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.
10
---
---
9
Czechia
Consultation with stakeholders is an essential part of the RIA process. In principle, all those who are affected by new legislation can express their views in advance. The parties concerned may include, among others, public authorities, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations or business entities. Czechia is one of the few countries featuring an independent RIA Board. In place since 2011, this board consists of 16 external experts, and is chaired by an environmental economist. In 2018, it met 13 times. Affiliated with the Government Legislative Council, it 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.
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.
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) works with a large number of different actors on various levels of the administration. Its cooperation with German states and local authorities has also intensified, in particular through the development of methodological standards for assessing compliance costs.

In its 2018 annual report, the NKR stated that the comprehensive measure of compliance costs had peaked in 2017, with costs declining by €880 million in 2018. In 2019, this tendency reversed, and compliance costs increased again by €831 million. This increase was mainly caused by the implementation of new legislation against illegal employment and misuse of welfare benefits (Normenkontrollrat 2019).

The NKR has stated critically that digitalization processes in Germany’s public administrations lag significantly behind those in other European countries, and that valuable opportunities for further cost reduction are thus being squandered.

The new “one-in one-out” rule, introduced in 2015, is intended to reduce the financial burdens imposed on enterprises. This rule means that all new costs for enterprises and state bureaucracy (the “ins”) have to be compensated for by additional regulations reducing costs by at least the same amount (the “outs”). In 2017, this rule reduced aggregate costs for enterprises by about €302 million; in 2018, between March and December, enterprises were released from additional net costs of €129 million (Bundesregierung 2019).

Summing up, the NKR’s monitoring and quantification exercises have significantly increased awareness of the bureaucratic burdens associated with legislation for companies, private households and the public administration itself.
Citations:
Bundesregierung (2019):
https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/aktuelles/bessere-werkzeuge-fuer-besseres-recht-1638954

Normenkontrollrat (2019): Jahresbericht des Normenkontrollrates:
https://www.normenkontrollrat.bund.de/nkr-de/aktuelles/nationaler-normenkontrollrat-legt-jahresbericht-2019-und-gutachten-erst-der-inhalt-dann-die-paragrafen-vor-1680502
 
The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
8
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 annual review for 2017 assessment, the Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact noted that although guidelines for drafting laws were available, the guidelines tended to be somewhat inconsistent and overlapping. In its corresponding report for 2018, the Council noted that the quality of impact assessments had improved, but also pointed out that more resources were needed in order to strengthen ministries’ expertise in drafting legislation.
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
“Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis: Annual Review 2017.”, https://vnk.fi/documents/10616/7861578/Finnish+Council+of+Regulatory+Impact+Analysis+Annual+Review+207/
“Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis Annual Review 2018,” http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-772-7”
New Zealand
The New Zealand Treasury periodically commissions independent reviews of the quality of RIA. Based on these reviews, the RIA system has been refined over time. The approach adopted has a strong emphasis on a regulatory impact statement (RIS) being embedded as part of a good policy development process rather than being a compliance requirement to be hurdled at the end of the policy development process. RIS are now produced for all substantive government bills and are widely accepted by departments, although systematic evidence on their use by ministers and parliamentarians is lacking.

The major development in the period after 2008 was the introduction of statutory expectations for departmental chief executives concerning regulatory stewardship. Treasury has been proactive in developing guidance for the new regulatory stewardship provisions applying to departmental chief executives. Moreover as part of the government’s response in 2015 to the Productivity Commission Inquiry, departments are now required to publicly disclose their strategies and systems for meeting their regulatory stewardship expectations. These requirements are works in process.

The quality of RISs, while improving, remains unclear. The Treasury’s RIS on the proposed Regulatory Responsibility Act commented “We all know that the analysis we see in Regulatory Impact Statements (RISs) is often not of the highest standard and as a consequence is little used or valued” (Ayto 2011). The Treasury estimates that in 2012 only 62% of RIAs fully met cabinet requirements and subsequent reviews “suggest that the quality of RISs has not improved” (Sapere Research Group 2015).

In 2019, the Treasury issued new regulatory impact assessment guidelines and requirements for broader impact analysis (NZ Treasury 2019a; NZ Treasury, 2019b).
Citations:
Gill, Derek 2016. Regulatory Coherence: The Case of New Zealand. ERIA Discussion Paper Series 2016-12. Wellington: University of Wellington.
Ayto, Jonathan 2011. Regulatory Impact Statement: Regulating for Better legislation – What is the Potential of a Regulatory Responsibility Act? https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2011-03/ris-tsy-rbr-mar11.pdf
Sapere Research Group. 2015. Regulatory Impact Analysis Evaluation 2015. Report Prepared for the Treasury. http://www.srgexpert.com/publications/our-people-publicat-547/
OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2015 Country profile New Zealand. https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/New%20Zealand-web.pdf
NZ Treasury, 2019a. https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2019-12/guide-cabinet-impact-analysis-requirements.pdf
NZ Treasury, 2019b. https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/regulation/impact-analysis-requirements-regulatory-proposals
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.
Netherlands
RIAs are obliged to identify one or several alternatives to the option chosen by an initiator. According to Advisory Board on Administrative Burden Reduction (ATR) 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 ATR as an independent body for evaluation has been changed to a legally established permanent advisory body.

Stakeholders and interested parties, typically including semi-public bodies and the lobbyists for commercial and/or professional associations (e.g., representing SMEs, social- and medical-care professionals, or farmers), are generally consulted in the intra- or interministerial preparation of bills and policy proposals. Before a draft is passed onto the Council of Ministers, a proposal has to pass a wide range of quality tests, for example regarding budgetary effects, business effects, administrative-burden effects, and societal and environmental effects. After the proposal passes the administrative-burden test, the ATR (as a semi-independent watchdog) scrutinizes it once again. In some cases, departments publicize a draft bill as part of an e-consultation process to solicit feedback from citizens, but this practice is exceptional.

Given the continued and widespread complaints about regulatory burdens (e.g., by dentists, general practitioners, youth workers, nurses, farmers and shopkeepers, to mention just a few), there is some question as to the effectiveness of regulatory-burden-reduction campaigns and the efficacy of the ATR as an independent watchdog.
Citations:
W. Voermans et al., 2012. Legislative processes in transition, Leiden University (open access.leideuniv.nl, accessed 31 October 2018)

Staatscourant nr. 29814, 29 Mei 2017, Besluit van 17 mei 2017, nr. 2017000809, houdende instelling van het Adviescollege toetsing regeldruk

V. Bekkers and A. Edwards, 2018. The role of social media in the policy process, in H. Colebatch and R. Hoppe (eds.), Handbook of Policy, Process and Governing, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar

De Volkskrant, 30 September 2019. Drrie redenen waarom regeldruk de zorg blijft teisteren. (volkskrant.nl, accessed 8 November 2019)
7
Canada
The quality of regulatory impact assessment in Canada has arguably improved under the new Impact Assessment Act, passed in 2019.
The new legislation expands assessments beyond the environmental effects of a designated project to include impacts on social and health systems, on the economy, and on Indigenous peoples, in each case considering current and future generations. A determination of whether a designated project should go ahead requires a consideration of whether it is in the public interest, of how it impacts on sustainability, and whether it will facilitate or hamper the federal government’s climate-change commitments. The IAA established the new Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, which is now responsible for conducting RIAs. Additionally, it increases the scope of public participation in the conduct of RIAs, beginning with a new early-planning phase, and is aimed at significantly increasing participation by Indigenous groups and expanding consideration of the impact a project may have on Indigenous groups and peoples.

RIA results are accessible under Freedom of Information provisions. However, there is little evaluation of the quality of RIAs by independent bodies.
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 bothersome 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): https://lvportals.lv/dienaskartiba/255276-vienkarsos-tiesibu-aktu-projektu-anotacijas-un-uzlabos-to-satura-kvalitati-2013, Last assessed: 05.11.2019
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, CONAMER (and its predecessor, COFEMER), is responsible to an interdepartmental committee that ultimately reports to the Ministry of Economy. CONAMER 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 the new law on regulation in 2018. It can prevent new regulations from coming into force until the consultation process is complete. CONAMER 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/CONAMER has played a significant role in Mexico’s pro-competitive policy. Its annual reports are publicly available and provide critical assessments on regulatory projects. While input and output are clearly visible, the outcome of the RIA process cannot be assessed so far.
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. Sweden scores somewhat below the OECD average in terms of stakeholder engagement in developing regulation.

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.

The increasing number of inspections agencies created specifically to review and evaluate the performance of other agencies in areas such as healthcare and social insurance is likely to strengthen quality evaluation and transparency.
Citations:
OECD (2019), Indicators of regulatory policy and governance. Europe 2019. Sweden (Paris: OECD).
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 show 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.
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. 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 seem to have been permanently ignored in the planning and execution of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Citations:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/regulatory-policy-committee/about#rpc-guidance-and-training
6
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.

The ÖVP-FPÖ coalition – in power for only about 18 months – had no formal impact on the procedure. But it must be concluded that the chancellor’s system of “message control” reduces the autonomy of government ministers and ministries to formulate policies without the consent of the chancellor and his deputy.
Chile
Given the partly 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 medium or long term. As stated in Regulatory Impact Assessment published by the OECD in 2017, there is no standardized practice for regulatory consultations, for instance with regard to the length, scope, timing and procedural mechanisms. 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

OECD (2017), Reviews of Regulatory Reform
Evaluation Report: Regulatory Impact
Assessment (Chile)
http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/Chile-Evaluation-Full-Report-web.pdf
South Korea
The Regulatory Reform Committee (RRC) is the primary institution overseeing the RIA process. Stakeholders are consulted during the RIA process, which includes regular meetings with foreign chambers of commerce, for example. 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. The e-Legislation Center gives the general public the opportunity to propose a bill, submit opinions on regulatory bills or request clarification of how laws have been interpreted. However, RIA committees are often criticized for not being fully autonomous and for being influenced by political and economic interests. Divergent interests and voices from business circles and radical labor organizations are big obstacles in implementing RIA. Other criticisms offered by the OECD include a lack of sufficient time to carry out assessments, insufficient staff, and a lack of expertise and financial resources. The OECD also recommended that the scope of civil society participation in the RRC be widened, and that the committee’s steering capacity be strengthened rather than allowing it to micromanage RIA processes.
Citations:
OECD, 2017. OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform Regulatory Policy in Korea: Toward Better Regulation. May 23, 2017.
OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2018_97 89264303072-en#page208
www.better.go.kr/zz.main.PortalMain.laf
www.lawmaking.go.kr
 
The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
5
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 (OBPR) within the Department of Finance and Deregulation, which administers both the federal government and the 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 OBPR uses a number of “adequacy criteria” to assess whether a RIS contains the appropriate levels of information and analysis.

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 COAG, and identifying best practices. Findings of major concern from the report include the following: a number of proposals with highly significant impacts were either exempted from RIA processes or were not rigorously analyzed; public consultation on policy development was often perfunctory or occurred 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
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 are subsequently filed with the proposal and made available to the public online. The legal framework for impact assessments was reformed in 2016. The methodology used both for acts of parliament and Council of Ministers decisions has been completed and published. In 2018, 22 full assessments were performed for new proposed laws in parliament, double the amount conducted in 2017. However, the overall number of full and partial assessments together decreased by 16% from 410 to 345.
Citations:
Administration of the Council of Ministers (2019): Impact assessment: annual report for 2018 (in Bulgarian). Sofia (http://strategy.bg/FileHandler.ashx?fileId=16640).

Institute for Public Administration (2018): Methodology for ex ante impact assessment of normative acts and programs (in Bulgarian). Sofia (https://www.ipa.government.bg/sites/default/files/metodika_korektura_all.pdf).
Cyprus
The OECD’s 2019 RIA report points to reduced human resources that affect implementation and monitoring. Some gaps in implementation and monitoring occurred in 2018 during the period when responsibilities were transferred from the dissolved Unit for Administrative Reform to the Department of Public Administration and Personnel. The report highlights the successful introduction of SME impact assessments of new legislation and the growing number of training workshops.

Thus far, the impact of better regulation efforts remains clear. At present, stakeholder participation is more effectively implemented when SMEs are concerned. Improvements in RIA assessment procedures, participation and forms of evaluation are in the process of being institutionalized through processes and working groups.
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, stakeholder involvement needs to be improved. 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.
Iceland
The regulations on cabinet procedures (Reglur um starfshætti ríkisstjórnar) from 2016, including paragraph 13 about impact assessments of cabinet bills, partly ensure participation. The methodology for these impact assessments was approved by the cabinet of Benediktsson in March 2017. 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.

SAMÞYKKT RÍKISSTJÓRNARINNAR um undirbúning og frágang stjórnarfrumvarpa og stjórnartillagna, sbr. 9. gr. reglna um starfshætti ríkisstjórnar. 10 mars 2017.
https://www.stjornarradid.is/media/forsaetisraduneyti-media/media/frettir2/Sam thykkt-rikisstjornar-um-stjornarskjol-10-mars-2017.pdf. Accessed 22 December 2018.
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 principle of proportionality is not applied as major political initiatives are raised without proper impact assessments.

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. It remains to be seen whether the new Government Strategic Analysis (STRATA) will improve the quality of regulatory impact assessment in the country.
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
Romanian law stipulates that RIAs, along with proposed regulations, must be published for at least 30 days on the ministerial websites, and this obligation is usually respected. Only a select few stakeholers are regularly involved in the RIA process. Public consultations are largely online (which is problematic given unequal internet access within the country) with a short time-frame for input, while in-person consultations tend to be informal and, as a result, risk being subject to regulatory capture. Other ministries are not systematically involved in the RIA process. While the RIA process as a whole has been reviewed by the OECD as well as the World Bank, there are no regular independent quality evaluations of individual RIA assessments.
Slovakia
Procedures for public consultations in the later stage of the regulation-making process are well developed, and include the automatic publication of all legislative documents on the government portal. However, the strong focus of Slovak RIA on the impact on the business sector means that business associations are involved in the process more strongly than other stakeholders. Quality control suffers from fragmentation. In the Permanent Working Committee of the Legislative Council, four ministries are involved in checking the quality of regulatory impact assessments (Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family), with the Economic Analysis Division of the Ministry of Economy playing a coordinating role. While the creation of this committee has led to some improvement, the RIA process would further benefit from making one central government body responsible for evaluating integrated impacts rather than spreading the responsibility across several ministries.
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. 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 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 also reported benefits eight times higher.

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. The Trump administration has focused on repealing regulations opposed by business groups, mostly without substantial analytic effort.

In the United States, RIA are based primarily on a presidential order or decree like the one issued by President Trump shortly after he was inaugurated on January 30, 2017, reading “it is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”
Before the end of the current observation period (late 2019), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) was proposing to update its regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These updated regulations are designed to advance the original goals of CEQ regulations such as reducing paperwork and delays, and ensuring that decisions are consistent with the national environmental policy set forth in section 101 of the NEPA.
Citations:
Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, Issued on: January 30, 2017, https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-executive-order-reducing-regulation-controlling-regulatory-costs/
Federal Register January 10, 2020: Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/01/10/2019-28106/update-to-the-regulations-implementing-the-procedural-provisions-of-the-national-environmental
4
Croatia
In Croatia, there is no independent body that evaluates RIA assessments on a regular basis. However, 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) provide for the involvement of stakeholders. The openness of the RIA process and the transparency of RIA results differ among ministries. 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. The public itself does not seem to be very interested in the RIA process. It often questions its necessity and mocks it.
France
Studies analyzing the impact of RIA have stated that although administrative bodies’ have overcome their initial skepticism toward RIA, the content of assessments has been too general, and has often tended to justify the need for action rather than attempting a critical, well-grounded assessment. In addition, there are few international comparisons when examining possible alternatives. The assessments are conducted by stakeholders that are typically fighting for or against a given policy measure. Thus, such assessments in general have little to recommend them. It remains to be seen whether 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 (rail lines, highways, airports etc.), and the final decision as well as the process is subject to judicial oversight. Too often the experts in charge of evaluating are chosen ad personam and in a discretionary fashion. The hidden purpose and expectations are that their assessment will be in line with the preferences of the politicians in charge. A comparative study of RIA practices over the last 20 years confirms France’s rather poor ranking, and suggests that this is attributable to the lack of an RIA culture, insufficient training for administrative elites, a lack of political will and the feeble role of parliament in RIA matters.
Citations:
France Stratégie: Comment évaluer l’impact des politiques publiques? Document de travail, 16 September 2016
(http://www.strategie.gouv.fr/publications/evaluer-limpact-politiques-publiques)
France Stratégie: Vingt ans d’évaluations d’impact en France et en étranger. Analyse quantitative de la production scientifique, Paris, December 2018 (https://www.strategie.gouv.fr/sites/strategie.gouv.fr/files/atoms/files/fs-dt-impact-politiques-publiques-decembre-2018.pdf)
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.
Israel
Israel has recently improved its stakeholder engagement in the regulatory process. In 2017, an OECD report stated that Israel needed to improve its stakeholder engagement processes. However, in 2018, the OECD Regulatory Report Outlook ranked Israel as one of the top four countries with regards to regulatory improvements, with a particularly substantial improvement in public and stakeholder participation and collaboration in RIAs.

Most RIAs conducted between 2016 and 2019 provided an opportunity for the public and other stakeholders to participate in the regulatory process. Since 2016, 68 RIAs, ranging in length and depth, have been published by government ministries. In addition, RIA reports were published following the conclusion of the process, ensuring transparency. The government also initiated a new group, comprising the Israeli Democracy Institute (IDI) and public sector officials, which aims to improve the quality of regulation and better achieve regulatory policies on the basis of transparent criteria.

In 2018, the government established a new resolution that further emphasized the importance of RIAs and proposed some changes to the process. According to this, the Prime Minister’s Office has access to all the RIAs submitted for review by each ministry and all RIAs are published online. In terms of parliament’s involvement, the resolution stated that – for those regulations that must be approved by the Knesset or one of its committees – the proposals must be submitted to the parliament for approval with an RIA attached. In its acknowledgment that the parliament should supervise RIAs, the new resolution has established an oversight channel for the parliament and a method to further the regulatory policy process.
Citations:
“Improving regulation in Israel and easing the burden of bureaucracy Proposal for a multi-year program“, Israeli Democracy Institute (Hebrew):
https://www.idi.org.il/media/8867/streamlining-regulation-in-israel-and-easing-the-bureaucratic-burden-proposal-for-a-multi-year-program.pdf

“OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018“, OECD WEBSITE, 2018:
https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/9789264303072-en.pdf?expires=1540849342&id=id&accname=ocid195467&checksum=2F91C900404B34AA4EE7659685539C79

RIA Report data, Government Regulation Website, 2018 (Hebrew): http://regulation.gov.il/RIA_REP

The Knesset, Parliament involvement with RIA – Comparative Analysis, 2019 (Hebrew):
https://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/Oversight/Documents/ParliamentLnvolvementRIA2703.pdf
Malta
Malta’s policy on regulatory impact assessments (RIA) is taking slow steps forward. Stakeholder engagement is not required by law when defining a negotiating position for EU directives/regulations, but is required when transposing EU directives. Stakeholder engagement is currently required for all subordinate regulations as part of the RIA process, as well as for some primary laws in selected policy areas. Recent better-regulation initiatives have been targeted at improving the accessibility of the regulatory process, for example through the introduction of a central portal for online consultations. Each online consultation is accompanied by a feedback report that summarizes the views of participants and provides feedback on the comments received. However the transparency of the Maltese regulatory framework could be further strengthened by making RIAs available for consultations with stakeholders While consultation remains superficial in some areas, a more sophisticated reaction from the public has led to more robust consultation with stakeholders. Indeed, the number of policies implemented without strong consultation is diminishing rapidly. Previously, consultation prior to implementation was commonly extensive when regulations dealt with economic or labor issues; this practice has now increasingly been extended to social issues. The government has thus increased its consultation frequency and expanded its dissemination of information; nonetheless, in small states such as Malta, truly “independent” bodies are generally absent or rare. Furthermore, civil society groups must become more proactive if they are to help shape policies during the formulation stage.

Consultation activities have been codified to support environmental impact assessments. Guidelines initially allowed for an open, transparent and inclusive consultation process. However, in April 2016, the Planning Authority was separated from the Environmental Authority, a reform that may have confused this process. Critics have also charged that consultation sometimes involves only selected interest groups. Overall, because of the extensive developments taking place in Malta, this area requires serious study. In 2018, stakeholder engagement in the process of developing regulations was on par with the OECD average. In 2020, the government launched a €450,000 project to improve the Environmental Resource Authority’s regulatory process.
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
Malta Independent 04/02/20 450,000 euro project launched to strengthen ERA regulatory process
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 since 2016 by the law on the common administrative procedure), 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.

The Office on Regulatory Coordination and Quality within the Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Parliament and Equality was established in 2017 and became active in 2018. The office is specifically mandated to oversee the implementation of Better Regulation requirements, namely by examining the content of RIAs and ex post evaluations. However, reinforcing the degree to which this institute cooperates with other agencies (e.g., the Office for the Execution of Administrative Reform or the Independent Fiscal Accountability Authority) would increase the impact of short-term and long-term evaluations.
Citations:
Círculo de Empresarios (2018), La calidad de las instituciones en España. https://circulodeempresarios.org/app/uploads/2018/04/Calidad-insti-CdE-WEB.pdf
3
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 (typically with a delay of one or two years), 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.
 
RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
2
Belgium
Regulatory impact assessments are compulsory, but seem to be treated as a formality for many important government decisions. There are however interesting and valuable exceptions, such as for the possibility of adding a fourth mobile phone operator in Belgium.
Citations:
http://www.lesoir.be/1351413/article/actualite/regions/bruxelles/2016-10-25/un-organe-controle-independant-pour-decider-des-orientations-stib
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, no RIA has been undertaken since the law was passed. RIAs are supposed to be submitted to the Better Regulation Office.
Citations:
OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Greece, 2014.
Hungary
The quality of the RIA process in Hungary has been poor. Stakeholder participation is usually lacking, since the very idea of consultation has been alien to the Orbán governments. There is no independent evaluation of RIA assessments, and findings are rarely or only partially made available to political actors on the special website for RIA (hatasvizsgalat.kormany.hu).
Luxembourg
No open and consultative regulatory impact assessment (RIA) process is currently in place. The procedure requires an interministerial exchange between governmental departments and coordination groups, including the 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, which offer all necessary information and details on the impact of ongoing reform programs. As in most OECD countries, the formal process of developing harmonized standards does not include risk-management procedures. RIAs are not evaluated by an independent body.

Since the general introduction of RIAs in 2009, progress has been made with regard to transparency and civil society participation. Nevertheless, efforts should be made to increase the involvement of stakeholders further.
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 23 Oct. 2019.
Bossaert, Danielle: How size matters. The constraints and opportunities of public administration in Luxembourg. In: forum, 2019, no. 394, pp. 39 - 43.
Simplification administrative – Einfach. https://fonction-publique.public.lu/fr/principes-valeurs/einfach.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2019.
Poland
The quality of the RIA process has strongly declined under the PiS government. Legally, stakeholders are required to be involved, and results must be publicized and communicated; however, such efforts have become rather selective. The quality of individual RIAs is evaluated by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, not by an independent body.
Portugal
Regarding the “Quanto Custa?” trial, the OECD remarked on the need for greater stakeholder involvement. Impact-assessment results are not generally made publicly available or systematically communicated. There are, however, evaluations of impact-assessment quality rendered by the OECD. Though how frequently these are undertaken is unclear.
Slovenia
The RIA process in Slovenia suffers from several weaknesses. First, public participation often fails to meet the legal standards. Second, the conducted RIAs are rarely made public, if ever. Third, quality control is limited. RIA oversight is divided among several agencies; however, supervising agencies largely check for formal and legal correctness, without addressing substantive quality.
Turkey
In the past years, several chambers of industry conducted EU-funded RIA projects. The technical assistance project for the implementation of the EU Regulation Concerning the Export and Import of Hazardous Chemicals was conducted by several Turkish chambers of industry, including Balıkesir, Kayseri and Kocaeli. The European Union also funded the technical assistance project for Capacity-Building and Support to the Preparation of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for Decoupled Agricultural Support, which supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in preparing a strategy to align national agricultural policies with the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in late 2018.

During the period under review, the regulatory impact assessment (RIAs) requirement did not help improve the quality of proposed government legislation. Instead, the government simply organized more preparatory workshops and projects with EU support.
Citations:
M. Önder, “Mevzuat Yapımında Düzenleyici Etki Analizi ve Uygulama Sorunları,” Türk İdare Dergisi, 89 (485) 2017: 771-810.

F. Karcı-Sarı, Düzenleyici Etki Analizi ve Uygulama Örnekleri, Uzmanlık Tezi, Ankara, 2017.

Technical Assistance Service for IPPC – Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control in Turkey, Draft Regulatory Impact Assessment, 2015, https://webdosya.csb.gov.tr/db/pops/editordosya/SIA%20Report%20-%20Final%20EN.pd f (accessed 1 November 2018).

“Agricultural policymaking within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has been strengthened, ” 11 November 2018, https://www.avrupa.info.tr/en/pr/agricultural-policy-making-within-ministry-agri culture-and-forestry-has-been-strengthened-8960 (accessed 1 November 2019)
1
---
---
Back to Top