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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Sweden has long placed regulatory simplification, and with it stakeholder engagement, at the centre of its Regulatory Reform agenda. Public consultation is a routine part of developing regulations. The principle of public access in Sweden entitles the general public to access official documents with a few exceptions, e.g. documents that are subject to secrecy. Draft regulations are often first analysed and evaluated by a committee of inquiry, whose final report is then referred to relevant stakeholders for consideration, before the joint draft procedure continues within the Government Offices. The Council on Legislation provides a check of conformity with existing legislation before a bill is submitted to the Parliament.

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