Evidence-based Instruments


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

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.
The RIA process is well established and transparent. Consultation with stakeholders is an essential part. 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. 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. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of RIA commission meetings and most of the materials were discussed in abbreviated proceedings.
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 written in non-technical language in order to ensure public accessibility. The tradition of involving interest organizations – especially in the labor market – was seen clearly during the pandemic when numerous tripartite agreements were achieved without delay.

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.
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.
The institutional setting to apply and monitor a unified methodology is well developed. The National Regulatory Control Council (NKR) reviews the quality of all RIAs and provides advice. It also bears some responsibility for ex post evaluation processes. The federal government reports annually to parliament on improved regulation processes and efforts to reduce bureaucracy. The Federal Audit Office and the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development are responsible for evaluating regulatory policy and identifying areas where regulation can be made more effective. Bodies within the Federal Ministries of the Interior and Justice and Consumer Protection examine the legal quality and comprehensibility of legal drafts, and a special unit of linguists provides linguistic advice to all ministries on such issues as simple language (OECD 2021).

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”).

The NKR also regularly publishes its expert assessments, project and annual reports and is transparent in communicating its recommendations to the public.

In sum, the NKR’s monitoring and quantification activities have significantly increased awareness of the bureaucratic burdens associated with legislation for companies, private households and the public administration itself.

Citing the desire to strengthen the NKR’s role in the legislative process, the new German government has decided to move the NKR from the Chancellery to the Federal Ministry of Justice. Given that the Ministry of Justice is headed by an FDP minister for whom efficient lawmaking and minimizing bureaucracy are important issues, this decision is in part motivated by partisan interests. The political support for such efforts should remain strong throughout the new legislative term.
OECD (2019): Better Regulation Practices across the European Union, OECD.
The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
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. During the pandemic, ministries’ capacity to prepare new legal proposals and carry out impact assessments was overstretched. This was particularly true of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, which prepared a large number of law proposals and decrees relating to efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus.
Ministry of Justice (2008): “Impact Assessment in Legislative Drafting – Guidelines.” Helsinki, Publication 2008:4.
“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).

A 2021 OECD report ranks New Zealand’s RIA process above the OECD average, noting that government agencies have to consult with the public on all draft regulations and publish all RIAs online, and that policymakers have to provide a response to comments submitted during the consultation process (OECD 2021).
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
OECD (2021) New Zealand: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021. https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/new-zealand-country-profile-regulatory-policy-2021.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
The quality of RIAs associated with parliamentary bills shows great variation, but is generally good. Parliamentary bills describe at the very least 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.
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 usually investigated. In principle, the option involving the greatest cost reduction ought to be selected. The extent to which practice follows theory is not known; in several cases, the ATR has judged that the less cost-efficient solution was selected. Stakeholders and decision-makers have been involved in the process of producing RIAs, helping in the process of creating burden-reduction analyses by providing needed information.

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. 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. Sometimes the results of the burden-reduction assessments do not reach parliament in time to be used. In an evaluation of the ATR’s performance by Berenschaot Consultants, stakeholders indicated that they were in general satisfied.

Given the continued and widespread complaints, mainly by business, 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. Interestingly, the ATR claims that it warned several years ago that the complexity of tax-benefit regulation surpassed the understanding and capability of citizens.
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)

Adviescollege Toetsing Regeldruk, Jaarverslag 2020.

Financieel Dagblad, 1 November 2021. Als je al die peperdure regels niet snoeit dan woekeren ze voort
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.

That these principles can, however, be overridden for political expediency, if the government wishes, was demonstrated during the planning and execution of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. However, in relation to COVID-19, impact assessments were regularly undertaken ranging from the overall impact of the Coronavirus Bill, prior to its enactment, to more detailed assessments of specific measures.
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. During preparation for an RIA, the U.S. Office for Information and Regulatory Affairs does not make the documents public or invite participation. So in comparison to European countries, the process becomes public at a later stage when the RIA is published for comment.

Trump administration regulatory officials demonstrated little concern about impact assessments. 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.

Immediately after entering the White House, President Biden, with the help of Democrats in Congress, began to undo what his predecessor had done on the regulatory front. Simultaneously, President Biden “issued a memorandum calling for the Office of Management and Budget to undertake a process for modernizing regulatory review. The review is expected to include suggestions on how regulatory review processes can promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations.” (OECD, 2021).
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
OECD. 2021. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/2e5af0c4-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/2e5af0c4-en
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 public stakeholders to comment on suggested legislation, which is 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.

Since September 2017, all draft primary laws are available on the parliamentary website together with a short description of the legislative project in accessible language and the respective RIA. Citizens can submit comments on the draft regulation or support comments made by others online. Since August 2021, citizens can also submit comments on all legislative initiatives introduced in parliament (i.e., government bills, as well as parliamentary and popular initiatives) during their parliamentary deliberation and support comments made by others online. Moreover, in 2018, an interactive crowdsourcing platform was launched to provide the public with an opportunity to express their views ahead of parliamentary initiatives. Nevertheless, no systematic public consultations are held.
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.
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 below the OECD average with regard to RIA implementation, particularly in the areas of oversight and quality control. However, the most recent OECD report notes improvements taking effect since 2017.
OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, OECD, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2021_196 ce20a-en

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
The contents of RIA annotations, the responsibility for evaluation and the mandatory sections to be completed are now regulated by a 2021 regulation called “Procedure for Evaluation of the Initial Impact of a Draft Legislative Act.” Compliance with this regulation is monitored by the State Chancellery rather than by an independent body. The newly established TAP portal helps ensure the transparency of the draft development process.
Procedure for Evaluation of the Initial Impact of a Draft Legislative Act (2021) Available (in Latvian) at: https://likumi.lv/ta/id/325945-tiesibu-akta-projekta-sakotnejas-ietekmes-izvertesanas-kartiba, Last accessed: 10.01.2022.
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.
Levels of stakeholder engagement are quite high in the policymaking processes in Sweden. In the period under review, Sweden made progress with regard to systemizing the use of the central governmental portal, where information on consultations and the attendant documentation are posted so that relevant stakeholders can post feedback. Having said that, policy feedback in Sweden is given through organized interest groups; the policymaking process would benefit from a more interactive process in which the public (individual citizens) received greater encouragement to provide feedback regardless of whether they belonged to an organized association.

Simplification remains an important factor in Sweden’s regulatory policy (OECD, 2021). For example, in 2020, the Committee for Technological Innovation and Ethics created a forum to receive feedback from citizens on regulatory barriers in the development of technology, as well as a self-assessment tool for responsible tech in English (KOMET, 2022).
KOMET. 2022. “Self assessment tool for responsible tech.” https://www.kometinfo.se/kronika/self-assessment-tool-for-responsible-tech/#.Ye1HLy2HKAk

OECD. 2021. “Sweden: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021.” https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/sweden-country-profile-regulatory-policy-2021.pdf
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.
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.
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.

As indicated by the OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, since 2019 “public consultations are also required for major regulatory proposals for which a high impact RIA is to be conducted. Chile makes voluntary guidelines on consultation mechanisms available to regulators and links to ministries’ consultation portals are listed on a central website. In order to continue improving stakeholder engagement practices, Chile needs to ensure that these recent requirements are systematically implemented in practice, including involving stakeholders earlier in the decision-making process, and not only when there is already a draft regulation” (OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, p. 226).
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021”, 2021, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2021_38b0fdb1-en, last accessed: 13 January 2022.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Reviews of Regulatory Reform
Evaluation Report: Regulatory ImpactAssessment (Chile)”, 2017, https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/regulatory-impact-assessment-in-chile.htm, last accessed: 13 January 2022.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Regulatory Policy in Chile: Government Capacity to Ensure High-Quality Regulation”, 2016, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/regulatory-policy-in-chile_9789264254596-en, last accessed: 13 January 2022.
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 early-stage consultation should be strengthened – specifically, to identify policy alternatives.
The OECD has noted several recent improvements in the quality of RIA processes. A 2018 reform requires analysis to be proportionate to the significance of the regulation, and requires alternative regulatory options to be assessed for all subordinate regulations. RIA for SMEs has been enhanced through the introduction of an impact reporting system and revision of a related guideline in 2020, and the transparency of consultation processes overall has improved.
OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/38b0fdb1-en/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/38b0fdb1-en
The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
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.
Productivity Commission, ‘Regulatory Impact Analysis: Benchmarking,’ Research Report, November 2012: http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/120675/ria-benchmarking.pdf


With the exception of the assessment of budgetary and environmental impacts of proposed legislation, RIAs are largely formal in nature. 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 newly 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 in 2018. The number declined by another 15% from 2019 to 2020. The 2020 IA Report concludes that this is the worst year since the first report in 2017.

The situation worsened further in 2018-2020, when roughly 50% of the bills were submitted to the legislature with no RIA summary, and 60% of the legislative act were amendments to already adopted laws.

The regulatory process did not improve in 2021.
Administration of the Council of Ministers (2019): Impact assessment: annual report for 2018 (in Bulgarian). Sofia (http://strategy.bg/FileHandler.ashx?fileId=16640).

Administration of the Council of Ministers (2021): Impact assessment: annual report for 2020. https://strategy.bg/Publications/View.aspx?lang=bg-BG&categoryId=&Id=330&y=&m=&d=

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).
The OECD’s 2019 RIA report is the latest available assessment. It is unlikely that issues such as reduced human resources that affect implementation and monitoring have been resolved. With responsibilities recently transferred for a second time, delays and coordination issues are probable. Under the existing scheme, the impact of efforts to improve regulation have been clear. Stakeholders’ participation in the process increases the success of the assessment; RIAs are more effectively implemented when SMEs are concerned.

At present, the RIA website is under review and remains inaccessible to the public. There are plans to post on the new website all the relevant processes, information and results.
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.
RIAs were not implemented in Greece before the change of government in 2019 and the adoption of new legislation.

Since October 2020, all bills of law submitted to parliament must be accompanied by an RIA. Before a bill of law is submitted to parliament, it is uploaded on the competent ministry’s website to enable stakeholders to submit comments and criticisms. It is then revised by the ministry’s staff, taking into account – to a variable degree – suggestions for amendments. After that stage, the bill of law is submitted to parliament to be debated in the competent parliamentary committee, before the parliament’s plenum is convened to vote on the bill of law. The RIA documents accompanying the bill of law are available to members of parliament and to the public (although the public’s interest in details of legislative work is very limited).

This process, which was followed in the period under review, represents a vast improvement over the complete neglect of RIAs in the past, even though the quality of RIAs could be improved.
Law 4622/2019 organized the RIA framework.
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 increased transparency.
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.
The process of regulatory impact assessment does not ensure sufficient participation by relevant stakeholders. 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 noted that although “consultation is systematically required once a regulation is drafted … it does not frequently take place before a decision to regulate is made” (OECD). At the same time, the report pointed out that Lithuania has been developing its “stakeholder engagement and consultation methodology,” in particular related to “written guidance on how to conduct stakeholder engagement in 2019” (OECD). The Skvernelis government (2016 – 2020) adopted guidelines on consulting stakeholders during the legislative process, a task that is meant to be performed during the conduct of ex ante impact assessments. This issue was been discussed during the training sessions for civil servants conducted by STRATA in 2020 and 2021 on how to properly conduct impact assessments. The OECD study presented in late 2021 provided concrete recommendations on how to improve quality control at the center of the government. However, it remains to be seen how these recommendations will implemented and followed in the course of daily business.
OECD, OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/6f5c1860-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/6f5c1860-en
OECD, Mobilising Evidence at the Centre of Government in Lithuania. Strengthening decision-making and policy evaluation for long-term development, Paris: OECD, 2021.
Malta’s policy on regulatory impact assessments (RIA) is taking bold 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. COVID-19 has placed consultation with stakeholders center stage. While consultation remains superficial in some areas, a more sophisticated reaction from the public has led to more robust consultation with stakeholders. The 2019 OECD report on regulatory practices in the European Union states that there is a need to engage in more consultation when introducing primary legislation specifically in the early stage before a referred regulatory decision has been identified. In small states such as Malta, truly “independent” bodies are generally absent or rare. Fortunately, several civil society groups have become more proactive and now come forward with proposals of their own rather than (as in the past) being merely reactive.

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. A recent study by Bezzina and Marmara found a clear improvement in the RIA process.
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
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
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 stakeholders 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 timeframe 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.

In the 2020 country report for Romania, prepared by the European Commission, the commission noted that Romania had stalled on its reform of public administration, including on the implementation of effective regulatory impact assessments, and has recommended the establishment of an independent regulatory impact assessment board.
European Commission (2020): National Reform Program, Romania. Brussels. (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/2021-european-semester-national-reform-programme-romania_en.pdf)

European Commission (2020): Country Report, Romania. Brussels. (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/2020-european_semester_country-report-romania_en.pdf)
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 is not done by an independent body and 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.
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.
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.
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.
In line with these observations, a 2020 report by the Council of State stated that evaluation is organized to serve the executive rather than to nourish public debate. Too often, the results of evaluation studies are kept confidential. Thus, the evaluation process does not have a strong role in the public debate or in decision-making. For instance, it is not integrated into the debate on the annual budget law, nor are impact studies involved when a government bill is presented. The Council of State report suggested that parliament, citizens and stakeholders benefiting from public policies be better integrated into the process; that evaluation reports be disseminated more broadly to the public; and that better methods be used to organize assessments.
France Stratégie: Comment évaluer l’impact des politiques publiques? Document de travail, 16 September 2016
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)
France Stratégie: Public policy impact assessment: What can France learn from the most advanced countries?, Paris, 19 February 2020 (https://www.strategie.gouv.fr/english-articles/public-policy-impact-assessment-what-can-france-learn-most-advanced-countries)
Conseil d’État: Conduire et partager l’évaluation des politiques publiques – Étude annuelle 2020, Paris, 9 July 2020
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.

The 2021 OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook scored Ireland relatively highly on adoption and methodology, but significantly lower on transparency and oversight. The composite score for Ireland was 2.09 out of four. Given that it is the quality of RIAs that really matters, the Irish performance was perceived to be disappointing (Ferris, 2021; OECD, 2021).
Israel has recently improved its stakeholder engagement in the regulatory process. 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 2018, the Prime Minister’s Office has access to all the RIAs submitted for review by each ministry, all RIAs are published online and the parliament’s involvement in these issues has also expanded.
“Improving regulation in Israel and easing the burden of bureaucracy Proposal for a multi-year program“, Israeli Democracy Institute (Hebrew):

“OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018“, OECD WEBSITE, 2018:

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

The Knesset, Parliament involvement with RIA – Comparative Analysis, 2019 (Hebrew):
The RIA process is still in its infancy in Italy. The participation of stakeholders remains limited and is not systematically pursued. The annual reports, presented by the Prime Minister’s Office to parliament, indicate a gradual improvement in this field. A special government website (www.Consultazione.governo.it) has been created for documenting all consultation processes involving national and local public administrations. The results of consultation processes are still not available for most of 2020 and 2021.

Communication to the public needs to be significantly improved. The impact of RIAs on the policymaking process is still insufficient.
The use of RIA analyses has largely been focused on administrative simplification and better-regulation programs. The gradual introduction of RIAs since 2009 has resulted in a general template (reinforced by the Law 39/2015 and the Royal Decree 931/2017), 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.

Since 2018, the practice of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) has been strengthened through the creation of a dedicated body for the task. The Office on Regulatory Coordination and Quality within the Ministry of the Presidency is tasked with ensuring the quality, coordination and coherence of rulemaking activity undertaken by the executive. The office has established an information system providing for direct and secure communication with ministerial departments. Moreover, the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function reviews the quality of various RIA components with the autonomous communities, and oversees processes of public consultation and participation. The Council of State, in turn, assesses the legality of regulations and their development, monitors the public administration’s correct functioning, and reviews the legal quality of regulations initiated by the executive. The Council issues statements in response to consultations with ministries, autonomous community presidents and certain state entities.
Preliminary RIAs for legal norms are in some cases developed by entities other than the executive. On occasions, special parliamentary committees are established by either house to study a particular issue. However, most of the processes dealing with RIA depend upon internal ministerial resources, and the outcomes are not typically available to the public. In December 2021, the government published the Normative Annual Plan for 2022, with all laws in development and main decrees expected to be approved in 2022 by the central government.
The Public Administration’s Digitization Plan (2021) calls for transforming the public administration via data-driven public policies into a more modern and “data-driven” entity, in which information from citizens, citizens and other units and levels of the public administration are used efficiently to design public policies.
Office on Regulatory Coordination and Quality – https://www.mpr.gob.es/mpr/subse/occn/paginas/index.aspx

Gobierno de España (2021) Public Administrations Digitization Plan, https://tec.scot/sites/default/files/2021-07/Plan-for-the-digitalisation-of-pubic-administrations-TRANSLATED-1.pdf

Gobierno de España (2021): Plan Anual Normativo 2022. Administración General del Estado. Available at https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/consejodeministros/resumenes/Documents/2022/PAN%20202.pdf
RIAs are a recently introduced feature of Portuguese policymaking. The OECD’s Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021 notes that stakeholders are involved when a draft regulation is proposed, but that RIA is not used ahead of the drafting process, for instance in consulting with stakeholders. The OECD has been asked to evaluate Portugal’s RIA process; but, from the information we can gather, there is as yet no institutionalized and systematic process evaluating RIA quality.
OECD (2021), “Portugal: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021,” available online at: https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/portugal-country-profile-regulatory-policy-2021.pdf
RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
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.
The quality of the RIA process in Hungary has been poor (OECD 2021). Substantial stakeholder participation is normally lacking, since the very idea of consultation has been alien to the Orbán governments. There is no independent evaluation of RIAs, and findings are rarely or only partially made available to political actors on the special website for RIAs (hatasvizsgalat.kormany.hu). Likewise, the annual report on RIAs prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office is not publicly available.
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. 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.

In its 2019 evaluation, the OECD has noted that “since 2015, Luxembourg has made some minor improvements to its regulatory management tools. Digital means of consultations are now undertaken in Luxembourg, albeit not systematically… Over time, it will be important to expand the usage of the central website to all regulatory proposals.”
“Einfach Lëtzebuerg/Digital Lëtzebuerg.” Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (2022). https://digital-luxembourg.public.lu/initiatives/einfach-letzebuerg. Accessed 14 January 2022.

“Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Europe 2019 - Luxembourg.” OECD (2020). https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/indicators-of-regulatory-policy-and-governance-2019-luxembourg.pdf. Accessed 14 January 2022.

“Better Regulation in Europe. Luxembourg.” OECD (2019). https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/46547003.pdf. Accessed 14 January 2022.

Bossaert, Danielle: How size matters. The constraints and opportunities of public administration in Luxembourg. In: forum, 2019, no. 394, pp. 39 - 43.
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.
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.
During the period under review, the RIA requirement did not help improve the quality of proposed government legislation. Instead, the government simply organized more preparatory workshops and projects with EU support. Despite regulations adopted to encourage administrative simplification in April 2012, the introduction of RIAs has not improved the quality of government legislation, and RIA processes are only rarely followed. According to the Regulation on the Procedures and Principles of Legislation (2006), a full RIA is required for legislation that would involve costs exceeding TRY 30 million, and a partial RIA is required for legislation that would involve costs below this amount.

The By-Law on Principles and Procedures of Drafting Legislation recommends full RIAs when the estimated cost of draft laws or decrees are above TRY 10 million or upon the request of the prime minister irrespective of its costs, if it is demanded by citizens or business.
M. Önder. 2017. “Mevzuat Yapımında Düzenleyici Etki Analizi ve Uygulama Sorunları,” Türk İdare Dergisi, 89 (485): 771-810.

OECD. 2015. OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2015 (Turkey). https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/Turkey-web.pdf

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