Israel made significant progress in improving its regulatory policy over the last years. The Government Resolutions No. 2588 of 22 April 2017 and No. 4398 of 23 December 2018 solidified the use of regulatory impact assessment in the regulation-making process, strengthened public consultation practices and provided the basis for more efficient regulatory oversight. The focus of regulatory review, both ex ante and ex post, is still mostly on reducing regulatory burdens, although evaluation of benefits is slowly being introduced. All draft primary laws and subordinate regulations are now systematically published on a single central governmental website for public consultation.

Israel’s Better Regulation Department (BRD) was established within the Prime Minister’s Office in 2014. Resolution No. 4398 has modified the mandate of the BRD, which is now entrusted with overseeing RIAs as well as with implementing a programme to train regulators and legal advisors. However, there is no obligation to consult BRD before submitting legislative drafts to the government. The Ministry of Justice, in turn, oversees the legal quality of regulations and the entire legislative process within government. A network of “Better Regulation leaders” in all line ministries helps the respective ministries to implement Resolution No. 4398. These leaders also provide an important linkage between the BRD and the line ministries.

As of 2014, conducting RIA is obligatory for all primary laws and subordinate regulations initiated by the government. This obligation does not concern the laws initiated by members of the Knesset. In 2018, Resolution No. 4398 has altered the definition of the term “regulation” to include any binding behavioural code applying to any economic or social conduct. Despite this obligation, a significant number of ministerial orders still do not contain any impact assessment while still causing significant regulatory costs. Israel would benefit from better targeting RIA efforts in order to allocate most analytical resources where they deliver greatest added value.

Resolution No. 2118 of 22 October 2014 set an obligation for each ministry to formulate a five-year plan to reduce regulatory burdens in its area of competence. However, the measures included in the programme have not been fully implemented yet as a significant stock of existing regulations must still be treated and reviewed and the programme is perceived as less successful as originally expected.

Most of the legislative planning activities are in the hands of individual ministries, with limited inter-ministerial co-ordination. This is one of the key factors behind inflationary regulatory activity. Regulatory oversight, such as an obligatory review of all RIAs by BRD issuing publically available opinions, should be strengthened. In addition, the training programme on regulatory management tools organised by the BRD could be extended in order to widen its outreach and to engage with a larger range of regulatory actors within government.

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