OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2015

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Regulations are the rules that govern the everyday life of businesses and citizens. They are an essential instrument in the hands of government to promote economic growth, social welfare and environmental protection. However, regulations can also be costly and ineffective in achieving their objectives. The Regulatory Policy Outlook is the first evidence-based analysis of the progress made by countries to improve the way they regulate. Based on a unique survey filled by all OECD countries and the European Commission, the Outlook assesses progress in establishing the conditions for good regulation. It provides unique insights into the organisation and institutional settings in countries to design, enforce and revise regulations. It uncovers the areas of the regulatory cycle that receive too limited attention from policy makers, and identifies actors who have an important part to play to improve the way regulations are developed, implemented and evaluated. It reviews the use of three critical tools of regulatory policy (Regulatory Impact Assessment, stakeholder engagement and ex post evaluation) and proposes options to use them in a more strategic manner to inform the development and delivery of regulations.

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In Canada the processes and requirements for developing primary laws (Acts) and subordinate regulations (regulations) differ significantly. Subordinate regulations typically elaborate on the general principles set in Acts and set out detailed requirements for regulated parties to meet. As such, the number of regulations made in a given year vastly outnumbers the number of Acts. The process for developing primary laws is outlined in the Cabinet Directive on Law-Making. The requirements for subordinate regulations are laid out in the Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management (CDRM 2012). The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is responsible for providing oversight for subordinate regulations, playing a key role in helping to assure regulatory quality. For primary laws, Cabinet, supported by the Privy Council Office, is responsible for providing oversight in the areas of consultation and ex post analysis, and the quality of impact assessments are reviewed by the Privy Council Office.

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