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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Evidence-based policy making through Regulatory Impact Assessment

Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) supports the process of policy making by contributing a rational decision framework that examines the implications of potential regulatory options. The use of RIA has expanded over the past 30 years to become universal across OECD countries. Despite significant progress in its adoption across OECD countries, challenges remain to make it an essential policy tool for regulatory quality. For instance, there is untapped potential to enhance the contribution of RIA through cost-benefit analysis. Also, the RIA system can be improved by pursuing stronger oversight and more systematic stakeholder engagement. This chapter documents the uptake across OECD members in the use of RIA, the challenges faced and areas for further action.

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