Evidence-based Instruments


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

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.
New Zealand
New Zealand established 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.

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.
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.
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.

Several government bills have been rejected by the Constitutional Committee in parliament. These included proposals on social and healthcare reform as well as proposals to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus. The government proposals were criticized by the committee as being poorly prepared, and as lacking sufficient impact assessment.
“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”
RIA are applied systematically to most new regulations. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
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.
Productivity Commission, ‘Regulatory Impact Analysis: Benchmarking,’ Research Report, November 2012: http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/120675/ria-benchmarking.pdf



In Austria, RIAs were established in 2013, and have quickly evolved into an important tool for legislators and parliamentarians. Ever since, RIA has been mandatory for all primary laws and subordinate regulations.

There has been a comprehensive “threshold test” since 2015, through which it is decided whether to conduct a full-scale or simplified RIA for draft regulations. The quality of all full RIAs and ex post evaluations is reviewed by the Federal Performance Management Office (FPMO).

The scope of full RIAs is reasonably wide, extending from environmental and social aspects to issues of gender equality. In addition to reviewing the quality of all full RIAs, ex post evaluations and controls, the FPMO supports the application of threshold tests for those measures not subject to full RIAs. It also issues guidelines, provides training on RIAs and ex post evaluation processes, and coordinates the application of such tools across government.

The OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021 notes that Chile has made important improvements to its regulatory management tools in recent years. 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)
• 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 regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) 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), and given a wider scope of responsibilities. Additionally, the Supervisory Board for Higher Education was created in the same year.

In addition, as indicated by the OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, a presidential instruction from 2019 introduced new requirements for ex post evaluation. “Subordinate regulations for which a high impact RIA was conducted are now required to be evaluated four years after their enactment. In addition, each ministry publishes on their website a list of existing regulations for the public to provide comments and feedback for potential review” (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 Impact Assessment (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.
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, more emphasis has been placed on evidence-based policies in areas such as labor market and social policies, for example. Evaluations have been explicitly integrated into policy formulation processes and, in the case of labor market policies, some experimental studies regarding activation programs have been drawn upon.
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,
13=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,”
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 has not made any major changes to its regulatory framework since 2014, when regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) were introduced. Responsibility for the development and monitoring of RIAs is shared between the Ministry of Justice and the GO’s Strategy Unit, with the latter taking a leading role in coordinating stakeholder engagement in policymaking across government and in regard to EU-related issues. Formal RIA procedures are well established, with all relevant normative acts, manuals and guidelines accessible on a dedicated website.

RIAs are mandatory for all categories of legal acts and selected subordinate regulations. Full RIAs are rarely conducted, but simplified RIAs are included in every explanatory letter for a draft law. The level of analysis contained within them has deepened over time.
OECD (2021). Regulatory Policy Outlook. Estonia. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/06899687-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/06899687-en (accessed 07.01.2022)
Germany has a systematic and comprehensive RIA system for ex ante impact assessments. RIAs have been mandatory for all laws and regulations since 2000. In 2016, SMEs also became subject to RIAs through SME test guidelines designed to promote SME-friendly policy development. Germany consistently seeks to reduce the costs of regulation. In 2016, the German government revised its EU ex ante procedure in order to avoid incurring the costs of compliance with EU legislative acts. It also introduced the “one-in, one-out” rule in 2015. The same year, Germany incorporated a behavioral insights team into the Chancellery’s policy planning unit that was designed to keep all federal ministries informed of legislative and administrative processes (OECD 2021).

The National Regulatory Control Council (Normenkontrollrat, NKR) works with a large number of different actors on various levels of the administration. It has stepped up its cooperation with the German states and local authorities, in particular through the development of methodological standards for assessing compliance costs.
OECD (2019): Better Regulation Practices across the European Union, OECD.
Japan’s RIA process has improved over the recent years. The government introduced the Basic Program on Reducing Administrative Burden in 2017 as a part of its regulatory and institutional reform initiatives. A report of the review of this program by the Subcommittee for the Administrative Burden Reduction in 2018 found that the government was able to reduce administrative costs quite significantly.

The most recent OECD review of Japan’s regulatory policy commends the positive changes in the country’s regulatory review processes, including more and more regular ex post evaluations of primary laws and subordinate regulations since 2017. It, however, also notes that stakeholders are rarely consulted for either the ex post or ex-ante-evaluations nor are they consulted in any of the RIA development processes. The OECD review thus urges the government to make information about RIAs accessible to the public and to engage more with stakeholders.
OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, OECD, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2021_196ce20a-en

Basic Program on Reducing Administrative Burden: Review results and future policies, Subcommittee for Administrative Burden Reduction, 24 April 2018, https://www8.cao.go.jp/kisei-kaikaku/english/pdf/180424/gyosei.pdf
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. Among other indicators, the annotation addresses budgetary impact, impact on particular target groups and the cost of implementation. In the past, the quality of annotations varied widely depending on the approach taken by the drafters, which range from detailed, evidence-based analysis to a simple pro forma summary of intent. Until recently minimum standards for annotations were not enforced.

With the establishment of the new TAP portal, new regulation regarding the impact assessment of draft legislative acts has also been adopted. This has expanded the list of items to be assessed, and clarifies the initial definition of impact assessment. The annotation in its revised form is now embedded in the TAP portal itself and includes several structured data sets and embedded formulas for calculating the economic and budgetary impact.

In 2021, a report entitled “On the Improvement of the Impact Assessment System” was approved. The report recommends that the State Chancellery, in collaboration with the PKC, the Ministry of Justice, the Saeima Analytical Service, line ministries, and, when necessary, other institutions and experts, revise the existing impact assessment system in order to improve its efficiency, proportionality and transparency.
1. Legislative Portal (TAP) (2021) Guidelines for assessing the initial impact of the draft legislation and preparing the assessment report in the legislation portal, Available (In Latvian) at: https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21ANPN8vFW3M61km8&cid=73C0E5B8DEDAD073&id=73C0E5B8DEDAD073%211664&parId=73C0E5B8, Last accessed: 10.01.2022.

2. Cabinet of Ministers (2021) Informative report on the Improvement of the Impact Assessment system, Available (in Latvian) at: http://tap.mk.gov.lv/doc/2020_12/MKinfo_141220_RIA.1074.docx, Last accessed: 10.01.2022.
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).
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 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. The last revision happened in 2016. 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.

In early 2022, the government promised to introduce a new system involving an annual report on Norway’s CO2 emissions as well as its intent to develop a CO2 account for all major public sector activities.
South Korea
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 2021 Regulatory Policy Outlook, the OECD placed the country above the OECD average in all 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.
The 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
OECD, Government at a Glance Database, http://www.oecd.org/gov/government-at-a-glance-2017-database.htm
OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/38b0fdb1-en/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/38b0fdb1-en
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 systematic and encompassing 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. This has been emphasized recently in a report written by collaborators of the OECD (Arndt-Bascle et al. 2022).

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. In a recent report, the OECD notes that, while there is no major significant improvement, recently Switzerland has also made some adjustments by reforming “its regulatory policy framework in 2019, in particular through the issuing of new regulatory impact assessment (RIA) directives by the Federal Council. The requirement for RIA to be conducted for all regulations in Switzerland has been refined with a ‘quick check’ procedure and additional consideration for proportionality; however this does not mean that RIA is done in an encompassing and systematic manner. All regulations must undergo a preliminary RIA, which will allow identifying regulations to be subject to an in-depth assessment. A threshold test, based on quantitative and qualitative criteria, is applied to determine whether a regulation should be subject to a simplified or full RIA. The obligation to quantify regulatory costs has been extended and systematized, such as for all new regulations which cause additional regulatory costs for more than 1,000 companies or which place a particular burden on an economic sector. Switzerland focuses less on quantifying benefits and costs of regulations to citizens” (OECD 2021: 286; Arndt-Bascle et al. 2022).
Arndt-Bascle, Christiane and Paul Davidson, Marie-Gabrielle de Liedekerke 2022: Wie man schlaue Regulierungen findet, Die Volkswirtschaft 1–2 / 2022, 39-42.

EFK [Eidgenössische Finanzkontrolle] (2016). Prognosen in den Botschaften des Bundesrates, Evaluation der prospektiven Folgenabschätzungen von Gesetzesentwürfen, Bern.

OECD 2021: Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, Paris: OECD.

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.
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). Parliament has called for the ATR to assess the administrative burden associated not only with new regulation, but also of existing regulation as well. At present the ATR, which is slated to retain temporary status until 2022, has no capacity to do this.

During the coronavirus crisis, the ATR was involved in the rapid assessment of all new regulations; it rejected some, and its advice was incorporated in improved bills and rules. 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. The body has concluded that the quality of legislation is insufficient. In about 25% of new laws, the parliament’s rationale (necessity and utility) is not identified or is insufficiently argued. In about two-thirds of cases, there is inadequate or hardly any attention paid to feasibility; the laws do not fit the way firms have shaped their production processes, or how citizens organize their lives.

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. The ATR has argued that this framework does not fit policymaking officials’ expectations, and has noted that nobody is responsible for monitoring or correct use of the system.
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)
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)

Adviescommissie Toetsing Regeldruk, Jaarverslag 2020.
The reduction of regulation costs has been a long-standing policy goal of successive governments and is closely monitored by the Better Regulation Executive, set up in 2005 and charged with overseeing the Better Regulation Framework (updated periodically). Successive governments have refined this approach while maintaining its broad thrust. 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. The number of RIAs carried out has fallen from a peak of 664 in 2011 to an average of 175 in each of the three years preceding the pandemic, and just 100 in 2020 and 85 in 2021, according to legislation.co.uk. Over the years, the largest number of RIAs were for the departments responsible for business, transport and the environment.

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 in 2018, 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. Each ministry has a better regulation unit and the formal process is scrutinized by the independent Regulatory Policy Committee

While this is good overall practice, implementation was particularly patchy during the politically charged Brexit process, with the government resisting pressure to make all the relevant documentation public in a timely manner. Some elaboration is provided by the Institute for Government. Notwithstanding this exceptional period, RIAs are taken seriously. There are extensive manuals and guidance for officials contemplating policy initiatives. Provisions also exist for taking into account impacts of UK-wide legislation on the devolved administrations.

A consultation launched in July solicited input on how “the UK can reshape its approach to regulation and seize new opportunities from Brexit with its newfound regulatory freedom.” Legislation is expected to follow in 2022.
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.



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 strong 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.

The Impact Assessment Agency established under the new Act continues the functions of regulatory impact assessments which were conducted under the previous legislation. The Agency is authorized to conduct assessments, undertake research, monitor compliance, engage in consultations and “promote harmonization“ of assessments with other levels of government.
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
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 members of the RIA commission also take part in discussions on selected regulatory drafts at meetings of the Legislative Council of the Government. The RIA unit provides methodological guidance, and organizes workshops and seminars for civil servants who prepare impact assessments. Internationally, the RIA commission participates in the activities of the RegWatchEurope platform.

A major weakness of RIAs in Czechia is that RIAs are not mandatory for legislation proposed by members of parliament, or local or regional authorities. As proposals by members of parliament alone represent about 40% of all legislative initiatives, this is a major gap. The emergency measures introduced to control the COVID-19 pandemic were also exempt from RIAs. During 2020, the RIA commission considered 55 drafts, considerably more than in the two preceding years, approving 10, while recommending some changes to a further 34 and the complete reworking of 11 (Úrad vlády České řepubliky 2021). It is not always clear, however, how far RIAs eventually change legislation. A draft law on transitioning to a low-carbon energy policy proposed in 2020 was criticized, because it was found to concentrate only on nuclear power and failed to account for the government’s long-term energy strategy, adopted in 2015. The law that was passed in 2021 (No.367/2021) seemed to be guilty of the same shortcomings.
Úrad vlády České řepubliky (2021): Jednání pracovní komise Legislativní rady vlády pro hodnocení dopadů regulace v roce 2020. Prague (https://ria.vlada.cz/wp-content/uploads/Priloha-c.-8-vyrocni-zprava-pracovni-komise-RIA-2020.pdf).
In 2019, the new government passed legislation (Law 4622/2019) on RIAs, which had been formally introduced as a routine in 2006 but never actually implemented. The same law established a new unit, the Better Regulation Office, subsumed under the Prime Minister’s Office (the Presidency of the Government), tasked with overseeing the RIA process. Since October 2020, no bill of law is to be submitted to parliament, unless accompanied by an RIA.

In the past, all legislative drafts submitted to the parliament were accompanied by a document that outlined the rationale for the bill. Today, the RIA for each legislative draft is conducted on a basis of common methodology following international standards. RIAs are not limited to legal issues (e.g., legal conflicts), but also include social and economic aspects of the new legislation under preparation. The General Accounting Office estimates the cost of the bill of law for the state budget, if the competent minister provides the office with adequate data (which may not be always possible).

In brief, as recognized by the OECD, in 2020–2021, RIA processes in Greece were vastly improved. In the future, RIAs could be improved through insisting on better societal engagement in assessing the impact of legislation. In addition, RIAs could be applied to secondary legislation or at least to the most critical presidential decrees prepared and issued by the competent minister preparing the decree.
OECD, Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021 (https://www.oecd.org/publications/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2021-38b0fdb1-en.htm)
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.

Unlike in most neighboring countries, no expert report on the economic and social fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic was commissioned by the government.
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.
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). A recent OECD study concluded that “most RIAs are conducted as a formality, with limited impact.” 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 especially members of parliament.

The insufficient use of RIAs is a function of both demand and supply problems. On the supply side, there is a dearth of skilled policy analysts, both due to the low attractiveness of work in the civil service, as well as general characteristics within the labor market and education system. Moreover, “in most Lithuanian ministries, analytical capacities are dispersed through line departments and understaffed policy units.” In general, “skills and capacities to supply robust and credible evidence remain low” (OECD). On the demand side, the problems are related to a lack of a developed culture fostering evidence-based policy, as well as the very high number of legislative proposals – what is referred to as legislative inflation. In addition, policymakers themselves at times do not possess the necessary skills to understand and use the results of policy evaluations.

In 2019, the Government Strategic Analysis Center (STRATA) was created (on the basis of the Research and Lithuanian Science and Education Monitoring and Analysis Center (MOSTA)). The goal of the new center is “to strengthen evidence-informed decision-making mechanisms from a center-of-government perspective” (STRATA, 11). STRATA has been granted a much broader mandate, but its current analytical and staff capacities are inadequate to address this enlarged scope of activity. In 2020 and 2021, STRATA organized training sessions for line ministries and civil servants from the parliament on how to conduct ex ante impact assessments. Its experts also provide advice to line ministries on high-priority impact assessments as they are being conducted. The program of the Šimonytė government (which took power in late 2020) contains provisions on improving the conduct of impact assessments and focusing on the quality rather than the quantity of new legal initiatives. In late 2021, OECD presented a set of concrete recommendations on improving RIA skills, advising that quality be more closely monitored and that the government pay greater political attention to the issue. However, it remains to be seen how those recommendations will be implemented by the government. Moreover, there is little interest among the members of the parliament in using impact assessments more systematically for their own legislative initiatives. Although the statute has provisions describing its use, there is no specific methodology on how RIAs should be conducted, and the use of external expertise depends on the particular chair of each committee.

The recent developments with government’s policy vis-a-vis Taiwan and China is a good case in point. It appears that little in the way of impact assessment was carried out before significant foreign policy steps were taken, with profound implications for the country’s geopolitics, businesses and economy.
OECD, Lithuania: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance, 2021 https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/6f5c1860-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/6f5c1860-en
STRATA/OECD, Strengthening Decision-Making and Policy Evaluation for Long-Term Development, 2021, https://strata.gov.lt/lt/apie-mus/projektai/irodymais-gristos-politikos-formavimas-ir-politikos-vertinimas-vyriausybes-centre
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.
OECD, Mobilising Evidence at the Centre of Government in Lithuania. Strengthening decision-making and policy evaluation for long-term development, Paris: OECD, 2021.
The purpose of regulatory impact analysis (RIA) is to assess the degree to which regulation has negative effects and 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.

The pandemic crisis has highlighted the need for a transformation of the process by which rules are made, especially during a compressed time-frame imposed by urgent conditions. OECD (2021a) stresses the need for international coordination, since the rules one country imposes affects others, as we have seen during the past two years. The OECD further emphasizes the paucity of the use of evidence-based regulations and inconsistency of substantial follow-up.

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 subordinate regulations (OECD, 2021b).
OECD. 2021a. “OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook.” https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/38b0fdb1-en/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/38b0fdb1-en

OECD. 2021b. “Sweden: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021.” https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/sweden-country-profile-regulatory-policy-2021.pdf
In general, the 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 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) conducts analyses of proposed bills, including cost estimates over a 10-year period. The Congressional Research Service has also conducted several notable studies on climate change.

The Trump administration largely abandoned impact analysis and other professional expertise. Agencies were under a strong presidential mandate to reduce regulations. The beginning of the Biden administration marked a departure from Trump’s practices, and it featured an explicit attempt to return to evidence-based policymaking.
An RIA scheme was introduced in 2007 as part of a project to improve regulation. A robust RIA tool was adopted in 2016 and training programs enabled its use in 2017.

Responsibility for RIAs, placed initially under the now dissolved Unit for Administrative Reform, passed first to the Department of Public Administration and Personnel, and then, in September 2021, to the DGC. The RIA project will be reviewed in light of the European Commission’s guidelines for improving RIA schemes. This review and the transfer of responsibilities means that the project is in a transitional phase.

A critical issue seems to be the fact that policies with a broad and strong impact are not subject to RIAs. This is the case for decisions by the Council of Ministers, such as the infamous “investment program,” the granting of permits for skyscrapers against the limitations of town planning and the sale of Cypriot citizenship. The impact of such policies not only neutralizes the positive effects of RIAs, it also negates regulatory improvements.
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 individual 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 (DAGL) is responsible for the elaboration of RIA methodology. Annual reports are submitted to parliament.

Following reforms adopted by previous governments (a new more comprehensive RIA regulation took effect on 15 December 2017), the current RIA framework prohibits any discussion by the Council of Ministers of a proposal that lacks an RIA. While in the past these rules were not always applied, things have gradually changed, and most normative acts are now accompanied by an RIA unless an exemption has been granted because of the limited relevance of a proposal. 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 2018 OECD study showed Italy lagging behind in this field, particularly with regard to ex post evaluations.

The government’s report to parliament for 2020 provides a broad documentation of RIA activities, but indicates also the problems arising in implementing them during the pandemic, and suggests the need to re-evaluate RIA procedures and reports. Few ministries have well organized offices, which can perform effective RIAs.

Furthermore, it has to be underlined that without considering the RIA procedures, evidence-based policymaking is still very problematic in the country due to political constraints and to the random use of existing knowledge.
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

https://presidenza.governo.it/DAGL/uff_studi/RelazioneAnnuale2020.pdf (accessed 29 January 2021)
Initial progress in this area was slow, but various reforms have sped up reforms. The government has continued to conduct several ad hoc reviews of existing laws and regulations in specific areas aimed at reducing administrative burdens. It now has a structure in place, which has been slowly built over the last four years. The process is now more systematic. Within the existing framework, the cabinet is required to approve regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) for government notices, regulations and by-laws (i.e., subordinate regulations). The OECD 2019 publication on regulatory practices states that Malta lacks a systematic approach toward reviewing whether laws and regulations achieve their intended policy goals. Accessibility to the process has been improved through the introduction of an online portal. However, it concludes that there is a need to engage in more consultation when introducing primary legislation. This process is detailed in the Small Business Act, Chapter 512 in Maltese law. Recent reports from the European Union have continued to confirm steady progress. To ensure that reviews contain sufficient detail, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) process was introduced. Each ministry has now drawn up its review structure according to these standards. More trained staff have been employed and the general improvements made in the capacity of the public service are now producing results. However, the Office of the Attorney General, which also has a legislative unit, continues to present a final review when legal issues are under consideration. The institutions involved in the process include the Parliamentary Office for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification of Administrative Processes, the Office of the Principle Permanent Secretary, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality (though this has now been dissolved and European affairs has been merged with foreign affairs, it is uncertain if the competence has been taken over by the latter ministry), and the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.
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
https://maltabusinessweekly.com/72-of-the-population-satisfied-with-the-public-service-eurobaromePublic Service F. F. Bezzina and V Marmara, (2021) Reforms in a Small Island State: The Case of Malta, Springer Publishing UK.
OECD Better regulatory practices across the European Union 2019
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 Program stressed the government’s commitment to improve RIA, no significant improvements have actually taken place.
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).
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 and not to bills submitted by members of parliament. Moreover, ministries still often struggle with the quantification of wider impacts, focusing mainly on budgetary impacts and, to a lesser extent, impacts on business. Finally, the regular use of fast-track parliamentary procedures hampers evidence-based policymaking by sidelining proper impact assessment efforts and consultations with stakeholders.
In Slovenia, RIA guidelines have largely been copied 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. These culminate in the 2019–2022 Action Plan, which calls for the expansion of RIA guidance to include the assessment of non-financial impacts and suggests the implementation of preliminary impact assessments. 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.
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.
OECD (2021): Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021: Slovenia. (https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/3ebf1de2-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/3ebf1de2-en)
The law on the common administrative procedure (Law 39/2015) included a provision devoted to ensuring that lawmaking in the future will take place in accordance with the principles of “smart regulation” and “better regulation.” Royal Decree 931/2017 establishes specific rules governing the use of RIA. 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. Currently, RIAs are required for all regulations in Spain.
According to the OECD indicators on regulatory policy and governance, Spain’s public administration (from the national to the local level) is gradually stepping up its “better regulation” efforts, expanding its initial focus on administrative simplification in order to focus additionally on the issues of stakeholder engagement and ex post evaluation.
OECD (2021), Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance: Spain

Gobierno de España (2021): Guía metodológica para la elaboración de la memoria del análisis de impacto _ormative, available at http://www.mptfp.es/dam/es/portal/funcionpublica/gobernanza-publica/simplificacion/impacto-normativo/guia_metodologica_ain.pdf#page=1
RIA are applied in some cases. There is no common RIA methodology guaranteeing common minimum standards.
RIA practice in Bulgaria can be traced back to central planning practices that started in 1971. The respective law (on normative acts) remained in force until 2004, and a updated RIA procedures were added in 2007.

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 improving but deficient.

Assessments for legislative proposals sponsored by individual members of parliament continued to be of poor quality until the end of 2020. The newly elected parliament amended its rules to include obligatory RIAs on individual members of parliament’s draft bill, and this requirement is likely to work.
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 125 laws planned to be passed in 2020 were subject to RIA, of which only two laws (12%) ultimately underwent RIA procedures. A total of 145 laws were planned to be passed in 2021, of which 20 laws were expected to undergo regulatory impact assessment procedures. 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.
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.
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 Council of State 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. The Court of Accounts produces regulatory assessments on an ex post basis that might help to revise legislation, but it cannot provide the benefits of an anticipatory strategy.
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.
In June 2019, the prime minister issued an instruction requiring that each new piece of legislation initiated by the executive be assessed on the basis of at least five impact indicators. This is now mandatory for primary laws and major secondary legislation.
This novel procedure strengthens a long tradition of thorough control by the Council of State, whose role is crucial (the government might decide to follow the Council of State’s proposed changes or to reject them, but cannot adopt an in-between solution). The Council of State’s opinion is particularly influential, as the consultative chamber’s advice will be transmitted to the council chamber in charge handling a potential legal challenge in front of the Constitutional Council, if the body is asked to review the law (a quasi-systematic occurrence).
In theory, the government has imposed an offsetting “one-in, two-out ” approach. In other words, every new regulation should offset two previous regulations (for the following, see OECD 2021). It is unclear if this rule works in practice, however.
Apart from environmental laws and regulations, there is no systematic obligation to consult stakeholders. In practice, some are always consulted, but the informal nature of such contacts is subsequently criticized by interest groups whose opinions have not been reflected in the final result (for instance, in the area of pesticide regulation).
RIA is mandatory only for bills introduced by the executive (3/4 of the total), not for those sponsored by the members of parliament. Most of the time, proposals presented by members of parliament are of minor interest (for example, the latest one as of the time of writing addressed the possibility for individuals to change their family name, a process that was extremely cumbersome and had discouraged applicants at a time of substantial structural changes in the definition of what is a family). In a few cases, the government might be tempted to avoid RIA by asking a member of the parliamentary majority to introduce a bill prepared by the executive in order to speed up the process.
The OECD gives France a two-point score out of a possible four points on the overall process of RIA.
OECD. 2021:OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021, available at: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/6d483208-en/index.html?itemId=/content/component/6d483208-en
The 2011 Programme for Government stated, “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 (Gov, 2018).

In response to parliamentary questions on the topic in July 2012, the taoiseach 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.

In 2021, the OECD pushed Ireland to establish a core body to perform vital oversight and scrutiny functions, such as reviewing the quality of RIAs. There were good examples cited, such as the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s assessment of the 2018 Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Bill and the Department of Transport’s 2021 assessment for merchant shipping (the Investigation of Marine Casualties Amendment Bill). But the OECD criticized the failure to publish many of the RIAs carried out by government departments (Ferris, 2021).
Ferris, T., (2021) ‘OECD scores show Ireland must try harder on regulatory impact assessments’, The Irish Times, 6 December 2021, https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/oecd-scores-show-ireland-must-try-harder-on-regulatory-impact-assessments-1.4747437

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
In 2014, Israel launched a five-year plan to reduce regulation, which aimed to reduce the cost of bureaucratic processes by 25% by requiring regulators to formulate regulatory changes according to the government’s RIA guide. Nevertheless, it seems that Israel is still lagging behind other countries when it comes to implementing RIA inside its own ministries. An OECD report from 2018 stated that offices inside the Israeli government have not used RIAs correctly and ignored it in some cases. The last report summarizing regulation improvement pertained to 2018. This report detailed some 60 regulation reduction processes in most government ministries. While the report does not include data on the overall effect of the process vis-à-vis the goal of reducing bureaucratic regulations by 25%, it states that so far ILS 4 billion has been saved (on an approximately ILS 1.3 trillion economy). In late-2021, the government passed the Regulation Fundamentals Law, according to which ministers and regulators have to consult the new Regulation Authority regarding the economic, social and environmental implications of all regulations.
Economic Affairs Committee, Committee Protocol of 28.10.15 (Hebrew):

“Improving regulation in Israel and easing the burden of bureaucracy is a proposal for a multi-year plan“, IDI Website (Hebrew):

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

Government Regulation Website, The regulatory burden reduction book of 2018, July 2019 (Hebrew):

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,

“The OECD: “There will be no choice but to establish a regulatory body in Israel,” Calcalist, 2018 (Hebrew):

Almog, Tamar. 2020. “Unprecedented: Thousands of Comments Against the Coronavirus law,” Kan, Retrieved from https://www.kan.org.il/item/?itemid=71971
Kogosovski, Mendi. 2020. “The Government Legislation Website is Live.” IsraelDefense, Retrieved from https://www.israeldefense.co.il/he/node/44489
Mor, Guy & Alon Jasper. 2020. Parliamentary Arbitrage and the Case for Regulatory Policy in Parliament,” The Theory and Practice of Legislation 7(3): 283-305.
Nagid, Moran and Morin Amitay. 2020. “Public Participation in Health Policy,” Kohelet Policy Forum, Policy Paper no. 66, retrieved from https://kohelet.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/health.involve.paper_.pdf
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. In 2004, the government set up the Plateforme interministérielle de réforme et de simplification administrative, which since 2017 has implemented the so-called Omnibus Bill. Containing 11 laws and two regulations, this is intended to facilitate and speed up planning procedures in 102 municipalities, and introduces a transversal approach to the systematic screening of all administrative procedures. In 2018, the competences of the country’s main regulatory oversight body were transferred from the Ministry of the Civil Service and Administrative Reform to the Ministry of Digitalization. The goal was to implement the e-government strategy, advance administrative reform, promote digital inclusion and integrate new technologies in society.
The new ministry, which is responsible for coordinating the Plateforme interministérielle, is also responsible for a range of other oversight functions, including evaluating regulatory policy, identifying areas in which regulation could be made more effective, and coordinating regulatory policy. The digitalization process is expected to include continuous exchanges between the state, business and the general public. The participatory platform Zesumme Vereinfachen hosts collaborative projects and proposals aimed at administrative simplification, which are analyzed by the Ministry for Digitalization and then processed or discussed with the administration(s) referenced by the proposal that has been submitted. By participating in this process, the citizens can get involved in one or more phases of the project, at their own convenience.
“Einfach Lëtzebuerg Action Plan.” https://digital-luxembourg.public.l u/initiatives/einfach-letzebuerg. Accessed 14 January 2022.

“OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2021.” https://doi.org/10.1787/38b0fdb1-en. Accessed 03 May 2022.
As noted in previous reports, the first Costa government introduced RIA processes for the first time, formalizing a body responsible for RIAs within the public administration. The successor government maintained those efforts; indeed, its program sets out the goal of having all draft bills it submits to parliament be accompanied by a legislative impact assessment. Moreover, it sought to extend a pilot program that assesses the impact of legislation intended to combat poverty and corruption.

These are positive steps in a country where RIA has historically been lacking. However, there is still considerable room for improvement. The OECD’s Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021 note that the role of RIA has increased in Portugal. This is reflected in the fact that the “Custa Quanto” RIA, which assesses the economic cost of the government’s legislative proposals, was formalized in the post-2019 government’s internal organization, after a trial in 2017 and the establishment of a definitive model in 2018. This, as well as the developments noted in the previous paragraph, explain the considerable improvements in the OECD assessment relative to 2018. At the same time, the OECD notes that limitations remain both in the scope and application of the practice, with Portugal scoring below the OECD average in terms of RIA.
JurisAPP, A Avaliação de Impacto em Portugal, available online at: https://jurisapp.gov.pt/avaliacao-de-impacto/a-avaliacao-de-impacto/

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

XXII Governo Constitucional, Programa do XXII Governo Constitucional 2019-2023, available online at: https://www.portugal.gov.pt/download-ficheiros/ficheiro.aspx?v=%3d%3dBAAAAB%2bLCAAAAAAABACzsDA1AQB5jSa9BAAAAA%3d%3d
Upon coming to office, the second Orbán government amended the provisions on RIAs. In practice, RIAs have suffered from sluggish and selective implementation (Brenner/ Fazekas 2020; Corruption Research Center 2017; Staroňová 2014). This has not changed following a further amendment to the 2010 Act on Lawmaking in March 2019 (OECD 2021).
Brenner, D., M. Fazekas (2020): Legislative Effects of Regulatory Impact Assessment: A Comparative Event History Analysis of Modifications of Law in France, Italy, Hungary and the UK. Government Transparency Institute, Working Paper 2020-3, Budapest (http://www.govtransparency.eu/legislative-effects-of-regulatory-impact-assessment-a-comparative-event-history-analysis-of-modifications-of-law-in-france-italy-hungary-and-the-uk/).

Corruption Research Center (2017): Report on the Quality of Hungarian Legislation – 2011-2016. Budapest.

OECD (2021): Hungary: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021. Paris (https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/hungary-country-profile-regulatory-policy-2021.pdf).

Staroňová, K. (2014): L’institutionnalisation des études d’impact en Europe centrale et orientale, in: Revue Française D’ Administration Publique 149(1): 123-143.
Poland had a relatively well-established system of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) when the PiS government came to power. The PiS government has slightly amended this system. In 2018, the requirement for assessing the impact of economic laws on SMEs was strengthened by the Law for Entrepreneurs Act. Since its creation in 2018, the Center for Strategic Analysis in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister has been in charge of overseeing RIAs (OECD 2021). However, the PiS government has not taken RIAs seriously. It has bypassed RIAs by relying strongly on fast-track legislation and legislative initiatives submitted by individual members of the Sejm. Between 2017 and 2020, 217 out of 603 bills were submitted by members of parliament.
OECD (2021): Poland. Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance 2021. Paris (https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/poland-country-profile-regulatory-policy-2021.pdf).
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 (RIA) are a formal exercise but are neither sent to parliament nor published. The legal quality is mainly shaped by the “By-Law on Principles and Procedures of Drafting Legislation” decree passed in February 2006. The law involves provisions relating to stakeholder engagement as well as RIA. The Prime Ministerial Circular on RIA, issued in April 2007, further specified guidelines, roles, and responsibilities including for the Better Regulation Group within the Prime Ministry. Since then, the completion of an RIA has been required for all new legislation (laws, decrees, and other regulatory procedures), excluding issues relating to national security, the draft budget or final accounts (under Article 24 of Regulation 4821 on the Procedure and Principles of Preparing Legislation, 12 December 2005).

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 EU also funded the Technical Assistance for Capacity-Building and Support to the Preparation of an RIA for Decoupled Agricultural Support project.
European Commission. “Turkey Report 2021. Commission Staff Working Document.” October 19, 2021. https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/turkey-report-2021_en
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 (especially regional) 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. 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. However, such an RIA-compliant methodology is still not being applied in a systematic manner in the various policy domains.

As mentioned elsewhere, the management of the health crisis has seen consultation with non-governmental academic experts become more systematic, as expert groups routinely report to consultation committees on the evolution of the health situation and indicating potential measures to be taken. Nonetheless, given the very short time frame for producing such reports, RIA methodological standards are seldom met.
https://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/Impact-assessment-in-Belgium-June-2015%20fr.pdf (see end)
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.”

RIA are not applied or do not exist.
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