Evidence-based Instruments

 

To what extent does the government assess the potential impacts of existing and prepared legal acts (regulatory impact assessments, RIA)?

EUOECD
 
RIA are applied to all new regulations and to existing regulations which are characterized by complex impact paths. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
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New Zealand
New Zealand introduced a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) regime in the period 1997-2008. The National Party government introduced guidelines in late 2009, with the effect that RIAs are systematically undertaken for any policy activity involving options that may result in a paper being submitted to the cabinet and may accordingly lead to draft legislation. This aims at restricting new regulations to those that the government sees as necessary, sensible and robust, while avoiding regulations that are ineffective and costly. The Labour-NZ First coalition implemented a number of routine updates and amendments to the legal framework.

Treasury assumes a lead role on regulatory management. It is the national coordinating body on regulatory management, tasked with oversight of regulatory systems, including regulatory impact statements (RISs) and regulatory policy, that reports to the minister of finance and the minister for regulatory reform. The Parliamentary Counsel Office has the statutory function to develop all drafting instructions (other than for tax law). There are five other institutions that play important roles: Legislation Design and Advisory Committee; The Law Commission; The Productivity Commission; the Parliamentary Select Committees; and the Parliamentary Regulatory Review Committee.
Citations:
Cabinet Office Circular CO (09) 8: Regulatory Impact Analysis Requirements: New Guidance (Wellington: Cabinet Office 2009).
Regulatory Impact Analysis Handbook (Wellington: The Treasury 2013).
New Zealand’s Regulatory Management System: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/regulation/system
Gill, Derek 2016. Rgulatory Coherence: The Case of New Zealand. ERIA Discussion Paper Series 2016-12. Wellington: University of Wellington.
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Finland
Systematic impact assessment is today a routine part of the Finnish legislative drafting process. Regulatory impact assessment activities have comprised, for instance, a series of evaluation reports by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that deal with principles of development policy, partner countries and geographic regions. Furthermore, assessments have investigated the activities of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and an international evaluation of the Finnish national innovation system, commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, has been performed. The general framework for regulatory impact assessments is grounded in a program-management system governing intersectoral policy programs. This framework was initiated in 2007 and is still valid as a guide to impact assessment. An independent Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis was established in December 2015 at the Prime Minister’s Office as part of the Sipilä government’s program. The Council is responsible for issuing statements on government proposals and on their regulatory impact assessments. In April 2019, the government appointed the second term of the Council (April 2019 to April 2022). The Council considered 30 draft government proposals in 2017, and 27 in 2018. The verdict has not been favorable as regards the overall quality of lawmaking, as the Council has found impact assessments to have been deficient in a significant proportion of proposals.
Citations:
“Impact Assessment in Legislative Drafting. Guidelines,” Ministry of Justice, Finland. Publication 2008:4;
Auri Pakarinen, Jyrki Tala and Laura Hämynen, “Regulatory Impact Assessment in the Finnish Government’s Proposals in 2009,” National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Research Communications no. 104;
“Better Regulation,” Helsinki, Ministry of Justice, 2014; http://oikeusministerio.fi/en/index/basicprovisions/legis;lation/parempisaantely.html
Prime Minister’s Office, Finland: “Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis,” http://vnk.fi/en/council-of-regulatory-impact-analysis.
“Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis Annual Review 2018,” http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-772-7”
Netherlands
In the Netherlands, RIAs are broadly and effectively applied in two fields: environmental-impact assessments (EIMs) and administrative-burden-reduction assessments (ABRAs).

Environmental impact assessments are legally prescribed for projects (e.g., infrastructure, water management, tourism, rural projects, garbage processing, energy and industry) with foreseeable large environmental impacts. Initiators of such projects are obliged to produce an environmental impact report that specifies the environmental impacts of the intended project and activities and includes major alternatives. Environmental research and multi-criteria analysis are the standard methods used.

The development of a method for ex ante evaluation of intended legislation regarding compliance costs to business and citizens was entrusted in 1998 to an ad hoc, temporary, but independent advisory commission called the Advisory Board on Administrative Burden Reduction (ACTAL). In 2011, some policymakers suggested that ACTAL become a permanent rather than temporary body. The policy philosophy on administrative regulation was at that time already shifting from (always negative) “burden reduction” to (prudentially positive and strategic) “appropriate regulation.” After evaluating its impact, the government decided in 2017 that ACTAL would be succeeded by a formal advisory body, the Advisory Body on Assessment of Regulatory Burdens (Adviescollege Toetsing Regeldruk, ATR). At present, the ATR is involved in assessing a large number of regulations concerning topics such as small and medium-sized enterprises, social care, education and EU regulations.

Meanwhile, the Dutch government has been developing an integrated impact assessment framework for policy and legislation, which ought to be applied by every Dutch civil servant preparing policy documents for ministerial decision-making.
Citations:
Milieueffectrapportage (nl.m.wikipedia.org, consulted 26 October 2014)

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

Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid, Kenniscentrum Wetgeving en Juridische Zaken, Integraal afwegingskader voor beleid en regelgeving, 16 October 2018 (accessed 31 October 2018)

ATR, Naar betere regels. Lessen uit 17 jaar Actal (air-regeldruk.nl, accessed 8 November 2019)
 
RIA are applied systematically to most new regulations. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
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Australia
The federal government and the state and territory governments require the preparation of regulation impact statements (RIS) for significant regulatory proposals. An RIS provides a formal assessment of the costs and benefits of a regulatory proposal and alternative options for that proposal, followed by a recommendation supporting the most effective and efficient option. RISs are thus not assessments of the socioeconomic impacts of regulatory proposals, although such impacts are implicitly taken into account as part of the process. In recent years, while 75% to 85% of all Australian government proposals with “significant” impacts were subject to an RIS, this proportion was lower for proposals with “highly significant” impacts.

Since many government functions and responsibilities are shared between the federal government and the states, these shared activities are coordinated through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), which is the body that brings the federal and state governments together to decide policy. The procedures for the preparation of RIS proposals differ between the federal government and the COAG. Most states and territories have their own requirements for RISs that apply where a regulation will have effect in only a single state or territory. At the federal level, RISs are managed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation, which is part of the Department of Finance and Deregulation.
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/publications/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2015-9789264238770-en.htm

https://www.pmc.gov.au/regulation/developing-regulation-impact-statement

https://ris.pmc.gov.au/
Austria
Under the federal budget law, the government and its ministries are obliged to assess the impact of legislative proposals with respect to the public budget and on the basis of financial, economic, environmental, consumer-protection and employment issues. In addition, in order to avoid overregulation, the government’s legislative proposals must be assessed regarding their regulatory impact. Other detailed regulatory impact assessment (RIA) requirements exist in further decrees.

The results of RIA studies are published in the preface to each legislative proposal. In Austria, RIA is a very recently established, but nonetheless a rapidly evolving tool for legislators and parliamentarians. With the 2013 reform, RIA can now be considered an important component of the country’s legislative process. But the impact of the new coalition government, following the elections of September 2019, cannot be predicted.

It remains to be seen how the new coalition, which will probably be formed at the beginning of 2020, will control legislation in particular and decision-making in general through a RIA-like procedure. Until now, the system has not changed.
Chile
All newly proposed laws must be accompanied by a report summarizing their predicted fiscal impact and the financial implications for the government budget. This report is always prepared by the fiscal department of the corresponding ministry. Chile also has a constitutional restriction on policy proposals that imply budget changes. Legally, there is no obligation to present a report concerning potential socioeconomic impacts that do not implicate the state budgets, but political practice shows that those aspects are normally also considered. Furthermore, there are supervisory bodies (Superintendencias) that monitor enterprises within specific sectors and produce evaluations and reports. In a strictly legal sense, these supervisory bodies do not have the specific objective of evaluating the impact of new regulations or proposed modifications to the legal framework. Nevertheless, the evaluation of possible impacts tends to be one result of their work. Chile currently features the following supervisory bodies:

• Supervisory Board for Social Security (Superintendencia de Seguridad Social)
• Supervisory Board for Electricity and Fuels (Superintendencia de Electricidad y Combustibles)
• Supervisory Board for Health Services (Superintendencia de Servicios Sanitarios)
• Supervisory Board for Health (Superintendencia de Salud)
• Supervisory Board for Casinos (Superintendencia de Casinos de Juegos)
• Supervisory Board for Pensions (Superintendencia de Pensiones)
• Supervisory Board for the Environment (Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente)
• Supervisory Board for Education (Superintendencia de Educación Escolar)
• Supervisory Board for Bankruptcy and Re-entrepreneurship (Superintendencia de Insolvencia y Reemprendimiento)
• Supervisory Board for Financial Markets (Comisión para el Mercado Financiero)
• Supervisory Board for Higher Education (Superintendencia de Educación Superior)

In some areas, the line ministries serve as the oversight body for RIA reviews.

In January 2018, the former Supervisory Board for Securities and Insurance was transformed into the Steering Committee for the Financial Market (Consejo de la Comisión para el Mercado Financiero) with a wider scope of responsibilities.
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

About the Steering Committee for the Financial Market
http://www.cmfchile.cl/portal/principal/605/w3-propertyvalue-25543.html
Denmark
For all proposed legislation and administrative regulations there is an explicit requirement for impact assessments to determine economic consequences for state and local governments, administrative consequences, effects on business and environmental impact. The relation to EU legislation must also be assessed.

Thinking about consequences starts during the initial consideration of a new law or regulation (screening stage) and continues while the content and degree of new measures are considered (scoping stage). A detailed RIA is then worked out during the final stage (assessment stage).

When new legislation is based on EU legislation the impact assessment will be included in the document (samlenotat) that goes to the European Affairs Committee in the parliament. According to a rough estimate, about 40% of new Danish legislation is based on or related to EU regulations.

In recent years, studies have focused more on analyzing the effectiveness of policy initiatives in, for example, labor market and social policies. To assess labor market policies there has even been some experimental studies (e.g., in relation to activation programs).
Citations:
Prime Minister’s Office (Statsministeriet), Cirkulære om bemærkninger til lovforslag og andre regeringsforslag og fremgangsmåden ved udarbejdelse af lovforslag, redegørelser, administrative forskrifter m.v., No. 159, 16. september 1998, https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0900.aspx?s21=cirkul%C3%A6re+om+bem%C3%A6rkninger+til+lovforslag+og+andre+regeringsforslag+og+fremgangsm%C3%A5den&s19=159&s20=1998&s22=|10|&s113=0 (accessed 20 April 2013).

Ministry of Finance, Vejledning on konsekvensanalyser, Maj 2005, http://www.lovprocesguide.dk/sw2104.asp (accessed 20 April 2013).

Ministry of Finance, “Ny EU-regulerings økonomiske konsekvenser for den offentlige sektor,” http://www.fm.dk/publikationer/2004/budgetredegoerelse-2004/7-ny-eu_regulerings-oekonomiske-konsekvenser-for-den-offentlige-sektor/ (Accessed 2 May 2013).

Maibom, J., M. Svarer and M. Rosholm, 2014, Can active labor market policies combat youth unemployment, Nordic Economic Policy Review, 215-262.
Estonia
The development and monitoring of regulatory impact assessments (RIA) is shared between the Ministry of Justice and the GO’s Strategy Unit, with the latter taking a leading role with regard to EU-related issues during the 2014 – 2020 period. Formal RIA procedures are well established, with all relevant normative acts, manuals and guidelines accessible on a dedicated website.

Since 2014, RIA has been mandatory for all categories of legal acts. A major RIA development program was initiated in 2014 with help from the EU structural assistance funds. The program has included various training, development and implementation measures focused on RIA procedures. The number of assessments performed is expected to increase 10-fold by 2020. The full impact of the program on the overall RIA system remains to be seen.
Germany
In 2000, revised rules of procedure for the federal ministries (Gemeinsame Geschäftsordnung der Bundesministerien, GGO) came into effect, requiring an impact assessment (Gesetzesfolgenabschätzung, GFA) for every draft law. Thus, regulatory impact assessments are institutionally anchored in Germany. The GFA process analyzes both intended and unintended effects of draft laws and potential alternatives. In addition, on behalf of the government, non-governmental organizations developed guidelines for sustainability assessments. In October 2016, Chancellor Merkel (re)appointed the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE). While its recommendations have no binding powers, it did create a Sustainable Financial Strategy for the government to improve its strategic orientation.

The government’s 2006 Bureaucracy Reduction and Better Regulation program created a number of new policies relevant to the assessment process. It established the National Regulatory Control Council (Normenkontrollrat, NKR) as an independent watchdog and advisory body tasked with assessing new legislation. It adopted the Standard Cost Model as a tool for measuring bureaucratic costs. Finally, it institutionalized the bureaucracy reduction process by creating a coordination unit within the cabinet office and setting up a committee at the ministerial undersecretary level. However, the NKR only concentrates on potential bureaucratic costs, and not on impacts of laws foreseen through the evaluation process. In addition, about 30% of laws – specifically, those which are initiated by parliament – are not reviewed under the NKR. In its 2019 annual report, the NKR strongly criticized the increasing costs of implementation. These were about €831 million in the year ending 2019, whereas the previous year they had been significantly lower.
Citations:
https://www.normenkontrollrat.bund.de/nkr-de

https://www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de/mediathek/?type=22
Japan
The basic framework for policy evaluation in Japan is the Government Policy Evaluations Act of 2001.

The process is administered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC, Administrative Evaluation Bureau), while the ministries are charged with doing their own analyses, which has led some to question the impartiality of the procedure. However, a number of evaluations in strategically important fields have been undertaken by the MIC itself. In 2010, the ministry took over responsibility for policy evaluations of special measures concerning taxation as well as impact analyses of regulations dealing with competition issues.

The Ministry of Finance also performs a Budget Execution Review for selected issues, and the Board of Audit engages in financial audits of government accounts.

The fragmented nature of such assessments seems to indicate potentially low levels of reliability and effectiveness. Indeed, it is difficult to point to a major policy arena in which these endeavors have led to major improvements.
Citations:
Miki Matsuura, Joanna Watkins, William Dorotinsky: Overview of Public Sector Performance Assessment Processes in Japan, GET Note: Japanese Public Sector Assessment Processes, August 2010, World Bank

Hidehiko Ichimura and Daiji Kawaguchi, Evidence-based Policymaking: Independence and human resource development are the key, research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), 30 November 2017, https://www.rieti.go.jp/en/papers/contribution/ichimura/02.html

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (Administrative Counseling Division), Japanese Ombudsman System, Tokyo, March 2018
Latvia
The government decision-making process requires every draft act of legislation to undergo an assessment, which takes the form of an annotated report. This annotation accompanies the draft through the review process to the cabinet. The annotation addresses budgetary impact, impact on particular target groups and the cost of implementation. In practice, the quality of annotations varies widely depending on the approach taken by the drafters, which range from a detailed, evidence-based analysis to a simple pro forma summary of intent. Minimum standards for annotations are not enforced.

In 2013, the government office made revisions to the annotation requirement. The new annotation form requires a justification for introducing new regulations, an assessment of compliance costs for citizens and businesses, and an assessment of public health effects. The revised regulations also seek, through the introduction of so-called green papers, to improve stakeholder involvement in the early stages of drafting. The green papers ensure that relevant information and discussion documents are publicly available at an early stage of the policy-development process. The State Chancellery monitors the quality of annotations and the use of the green papers. The Chancellery has delayed several policies due to inadequacies in the annotations or the green-paper process.
Mexico
Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) was introduced in Mexico in 1997. In 2000, RIA was implemented broadly through reform of the Federal Administrative Procedure Law. Thus, RIA in Mexico is established by law, and not by presidential or prime ministerial degree as in some other OECD countries.

In May 2018, the new General Law of Better Regulation was issued. A government agency, the Federal Commission for Regulatory Improvement (Comisión Federal de Mejora Regulatoria, COFEMER), is responsible for performing impact assessments on new proposals if they generate compliance costs. With the new law, COFEMER’s mandate was broadened and the agency renamed the Comisión Nacional de Mejora Regulatoria (CONAMER). CONAMER assesses existing regulations. The law requires Mexico’s 32 states to adopt RIAs for subnational regulatory projects and there are efforts to expand this further. Overall, RIA could be strengthened by involving stakeholders early on in the process.

Beyond RIA, evidence-based evaluations of several Mexican public policies in the social sector have gained international recognition and have had significant spillover effects to the international evaluation community. This is especially true for social policies, where rigorous impact assessments based on experimental and quasi-experimental analyses of education, health, and nutrition programs (Programa de Educación, Salud y Alimentación, PROGRESA) can be perceived as an international showcase on how to evaluate large-scale social programs. In this area, the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL) is responsible for carrying out rigorous impact evaluations in large social-sector programs. CONEVAL is an autonomous agency created by the 2007 General Law on Social Development (Ley General de Desarrollo Social).
Citations:
Reyes, R et al (2015). Regulatory Impact Assessment in Mexico: A Story of Interest Groups Pressure. Law and Development Review 8, 1: 99-122.
Norway
Norway introduced a system of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) in 1985, and revised it in 1995. The ministers and the government are responsible for providing comprehensive assessments of the potential budgetary, environmental, health and human-rights effects of their proposals. Consequences are to be quantified to the extent possible, including by means of a thorough, realistic socioeconomic analysis. A set of codified guidelines (the Instructions for Official Studies and Reports) governs the production of RIAs. However, the ministry in charge has some discretion to decide when a RIA should be conducted. There is no formal rule establishing when a full RIA must be produced, and when a less detailed assessment is sufficient.

If performed, RIAs are included as a separate section in the ad hoc reports commissioned from experts or broader committees, as well as in white papers and final bills. There is no central body in the government administration that conducts quality control on RIAs, although each department has issued guidelines on how RIAs should be conducted. An interministerial panel on economic impact assessments was established in 2005, bringing together RIA experts from various ministries; this continues to have an advisory function with respect to improving the quality of RIAs. The parliament may send back a proposal if it regards the attached RIA as unsatisfactory. This has actually occurred in a number of cases.
South Korea
There were no changes in regulatory impact assessment (RIA) policy in the period under review. RIA has been mandatory for all new regulations since 2005 and is applied to older regulations if they are strengthened in any way. RIAs assess proposals’ socioeconomic impacts and provide cost-benefit analyses. In its 2018 Regulatory Policy Outlook, the OECD praised Korea for improvements in its RIA processes since the previous report in 2015, and placed the country at or even above the OECD average in most categories. However, the report also highlighted some weaknesses, particularly with regard to RIAs concerning regulations initiated by the legislature, a category that is currently excluded. The Federation of Korean Industries, which advocates deregulation on behalf of corporate sectors, has proposed that the government apply RIAs to regulatory acts initiated by lawmakers.
Citations:
OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2018_9789264303072-en#page208
OECD, Government at a Glance Database, http://www.oecd.org/gov/government-at-a-glance-2017-database.htm
Korea Herald. Analytic tools crucial in improving regulatory practices: US adviser. October 13, 2017. http://khnews.kheraldm.com/view.php?ud=20171013000737&md=20171016003056_BL
Switzerland
There is no formal institution responsible for ex-ante impact assessment in Switzerland. Article 170 of the constitution states that “(t)he federal parliament shall ensure that the efficacy of measures taken by the confederation is evaluated.” In some ministries such as the Department of Economic Affairs, individual units occasionally perform ex-ante impact assessments. Furthermore, ex-ante evaluations by the administration always include checks for consistency with existing law (performed by the Department of Justice), compatibility with EU regulations, and if necessary, analyze budget implications, probable administrative costs and personnel requirements. Ex post evaluations have also been strongly developed; however, it is unclear whether the results of these analyses have any substantial effect on implementation.

In a 2011 study, Sager and Rissi argue that “the meager impact and success of the RIA is due to its institutional context, namely Swiss semi-direct referendum democracy. Direct-democratic involvement and the division of power in the course of consensual government are both great barriers for effective policy appraisal.”

Beyond these processes, functional equivalents of impact assessments do exist. First, expert commissions that draft or suggest laws also evaluate alternatives, while examining the potential impacts, benefits and problems associated with proposed solutions. Second, and probably more important, is the so-called consultation procedure derived from Article 147 of the constitution. This article stipulates that “the cantons, the political parties and the interested circles shall be heard in the course of the preparation of important legislation and other projects of substantial impact, and on important international treaties.” As a consequence, all those who are affected by a planned law have a constitutional right to give their opinion as to its pros and cons.
From a comparative perspective, Switzerland was a relative latecomer to performance-management policies, as were Germany and Austria. It was only in 2011 that the Federal Administration decided to implement some form of performance management on a consistent basis.

In 2016, a report by the Federal Audit Office criticized RIA praxis in Switzerland arguing that it did not fully comply with the formal requirements for RIA. This critique led to a political debate about whether the Federal Administration had deliberately misinformed the parliament. In the course of this debate, the widespread neglect of RIA by politicians was largely ignored. In December 2018, the Federal Council emphasized the need to improve RIAs by optimizing existing processes without creating new institutions.
Citations:
EFK [Eidgenössische Finanzkontrolle] (2016). Prognosen in den Botschaften des Bundesrates, Evaluation der prospektiven Folgenabschätzungen von Gesetzesentwürfen, Bern.

Fritz Sager/Christof Rissi 2013: The limited scope of policy appraisal in the context of referendum democracy – the case of regulatory impact assessment in Switzerland, Evaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice 17(2): 151-164.

Fritz Sager (2017). „Regulierungsfolgenabschätzung (RFA): Prognosen und Kompromisse“, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14. Februar 2017, S. 9.
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Canada
On 28 August 2019, the Impact Assessment Act (IIA), which created the new Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and repealed the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act of 2012, came into force.

The IIA implements many recommendations of an expert panel established in 2016 to review the federal approach to project assessment. The IIA is not uncontroversial, however. Although environmental groups have acknowledged that the IAA represents an improvement over the much-criticized Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, they have expressed concerns that the scope of projects to which it applies is too limited. The new IIA has also been the source of intense frustration in Western Canada. Many worry it will devastate an oil industry already struggling with constrained pipeline capacity.
Citations:
Impact Assessment Act (S.C. 2019, c. 28, s. 1), full document available at https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/I-2.75/index.html
Czechia
According to the government legislative rules and partly based on the implementation of EU law, regulatory impact assessments (RIA) are in principle applied to all generally binding regulations prepared by the ministries and other central administrative authorities. There is a standard RIA methodology, which has been refined over time. RIA reports are submitted by the ministries to the RIA Unit at the Office of the Government for formal review, and then to the independent RIA Board for more extensive scrutiny. The RIA Unit also provides methodological guidance and organizes workshops and seminars for civil servants who prepare impact assessments. Under the Babiš government, the reliance on and the quality of RIAs have weakened somewhat. According to the annual reports of the RIA commission, the number of well-prepared laws fell from 53 in 2014 to just 11 in 2018, in both cases representing about half of the total number submitted. The parliamentary opposition has been critical of the relatively high proportion of draft laws that are not subject to RIA.
Iceland
Iceland had no history of conducting regulatory impact assessments until March 2016 when new regulations on cabinet procedures were enacted (Reglur um starfshætti ríkisstjórnar). Paragraph 13 concerns impact assessment of cabinet bills. Every minister should evaluate the impact, including financial impact, of every bill their ministry intends to submit to the parliament. The impact assessment should be a part of the explanatory statement, submitted to parliament with the bill. The methodology of these impact assessments was approved by the cabinet of Bjarni Benediktsson in March 2017.
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/Samthykkt-rikisstjornar-um-stjornarskjol-10-mars-2017.pdf. Accessed 22 December 2018.
Italy
RIAs are in principle required from all ministries and local authorities (under laws 50/1999 and 246/2005). At the national level, RIAs fall under the responsibility of the ministries. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is responsible for the review and quality control of the whole RIA processes as well as for the coordination of activities associated with an RIA. The Department for Juridical and Legislative Affairs of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers is responsible for the elaboration of RIA methodology. Annual reports are submitted to parliament.

Following reforms adopted by previous governments, the current RIA framework prohibits any discussion by the Council of Ministers of a proposal that lacks a RIA. It is, however, questionable whether sufficient resources are available to implement RIAs effectively. While in the past these rules were not always applied, things have gradually changed, and most normative acts are now accompanied by a RIA. The government’s 2017 report to parliament (the last to be found on the webpage of the PMO as of the time of writing) documents this increase, which has also been driven by the growing pressure of EU rules. However, the quality of RIAs is still far from homogeneous, and qualified observers have found that while RIAs conducted by independent authorities are in general sound, those of ministerial departments continue to be rather formalistic (Osservatorio air 2014). A new RIA regulation that should be more comprehensive took effect on 15 December 2017.

A 2018 OECD study showed Italy lagging behind in this field, particularly with regard to ex post evaluations.

The Conte government recently started to review the impact of large ongoing infrastructure and transportation projects.
Citations:
Maria Francesca Rocchetti: Impact Assessment in Italy: State of the Art and Patterns of Regulatory Reform: http://regulatoryreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Rocchetti-Impact-Assessment-in-Italy-Sept-2014.pdf
http://presidenza.governo.it/DAGL/uff_studi/Relazione_2017.pdf
http://www.osservatorioair.it/in-gazzetta-ufficiale-il-nuovo-regolamento-di-disciplina-dellair-della-vir-e-della-consultazione/
http://www.oecd.org/publications/better-regulation-practices-across-the-european-union-9789264311732-en.htm
Lithuania
Although impact assessments became mandatory for draft government decisions in 2003, high-profile regulatory initiatives are in most cases not in fact subject to in-depth assessment. The OECD argued that impact assessment in Lithuania remains a largely formal exercise intended to justify choices that have already been made (with a strong preference for the regulatory option). The principle of proportionality, under which important legislative initiatives with far-reaching possible effects would be given more detailed impact assessments, is often ignored. Consequently, this instrument is generally disregarded by ministers and members of parliament.

The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, the largest parliamentary party, pledged in its election program to conduct cost-benefit analyses for new initiatives. The same provision was repeated in the government’s program. However, many controversial initiatives (e.g., the introduction of a voucher system, reform of the school-teacher pay model, a reduction in the number of members of parliament, and the relocation of the Ministry of Agriculture from Vilnius to Kaunas) were based not on ex ante impact assessments, but on a political desire to be popular. This demonstrates that the current government has continued the practice of ignoring the essential principle of proportionality when conducting (or not conducting) impact assessments for the most important initiatives.

To implement the recommendations of the OECD, the Ministry of Justice (in cooperation with the Government Office) developed an ex post assessment model that will be integrated into the lawmaking process. If this model is approved by the government and parliament, it will come into effect on 1 January 2020, requiring new assessments examining the application and functioning of regulations. Moreover, in response to a decline in the country’s performance on the World Bank’s regulatory quality indicator, Lithuanian authorities agreed on a number of measures designed to improve the policymaking process, streamline the impact-assessment process, and expand on- and offline consultations with stakeholders.

With the support of the European Social Fund, the government has created a Government Strategic Analysis Center using information provided by the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Center (MOSTA), another government agency. According to its action plan, this entity will start conducting impact assessments of top-priority legislative initiatives in 2020. Although these activities will increase the supply of impact assessments, it is doubtful whether externalizing RIA to a special government agency in this way will improve the relevance of RIA or its use in decision-making processes, particularly without adequate investment in the in-house analytical capacities of the Government Office or the sectoral ministries that are actually responsible for drafting policies.
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.
Sweden
The purpose of regulatory impact analysis (RIA) is to assess the degree to which regulation has negative and/or unintended consequences for the targets of regulation. More broadly, RIA is nowadays used to avoid increasing regulatory burdens on private businesses. RIAs are also used to examine which regulatory framework could be simplified or abolished.

Ex ante assessments of regulatory impact have been mandatory since 2007. In terms of the OECD’s iREG scores, Sweden scores just below the OECD average for primary laws and just above average for subordinate regulations.

Sweden, according to an evaluation, has had “rather modest” results from RIAs. Simplifying rules pertaining to private businesses has been an important part of economic development policy over the past several years, but RIAs as a specific model of analysis do not seem to be used systematically and over a broad range of issues.
Citations:
Erlandsson, M. (2010), Regelförenkling genom konsekvensutredningar (Stockholm: Sieps).

http://www.regelradet.se/in-english/about/

OECD (2019), Indicators of regulatory policy and governance. Europe 2019. Sweden (Paris: OECD).
UK
The reduction of regulation costs has been a long-standing policy goal of successive governments. Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) have to be prepared for all legislation, which affects businesses, charities and voluntary bodies, to assess the benefits and burdens of the planned measure. Academic research has questioned the value of these assessments since their results are not systematically integrated into the decision-making process, but they are certainly applied. The threshold for conducting a full RIA has been raised from effects exceeding £1 million to £5 million, but this is expected only to reduce the number of RIAs by 7%. RIAs are followed up after five years to verify their findings, with independent oversight.

While this is good overall practice, there was some doubt about the timing of impact assessment of the major policy transformations associated with Brexit. The former Brexit Secretary David Davis stated repeatedly that the government has assessed the impact of different possible models of Brexit, though not with a formal RIA. Numerous studies have, nevertheless, been undertaken by different departments, although the government has resisted pressure to make all the relevant documentation public in a timely manner. Some elaboration is provided by the Institute for Government.

Under the Johnson government, the handling of the RIA system has declined to one of political expediency, with the government neglecting to take its legal obligations in this area seriously. For example, the chancellor has resisted pressure to undertake an RIA examining the changes promised in the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement in autumn 2019.
Citations:
Dunlop, Claire A. et al. 2012: The many uses of regulatory impact assessment: A meta- analysis of EU and UK cases, in: Regulation & Governance Vol. 6 23-45.

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/no-deal-brexit-uk-preparations

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841245/EU_Withdrawal_Agreement_Bill_Impact_Assessment.pdf
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Cyprus
A RIA scheme was introduced in 2007 as part of a project on better regulation. A robust RIA tool was adopted in 2016 and training programs enabled its use in 2017.

Following the dissolution of a centralized Unit for Administrative Reform, the Department of Public Administration and Personnel assumed the RIA tasks. The department drafted a new action plan for better regulation for the period 2019 – 2022, which was adopted in early November 2019. The action plan seeks to address deficiencies in the system and improve implementation by instilling the necessary public service culture as well as establishing appropriate work processes and procedures.

Policies introduced without RIA via the discretionary powers of the Council of Ministers remains a serious concern and is under review. The “investment program,” the arbitrary granting of permits for the construction of tall buildings, and the sale of Cypriot citizenship continue to impact a wide spectrum of rules and practices, partly neutralizing RIA implementation and efforts for better regulation. Despite reforms, the impacts of Cyprus’s sale of permanent residency and citizenship has not been sufficiently appreciated by government.
Citations:
1. Better Regulation Progress Report, May 2018 [in Greek], https://drive.google.com/file/d/1stXSvKF6tU2AeSXbBEbNGqfbdGLAjGfa/view?usp=sharing
2. Transparency International, European Getaway, https://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/golden_visas
Malta
As it has worked to fulfill its obligations under EU law, Malta’s government has been improving and strengthening its regulatory processes. The process has generally been slow, but has gained momentum in recent years. The government has conducted several ad hoc reviews of existing laws and regulations in specific areas aimed at reducing administrative burdens. However, Malta lacks a systematic approach for reviewing whether laws and regulations achieve the intended policy goals, for instance through periodic ex post evaluations. Within the existing framework, the cabinet is required to approve regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) for government notices, regulations and by-laws. This process is detailed in the Small Business Act, Chapter 512 in Maltese law. Recent reports from the EU have continued to confirm steady progress. To ensure that reviews contain sufficient detail, an International Accreditation Forum (IAF) process was introduced. Each ministry is responsible for drawing these up, assisted by their legal offices and program-implementation policy directorates (a unit found in each ministry). Over the past year, as reported by the Principal Permanent Secretary, this process has been strengthened by the recruitment of more trained personnel. However, the Office of the Attorney General, which also has a legislative unit, continues to make a final review when legal issues are under consideration.
Citations:
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://www.mepa.org.mt/permitting-ea-eiaprocess
Ope rational Program II ‘Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life,’ July 2012, p.28
http://www.bru.gov.mt/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ESF-4-87-Laun ch-Speech-by-Mr-J-Aquilina.pdf
http://www.bru.gov.mt/administrative-b urdens/
http://gov.mt/en/Government/Gov ernment%20of%20Malta/Ministries%20a nd%20Entities/Pages/OPM-Portfolio.a spx
Indicators of Regulator Policy and Governance EUROPE 2019 Malta
http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/indicators-of-regulatory-policy-and-governance-2019-malta.pdf
Portugal
The government’s program includes the goal of “ex ante and ex post evaluation of the impact of structuring legislation, especially that which carries costs for small and medium-sized enterprises,” and it has assigned this task to its Agency for Administration Modernization (Agência de Modernização Administrativa).

Documents from the government indicate that it retained the small and medium-sized enterprise test (“PME test” in Portuguese), as well as the “one-in, one-out” or “Comporta Regulatória” rule designed to compensate citizens or companies for new costs resulting from new legislation, both of which were approved in 2014.

In March 2017, the government approved a trial methodology for evaluating the economic impact of government proposals (the “Custa Quanto?” measure). A report on this trial was published in January 2018, which included the OECD’s evaluation of this measure. In sum, the OECD considered the measure an important first step, although it still lacked some fundamental aspects of RIAs. Overall, the OECD found in its Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018 for Portugal that levels of RIA in Portugal remain well below the OECD average.

In 2018, in the aftermath of a June 2018 Council of Ministers Resolution, the “Custa Quanto?” methodology was formalized. Furthermore, its scope was widened to include not only decree-law proposals but also law proposals by the government, to account not only for the costs to companies but also to citizens and to allow for ex post impact assessments. In total, some 235 legislative projects were submitted for assessment in 2018.

The “Custa Quanto?” is still being improved and developed. The plan for 2019 is, among other things, to “develop a tool that will simplify the undertaking of impact assessments, based on standardized criteria,” according to the ministry’s explanation to parliament regarding its budget for 2019.
Citations:
Governo de Portugal (2018), “Nota Explicativa – Orçamento do Estado 2019 – Apreciação Na Especialidade,” available online at: https://www.parlamento.pt/Documents/2018/Novembro/NEplicativaPresModernizacaoAdministrativa.pdf

OECD (2018), “Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018 Portugal,” DOI: https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264303072-41-en

UTAIL – Unidade Técnica de Avaliação de Impacto Legislativo (2018), “Relatório de actividade – Ano de 2017: projeto-piloto da medida “Custa Quanto?,” available online at: https://www.jurisapp.gov.pt/media/1019/30012017-utail-relatorio-atividades.pdf

UTAIL – Unidade Técnica de Avaliação de Impacto Legislativo (2019), “Relatório de atividade – Ano de 2018,” available online at: https://www.jurisapp.gov.pt/media/1054/utail-relatorio-2018_final_15042019_publica.pdf
Romania
RIA-related procedures were introduced in Romania in 2005. At least in theory, legislative proposals cannot enter the legislative process without RIA approval from the Public Policy Unit of the Secretariat General of the Government (GSG). In practice, the use and the quality of RIA is highly uneven, and many RIAs are superficial. Capacity remains a critical obstacle to the effective implementation of RIA procedures and requirements. Further problems have stemmed from the complex division of monitoring and evaluation responsibilities between the GSG and the Prime Minister’s Chancellery. While Romania’s 2018 National Reform Programme stressed the government’s commitment to improve RIA, no significant improvements have actually taken place.
Citations:
Romanian Government (2018): National Reform Programme 2018. Bucharest, 21 (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/2018-european-semester-country-repor t-romania-en.pdf).
Slovakia
When RIAs were introduced in Slovakia back in 2001, no central unit in charge of RIA was created at the government’s core. In response, the first Fico government introduced a Uniform Methodology of Assessment of Selected Impacts in 2008, which was updated by the Radičová government in 2010. The “RIA 2020 Better Regulation Strategy” which was approved by the cabinet in January 2018 has further strengthened the methodological basis for assessing the economic impact of regulation in particular. However, within the period under review, the RIA 2020 framework and other impact assessment tools have not yielded the expected results. One central problem is that impact assessments only apply to measures initiated by the government. Moreover, ministries still often struggle with the quantification of wider impacts, focusing mainly on budgetary impacts and, to a lesser extent, impacts on business.
Citations:
OECD (2019): Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Europe 2019: Slovak Republic. Paris (http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/indicators-of-regulatory-policy-and-governance-2019-slovak-republic.pdf).

Staroňová, K. (2016): Regulatory Impact Assessment in Slovakia: Performance and Procedural Reform, in: Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 34(3): 214-227.

Staronova, K., Hejzlarová, E., Hondliková, K. (2017): Making Regulatory Impact Assessment Gender-Sensitive: The Case of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in: Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences 51(E): 89-105 (http://rtsa.ro/tras/index.php/tras/article/download/526/515).
Slovenia
In Slovenia, RIA guidelines have largely been copy and pasted from the European Union. The government’s Public Administration Development Strategy 2015-2020 acknowledged the need for improving RIA and has brought some progress. However, oversight has continued to suffer from institutional fragmentation, so that the quality of RIA has been uneven among ministries. When an RIA is applied, it is often limited to a qualitative assessment, and there are no official statistics regarding the implementation of RIA. As fast-track legislation is exempt from RIA, RIAs were not performed for at least a third of all new measures passed in the period under review.
Citations:
Government of the Republic of Slovenia (2015): Public Administration 2020: Public Administration Development Strategy 2015-2020. Ljubljana (http://www.mju.gov.si/fileadmin/mju.gov.si/pageuploads/JAVNA_UPRAVA/Kakovost/Strategija_razvoja_JU_2015-2020/Strategija_razvoja_ANG_final_web.pdf).

OECD (2018): Regulatory Policy in Slovenia: Oversight Matters. Paris.
Spain
The law on the common administrative procedure (Law 39/2015), which came into force in October 2016, includes a promising provision (indeed, an entire chapter) devoted to ensuring that lawmaking in the future will take place in accordance with the principles of “smart regulation” and “better regulation.” This development, which is based on OECD recommendations, seeks to guarantee that the administration engages in systematic planning before laws are drafted, while creating a more sophisticated RIA process and producing regulations that are proportional to the political goal and more congruent with other laws. Since 2017, Spain has gradually broadened its Better Regulation agenda from an initial focus on administrative simplification to stakeholder engagement and evaluation. Currently, RIAs are required for all regulations in Spain.
Citations:
OECD, 2019 INDICATORS OF REGULATORY POLICY AND GOVERNANCE: SPAIN
http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/indicators-of-regulatory-policy-and-governance-2019-spain.pdf
 
RIA are applied in some cases. There is no common RIA methodology guaranteeing common minimum standards.
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Bulgaria
Changes in the legal framework for RIA in 2016 improved the quality of RIA. However, ministries still take a largely formal approach, and the level of understanding and experience on the part of ministerial experts responsible for preparing the assessments is rising but still deficient. Assessments for legislative proposals sponsored by individual members of parliament continue to be of poor quality.
Croatia
The EU accession process has accelerated the development of RIA in Croatia. In July 2011, the Kosor government adopted a RIA bill and re-established the Government Office for Coordination of the Regulatory Impact Assessment System that had been abolished in July 2009 as a reaction to populist critique. In accordance with the RIA Action Plan for 2013 – 2015, the office became a department of the government’s Legislation Office, and RIA implementation coordinators were appointed in all ministries. Since 2012, all government bodies have been obliged to prepare annual regulatory plans specifying which of their planned regulations should undergo a RIA. A new RIA law passed in 2017 requires a full RIA to be carried out for all new laws that will potentially have a large environmental or social impact. In addition, a Regulatory Impact Assessment Strategy for 2018 – 2023 has sought to improve the implementation of RIA. While progress has been made in strengthening the regulatory policy framework, only a small number of bills undergo the complete RIA procedure. According to the government’s report on conducted legislative activities, only 17 out of 68 laws planned to be passed in 2018 were subject to RIA. Moreover, RIA documents are generally of low quality, particularly the parts identifying options and analyzing effects. This has in part to do with the fact that state administration bodies have limited professional and analytical capacities. The professional and administrative capacities of the Legislation Office are insufficient to ensure the application of the RIA system and quality control of RIA documents.
Citations:
Petak, Z. (2015): Evidence-Based Policy Making and the Implementation of Regulatory Impact Assessment in Croatia, in: Management and Business Administration: Central Europe 23(2): 147-162.
France
The practice of compiling regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) has been followed since 1995, notably under the supervision of the PMO. However, there is still no systematic RIA process with comparable rules and methodologies; this is just one reason why there is an excess of legislation with an insufficient analysis of regulatory impact. There are partial substitutes, however. The finance and budget ministries try to systematically evaluate the fiscal impact of any new measure. This evaluation might be biased, however, as considerations may be exclusively motivated by financial and budgetary concerns. In some ministries (such as industry, agriculture and social affairs) there is also a tradition of analyzing the impact of planned policies. In other sectors, the law might impose these assessments (such as with the environmental and industry ministries, for instance). A legal assessment is systematically practiced by the Conseil d’Etat before the adoption of a regulation or governmental bill. Parliamentary committees also often do an excellent job of regulatory assessment.
More recently, the government think tank France Stratégie has been charged with evaluating the impact of public policies (i.e., the impact of the Macron law, innovation policy or business subsidies). The think tank has published methodological guidelines for the evaluation of public policies. However, last-minute amendments to parliamentary bills tend not to be subject to this type of evaluation. This necessitates frequent post facto modifications to legislation, as unexpected or collateral effects have not been properly anticipated.
What is lacking is a systematic examination involving all the main stakeholders. Former President Sarkozy, seeking to reduce bureaucratic costs, instituted the so-called RGPP (Revue Générale des Politiques Publiques). This allowed around 100,000 positions to be cut, but the process was strongly criticized by the opposition and by the unions. President Hollande decided to move to another type of review (Modernisation de l’Action Publique), but changed little in the administrative apparatus aside reducing the number of regions from 22 to 13 (a measure that generated costs rather than the expected savings). For his part, President Macron launched the CAP22 program, asking an independent expert committee to submit proposals for comprehensive state reform. However, the committee’s report has not been published, and the government has failed to follow its main recommendations for fear of trade-union mobilization and strikes in the public sector
Israel
In 2014, Israel launched a five-year plan to reduce regulation. As part of the plan, the government aims to reduce the cost of bureaucratic processes by 25%. Regulators are required to formulate regulatory changes according to the RIA method defined by the government’s RIA guide. This could involve the creation, cancelation or revision of a regulation, and should help create a unified language within government and facilitate dialogue between ministries.

While the decision was not implemented immediately, and only six RIA reports were published in 2016, an improvement in the application of RIAs was made in 2017 and 2018. Nearly 70 reports were created by governmental ministries and bodies between 2017 and 2019. Each report details the RIA process conducted on a specific field or project that a ministry or governmental body was responsible for. As part of the RIA, regulators should publish RIA reports together with a draft copy of the regulation. Nevertheless, it seems that Israel is still lagging behind other countries when it comes to implementing RIA inside its own ministries. The OECD report from 2018 stated that offices inside the Israeli government have not used RIAs correctly and ignored it in some cases.
Citations:
Economic Affairs Committee, Committee Protocol of 28.10.15 (Hebrew):
http://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/committees/Economics/Conclusion/coc281015.pdf

“Improving regulation in Israel and easing the burden of bureaucracy is a proposal for a multi-year plan“, IDI Website (Hebrew):
https://www.idi.org.il/media/8867/streamlining-regulation-in-israel-and-easing-the-bureaucratic-burden-proposal-for-a-multi-year-program.pdf

Government Regulation Website, 2018 (Hebrew): http://regulation.gov.il/default.aspx

Government Regulation Website, The regulatory burden reduction book of 2018, July 2019 (Hebrew):
http://regulation.gov.il/uploads/reports/7/2018reg.pdf

RIA Guide, Governmental Regulation Website (Hebrew): http://regulation.pmo.gov.il/RIAguide/Pages/RIA.aspx

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

RIA Report data, Government Regulation Website, 2019 (Hebrew): http://regulation.gov.il/RIA_REP

“Report from the committee for improving regulatory mechanisms in Israel and reviewing interfaces between various regulators in the market,” official report (2013) (Hebrew).

“The Five Year plan of 2015-2019“, Government Regulation Website, 2018,
http://regulation.gov.il/homesh_plan

“The OECD: “There will be no choice but to establish a regulatory body in Israel,” Calcalist, 2018 (Hebrew):
https://www.calcalist.co.il/local/articles/0,7340,L-3742333,00.html
Luxembourg
Luxembourg launched a first stab at regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) at the end of the 1990s, with the goal of simplifying administrative procedures at both the national and European levels. Since 2004, the government has systematized analysis of the potential impact of legislative proposals by aligning legislative and administrative processes under the responsibility of a competent authority, the Plateforme interministérielle de réforme et de simplification administrative. The so-called Omnibus Bill, containing 11 laws and two regulations, was implemented in 2017 with the goal of facilitating and speeding up planning procedures in 102 municipalities, a transversal approach toward a systematic screening of all administrative procedures. Currently, the government is evaluating the impact of 89 administrative simplification projects.

All draft bills have been required to undergo a regulatory impact assessment since 2009. Within eight weeks before adoption of a draft bill, the government has to carry out consultations with stakeholders, considering their expertise and responding to requests. Based on the completion of adequate analyses, a draft bill is adapted, completed and submitted to parliament. The impact assessment is necessarily attached to legislation or regulation submitted to the Council of Ministers. Prior to submission, the secretariat of the Council forwards a copy to the interministerial platform, which prepares a formal statement to the Council.

The standard impact evaluation form (a checklist form, or “fiche d’évaluation d’impact”) was revised in 2010 to include gender mainstreaming principles. It enabled a close cooperation with the Ministry for Equal Opportunities. Although regulatory impact assessment programs have been instituted for some years, there is still room for improvement, especially in making such evidence-based instruments more widespread. Further improvements should be implemented through an ex ante verification process on a national and European level.
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 20 Oct. 2019.

“Über die Tücken des Bürokratie-Abbaus.” Luxemburger Wort, 4 September 2017.
www.wort.lu/de/politik/administrative-vereinfachung-ueber-die-tuecken-des-buerokratie-abbaus-599435eda5e74263e13c5cf5. Accessed 20 Oct. 2019.
USA
In general, U.S. government has provided for extensive analysis of major decisions, within both the legislative and executive branches, and for administrative or regulatory decisions as well as legislation. Regulatory impact assessment for agency regulations is supervised by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). For significant regulations, OMB must approve impact assessments conducted by the agencies as a condition for issuing the regulations. In addition, the Government Accountability Office, which reports to Congress, conducts assessments on an ad hoc basis, mostly in response to requests by Congress. The CBO conducts analysis of proposed bills, including cost estimates over a 10-year period. The Congressional Research Service also conducted several notable studies on climate change.

The Trump administration largely abandoned impact analysis and other professional expertise. Agencies have been under a strong presidential mandate to reduce regulations and reverse decisions taken during the Obama administration. This effort has been aggressively carried out on the basis of minimal analysis. The president also issued an order saying that for every new regulation that an agency adopts, it is required to cancel two existing regulations – a mechanical solution that does not permit analytic influence. Impact analyses remain in use in areas that have not attracted the attention of the president, the White House or Republican congressional actors.
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Hungary
The Orbán government amended the Act on Lawmaking (Act of CXXX of 2010) that included provisions on RIA. It established the Government Feasibility Center and assigned it to the Ministry of Justice. In practice, RIA has suffered from sluggish implementation and has been applied almost exclusively in the environmental context and/or in cases where international obligations have demanded it.
Ireland
The 2011 Programme for Government states: “We will require departments to carry out and publish Regulatory Impact Assessments [RIAs] before government decisions are taken.” In principle, RIAs are used by all government departments. In practice, the range of RIAs completed and published is narrow. The last published list of completed RIAs dates from 2009.

In response to parliamentary questions on the topic in July 2012, the prime minister responded: “My department will shortly be consulting departments generally about the question of publication of regulatory impact analyses carried out before government decisions are taken.” Despite the reiteration in the Annual Review of the Programme for Government of the requirement that all departments undertake RIAs for regulatory changes, there is little evidence that these are being undertaken and published.

The cancellation and repayment of water charges paid to Irish Water in 2017 constituted a major failure in the areas of regulatory impact assessment, policy coordination, and government communication with the public.
Citations:
The latest available government documentation relating to RIAs is
http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Publications/Publications_Archive/Publications_2011/Revised_RIA_Guidelines_June_2009.pdf
Parts of the Independent Assessment of ‘The options for water provision’ are available at
http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Environment/Water/FileDownLoad,29194,en.pdf
Turkey
Legislation and policy formulation do not follow an inclusive and evidence-based policy development process. The legal requirement to produce medium-term cost estimates and fiscal impact assessments for draft policies and laws continues to be ignored. Regulatory impact assessments are a formal exercise, but are neither sent to parliament nor published.

The Annual Presidential Program of 2019 refers to sustainable growth and sustainable development but makes no mention of sustainable policy or policymaking, with the exception of financial sustainability.

Moreover, several chambers of industry conducted EU-funded RIA projects. The EU Regulation on the Export and Import of Harmful Chemicals Technical Support Project for Implementation was conducted by several Turkish chambers of industry, including Balıkesir, Kayseri and Kocaeli. The European Union also funded the Technical Assistance for Capacity-Building and Support to the Preparation of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for Decoupled Agricultural Support project.

Furthermore, the Capacity-Building and Support to the Preparation of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for Decoupled Agricultural Support project aimed at supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in the preparation of a strategy for the alignment of national agricultural policies with the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was concluded in late 2018.
Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

TC Cumhurbaşkanlığı, 2019 Yılı Cumhurbaşkanlığı Yıllık Programı, https://www.sbb.gov.tr/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2019_Yili_Cumhurbaskanligi_Yillik_Programi.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

Mevzuat Hazırlama Usul ve Esasları Hakkında Yönetmelik, 17 February 2006, (accessed 27 October 2018)

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.pdf (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-agriculture-and-forestry-has-been-strengthened-8960 (accessed 1 November 2019)
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Belgium
There are few formal RIA procedures, and when these do exist, they are generally treated only as a formality, being invoked only at the end of the decision-making process, once decisions have already been reached. Authorities thus typically “fly blind,” with unexpected policy outcomes far from unusual.

For example, with regard to carbon emissions, energy experts recommended making improvements to house insulation in order to reduce energy demand. Instead, the various governments heavily subsidized solar panels, which were politically more appealing. In the absence of a proper RIA, the ex post measure of success was the rate of adoption (subsidy pick up) and volume of green-energy production. It took years for the various operators to admit that the cost overruns were unmanageable, and they ultimately had to freeze subsidies suddenly and partially renege on previous commitments.

The situation appears to have been improved following some key regulatory decisions. In 2018, the telecommunication regulator proceeded with a 97-page impact evaluation into the possibility of allowing for a fourth mobile phone operator (https://www.ibpt.be/public/files/fr/22539/Etude%20d%27impact%20march%C3%A9%20mobile%20FR_120718.pdf). The regulator’s report summarized an extensive body of literature and analyzed a significant set of case studies to examine the pros and cons of this decision – a clear improvement over past performance.
Citations:
https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/Impact-assessment-in-Belgium-June-2015%20fr.pdf (see end)
https://soc.kuleuven.be/web/files/11/72/ICW_wp_2009.pdf
From https://www.law.kuleuven.be/home/algemeen/agenda20152016/doctoraatsverdediging-sven-sobrie :
“In our neighboring countries, it is not unusual for important legal reforms to be preceded by ex ante impact assessments. The OECD, too, has for years been stressing the importance of quantitative Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). In comparison, the Belgian legislator flies blind, by creating and passing laws based on not much more than gut feeling, modifying them afterwards at best. This should change.”

https://www.ibpt.be/public/files/fr/22539/Etude%20d%27impact%20march%C3%A9%20mobile%20FR_120718.pdf
Poland
Poland had a relatively well-established system of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) when the PiS government came to power. The PiS government has left this system largely unchanged in formal terms but has not taken RIA seriously. It has bypassed RIA by relying strongly on fast-track legislation and legislative initiatives initiated by individual members of the Sejm, rather than by ministries or the government. In such cases, no RIA is legally necessary.
Citations:
OECD (2018): OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018. Paris, 222-223 (https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/poland-country-note-regulatory-policy-2018.pdf).
 
RIA are not applied or do not exist.
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Greece
In 2006, under a previous government, the PMO issued a circular requesting that all ministries utilize RIA, but RIA has never actually been implemented in a systematic way. Today, all legislative drafts submitted to the parliament are accompanied by a document that outlines the rationale for the bill.

The General Accounting Office estimates the cost of the bill for the state budget, if the competent minister provides the office with adequate data (which is often not the case). Even in RIA processes for the development of critical laws initiated by the executive, Greece scores well below the OECD average. The quality of RIAs is generally poor, largely due to the hasty manner in which the texts of new bills are developed.

A sort of regulatory impact assessment process for new regulations is sometimes completed at ministerial meetings, but regulations in Greece have increasingly been passed without such assessments. Rather, regulations result from short-term, quite often patronage-ridden political calculations.
Citations:
OECD Government at a Glance 2017 http://www.oecd.org/gov/govataglance.htm

OECD, Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018 (https://www.oecd.org/governance/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2018-9789264303072-en.htm)
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