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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Norway has a well-developed standard procedure for developing regulations based on the 2005 Instructions for Official Studies and Reports. This procedure includes preliminary assessments of the consequences of the proposed new regulation and internal consultations with affected ministries on the mandate of the RIA prior to a full impact assessment being drafted. The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation is responsible for the interpretation of the 2005 Instructions and is in the process of revising them in co-operation with the Ministry of Finance. Full impact assessments are however only conducted for some primary laws and subordinate regulations. These completed RIAs are circulated for general review to the general public and private institutions and organisations affected. The process of developing RIAs could potentially be made more transparent by publishing all RIAs on-line and, in the cases where a full impact assessment is not conducted, making this decision and reasoning behind it open to the public.

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