Evaluating Laws and Regulations

Evaluating Laws and Regulations

The Case of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies You do not have access to this content

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16 mai 2012
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9789264176263 (PDF) ;9789264176256(imprimé)

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This report focuses on international practices of ex post evaluation, and particularly on the current efforts to conduct ex post evaluation of laws in Chile. It is divided in two main parts.

The first part of the report provides information and guidance, examples of practice and references on the subject of ex post evaluation in OECD countries, particularly in the Legislative area. It looks at the different definitions of, and motivations for, undertaking evaluation. There is no single template for undertaking ex post legislative evaluation. The objectives and methods to be used will depend on factors such as the nature of the law to be evaluated and the parliamentary and governmental context in which the evaluation takes place.

In the second part the report evaluates the current system and process of ex post evaluation of laws in Chile. It discusses the efforts made by the recently established Law Evaluation Department in the Chamber of Representatives, in the framework of the law making process of the country. It revises the current practices in both branches of government, executive and legislative,  to conduct ex post evaluation of laws and regulations, as well as the formal and informal mechanisms to prepare laws and regulations and their possible ex post review. The paper revises as well the current programme for law evaluation launched by the Chamber of Representatives and it analyses its main components, in particular methodological approaches and inclusion of citizens‘ perceptions as a tool to increase transparency.

The report concludes with an assessment of the main challenges that the law evaluation work is facing in Chile and makes some recommendations related to institutional, methodological and governance issues.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements
    This report is the first one undertaken by the Regulatory Policy Division of the OECD Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate (GOV) to help the legislative branch of a member country devise a system and the institutions to conduct law evaluation, taking advantage of good international practices. This is also one of the first initiatives to support legislative bodies in a practical way, monitoring the implementation of legislation.
  • Executive Summary
    Ex post evaluation is a critical field to the regulatory policy cycle. In the case of laws and regulations, ex post evaluation has as a goal to determine if the regulatory framework in place achieved the desired objectives, if the law or regulation was sufficiently efficient and effective in its implementation, and to what extent any (un)expected impacts of the regulatory intervention were properly addressed at the moment of conceiving the regulatory instrument. Reviewing the outcomes and results of the regulatory intervention should be therefore a central function of regulatory institutions and it is an essential element of high quality regulation.
  • International Practices on ex post Evaluation
    This chapter starts by describing the definition and purpose of ex post regulatory evaluation, establishing it as a critical step in the regulatory policy cycle. It reviews different methodologies to undertake ex post evaluation, concluding that there is no single template to do it, but rather there are common themes and questions that must be addressed in the process. It argues that there are important links between ex ante and ex post evaluation and that an integral approach for regulatory governance must consider both, as they reinforce each other. Just like in the case of methodologies, there is no uniform model of parliamentary ex post evaluation unit. While some parliaments have formal units dealing with evaluation, others rely on a mixture of research bodies, libraries, and committees. Finally, this chapter discusses the contributions that different stakeholders can make to ex post law evaluation, including strategies for effective public engagement, for which parliamentary contacts and procedures should be regularly reviewed.
  • Ex post Evaluation in Chile
    This chapter evaluates the current system and process of ex post evaluation of laws in Chile. It starts by describing the structure of the Chilean government, the Chamber of Deputies, and the relationships between the different branches of government for law-making purposes. It also examines the attributions of both the executive branch and the Chamber of Deputies to conduct law evaluation. Furthermore, it looks at the methodologies used by the Law Evaluation Department of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies to assess the effects and impacts of laws, the role given to citizens’ perceptions and the main achievements, particularly the evaluation of Law 20.413, which establishes the principle of universal donor for organ transplants. The fact that the evaluation demonstrates that this law is not meeting its objectives should become an argument to strengthen evaluation processes and the institutional design of the Law Evaluation Department. Finally, this chapter makes recommendations to improve ex post law evaluation in Chile. These recommendations deal with institutional, methodological, and governance issues.
  • Conclusion
    Ex post evaluation should be seen as a first step in the construction of a self-contained regulatory management system that embraces the whole law-making process. Indeed, very few OECD countries have embarked on a systematic approach to ex post evaluation and there is an opportunity in Chile to develop a model that can be innovative and successful. However, it is essential to establish clear criteria for analysis, prioritise the laws or areas to be tackled, and to guarantee financial and technical resources to conduct the review process, as well as institutional aspects relevant to the well functioning of the unit in charge of these tasks. In addition, strong co-ordination mechanisms between regulatory institutions and, in this particular Chilean case, branches of government, as well as high political support are essential for a successful review. Consultation with stakeholders needs to be properly structured to get the most out of that exercise and to ensure that the content of the regulation is reviewed with care and reflects perceptions of how regulation affected interested parties.
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