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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The Netherlands was one of Europe’s early starters in the development of Better Regulation policies, with a strong momentum in the 1990s to improve the regulatory and structural environment for more open markets and, starting in the late 1990s, a strong focus on reducing administrative burdens for business which was subsequently extended to citizens. In 2000 ACTAL, the Dutch Advisory Board on Regulatory Burden, was established as an independent advisory body that advises government and parliament on how to minimise regulatory burdens for business, citizens, and professional workers in healthcare, education, safety and welfare. The Netherlands has also created regulatory burden units in the Ministry of Economic Affairs for business and in the Ministry of the Interior for citizens to lead programmes for reducing burdens across the government. The 2011 Integraal Afwegingskader (IAK) directive brings together the available guidance and instructions for impact assessment tools in an integrated fashion. The Unit for the Quality of Regulatory Policy located at the Ministry of Justice provides independent oversight on the quality of impact assessments.

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