Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 discusses the potential for governments to improve the evidence basis for policy and promote coherence through the systematic integration of RIA in the policy process. It outlines some of the issues affecting the performance of RIA and opportunities for identifying improvements with reference to the chapters of this publication.

  • Chapter 2 examines the important factors likely to be influential in determining the quality of regulatory impact analysis and discusses their application in OECD countries. These factors are: the design of RIA processes and methodologies; the level of formal authority and political support for the process; and the incorporation of specific quality assurance mechanisms. This chapter examines the experiences of OECD countries and considers ways of improving the overall quality of RIA.

  • Chapter 3 examines the methodological frameworks for RIA. It overlaps with some similar material on the potential for methodological approaches to influence the quality of RIA, but expands considerably on the examination of the specific technical aspects of preparing RIA. RIA is primarily about improving evidence-based decision making in public policy. Chapter 3 focuses on those methodological issues which have the potential for substantial impact on the quality of RIA and those which are the most controversial. It reviews a range of RIA guidance material from within OECD countries to compare the differences in approach and consider specific areas for improvement. Topics include: the establishment of threshold tests to justify RIA; analytical methods including benefit-cost analysis, breakeven analysis and multicriteria analysis; valuation methods; and risk assessment.

  • Chapter 4 is intended to assist policy officials with responsibility for conducting RIA to include a competition policy analysis. Regulation which unnecessarily restricts competition imposes costs on society and the inclusion of a competition analysis can avoid these costs. Chapter 4 addresses how to identify policies that merit a competition assessment and how to conduct a competition assessment within a RIA on possible regulatory approaches. For a range of regulatory approaches, it discusses the expected benefits of each approach, the potential impact on competition, where it may be used appropriately and potential policy alternatives for achieving the same objectives at a lower cost to society. It also provides guidance on how to get maximum value by integrating competition assessment processes within the regulatory policy cycle, and argues that significant public benefits can be obtained from even a relatively small investment of public sector resources if it is done systematically.

  • Chapter 5 looks at a study within the OECD of the application of RIA in the field of the regulation of corporate governance. Noting that the requirement to undertake RIA is an established part of the regulatory systems of OECD members, this chapter examines examples of the application of RIA by financial services regulators to strengthen their evidence-based policy-making. It draws on examples from OECD experience notably; Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, United States and the European Union. It looks at how regulators have dealt with some of the challenges to effective RIA which include; defining the problem, undertaking effective consultation, and identifying and measuring costs and benefits.