Evaluating Laws and Regulations

The Case of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies

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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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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.

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