation and dissemination of information; nonetheless, in small states such as Malta “independent” bodies are generally absent or rare. Furthermore, civil society groups must become more constructive in their assessment and approach to government policies.

Consultation activities were best codified for environmental impact assessments. Guidelines allowed for a more open, transparent and inclusive consultation process. However, in April 2016, the Planning Authority was separated from the Environmental Authority. It remains to be seen what impact this new setup and new mechanisms, for instance the summary procedure, will have on transparency and consultation. In the case of a new plan for Paceville, consultation allegedly occurred after the plan was formatted, leading to claims that plans are made on an ad hoc basis involving only selected interest groups.
Citations:
http://www.mcesd.org.mt/mcesd/conte nt.aspx?id=101553
OECD (2007), “Regulatory Management Capacities of Member States of the EU that Joined the Union on 1 May
2004: Sustaining Regulatory Management Improvements through a Better Regulation Policy,” Sigma Papers, No. 42, OECD Publishing.
https://gov.mt/en/Go vernment/Public%20Consultations/Pag es/Public-Consultations.aspx
Hospital development impact assessment waiver may breach EU law Times of Malta 26/08/2015
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150430/local/mepa-is-seeking-views-of-public-on-stadium.566146
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150511/local/mepa-issues-consultation-document-on-selmun-palace-hotel.567744
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160404/local/mepa-becomes-the-planning-authority-once-more.607804
More development to be included in planning process, Times of Malta 19/04/2016
A Master Plan in Reverse Times of Malta 10/10/2016
Spain
RIA analyses in Spain are quite new (see “RIA Application”), and their use to date has largely been focused on administrative simplification and better-regulation programs. The gradual introduction of RIAs since 2009 has resulted in a general template (reinforced by the new law on the common administrative procedure passed in October 2015), which is to be applied across content areas. This emphasizes that draft legislation must address economic and budgetary considerations as well as any other relevant aspects of impact (such as environmental impact, gender-equality concerns, and any possible effects on disabled people).

This process has not been very successful in eliciting participation by stakeholders (through consultation or collaboration, transparent communication of results to the public, or the effective and regular evaluation of assessments by an independent body). In some instances, RIA procedures have been efficiently used; in others, it seems to have been merely a formal requirement fulfilled by the department preparing the bill.
Citations:
August 2017, Cinco Días: “Aeval y su muerte anunciada”
https://cincodias.elpai s.com/cincodias/2017/08/04/midinero /1501857354_174399.html
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Israel
Although the government’s RIA process is still in infancy, an evaluation of its quality can already be made. The governmental RIA guide for regulators includes the requirements both of citizen participation (e.g., the regulator can choose from an array of methods such as informational sessions, hearings and consultation) and transparency (e.g., the assessment and the regulatory policy chosen must be published). This derives directly from governmental decision 2118, which identifies collaboration with “as many stakeholders as possible” and publication of the assessments as primary goals.
However, independent evaluations of RIA assessment quality are not yet either standard or required.
Citations:
Government decision 2118, 22.10.2014, PMO website, http://www.pmo.gov.il/policyplanning/Regulation/Documents/dec2118.pdf

Governmental RIA Guide, April 2015, PMO website: http://regulation.gov.il/uploads/reports/7/RIAGUIDE_opt.pdf
Turkey
During the period under review, the regulatory impact assessment (RIAs) requirement did not help improve the quality of proposed government legislation. Instead, the government more often than not drafted and adopted legislation without the appropriate consultation of NGOs or other stakeholders; not to mention the government’s de facto surpassing of the parliament under its state of emergency powers.
Citations:
Dr. Sibel Güven, Türkiye’de Düzenleyici Etki Analizi (DEA) Uygulamaları Neden İstenen Düzeyde Değil? TEPAV,
Ankara, Ocak 2011.
Technical Assistance Service for IPPC – Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control in Turkey, Draft Regulatory Impact Assessment, June 2013, http://www.csb.gov.tr/db/ippceng/webmenu/webmenu9986.pdf (accessed 5 November 2014).
EKÖK “Entegre KirlilikÖnleme ve Kontrol” Teknik Yardım Hizmeti, Haziran 2013.
http://www.csb.gov.tr/db/ipp c/icerikbelge/icerikbelge1631.pdf
 
RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
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Greece
Law 4048/2012 established the RIA framework. According to Article 7 “every bill, addition or amendment and every normative decision of major economic or social importance shall by accompanied by an impact assessment.” However, five years later, RIA analyses are rare and were not undertaken in the period under review.
Citations:
OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Greece, 2014.
Hungary
The quality of the RIA process in Hungary has always been poor, since the stakeholder participation is usually lacking. While rhetorically emphasized in many official documents, the very idea of consultation has been alien to the Orbán governments. RIA performance has rarely or only partially made available to political actors on the special website for RIA (hatasvizsgalat.kormany.hu).
Luxembourg
An open and consultative regulatory impact assessment (RIA) process does not exist. The procedure requires an interministerial exchange between governmental departments and coordination groups, including a consultation of experts. Impact assessment data originates from internal ministry documents, which may be consulted by the state Council of Ministers and parliamentary members.

Due to administrative simplification efforts in recent years, the government has decided to run two public platforms, www.einfach.lu and www.vosidees.lu, offering all necessary information and details on the impact of ongoing reform programs. As in most OECD countries, there is no risk management in the formal process of developing harmonized standards. RIAs are not evaluated by an independent body.

Since the general introduction of RIAs in 2009, there has been progress in transparency and civil society participation. Nevertheless, efforts should be made to further increase the involvement of stakeholders.
Citations:
Building an Institutional Framework for Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA): Guidance for Policy Makers. OECD, 2008. www.oecd.org/regreform/regulatory-policy/40984990.pdf. Accessed 30 Dec. 2017.

“Modernisation de l’État.” Portal de la Fonction publique, www.fonction-publique.public.lu/fr/modernisation-etat/index.html. Accessed 30 Dec. 2017.

OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2015. OECD, 2015. www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2015_9789264238770-en. Accessed 30 Dec. 2017.

“Plateforme interministérielle.” Portal de la Fonction publique, www.fonction-publique.public.lu/fr/support/recherche/index.php?q=plateforme+interministerielle. Accessed 30 Dec. 2017.

“Présentation du programme “Einfach Lëtzebuerg.” Ministère de la Fonction Publique 2017. www.fonction-publique.public.lu/fr/actualites/articles-actualites/2017/04/20170403_Einfach-Letzebuerg/Presentation-ELconference03042017.pdf. Accessed 30 Dec. 2017.

Promoting inclusive growth through better regulation. The role of regulatory impact assessment. OECD, 2015. www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=GOV/RPC%282015%294&docLanguage=En. Accessed 30 Dec. 2017.
Poland
The quality of the RIA process has strongly declined under the PiS government. The involvement of stakeholders and the publication and communication of results have become rather selective, and there has been no independent body in charge of checking the quality of individual RIAs.
Portugal
As noted above, systematic RIA does not exist in Portugal. Stakeholder consultation does generally take place, albeit inconsistently and without full participation by all relevant stakeholders. Impact-assessment results are not generally made publicly available or systematically communicated. There are no evaluations of impact-assessment quality rendered by independent bodies.
Slovenia
The RIA process in Slovenia suffers from several weaknesses. First, public participation fails to meet the legal standards. Second, the conducted RIAs are only rarely made public. Third, quality control is limited. RIA oversight is divided among several agencies; however, supervising agencies largely check for formal correctness, without addressing substantive quality.
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Belgium
There is no formal regulatory impact assessment process in Belgium. This has sometimes led to biased and costly public investment decisions.
Citations:
http://www.lesoir.be/1351413/article/actualite/regions/bruxelles/2016-10-25/un-organe-controle-independant-pour-decider-des-orientations-stib
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