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This report is part of a series of “best practice principles” produced under the auspices of the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee.

Regulations are indispensable for the proper functioning of economies and societies. They create the “rules of the game” for citizens, business, government and civil society. They underpin markets, protect the rights and safety of citizens and ensure the delivery of public goods and services. The objective of regulatory policy is to ensure that the regulatory “lever” works effectively, so that regulations and regulatory frameworks work in the public interest.

The quality of the regulatory environment and the delivery of regulatory outcomes is strongly dependent on the quality of processes for designing regulations. If used systematically and across the whole of government, regulatory impact assessment (RIA) can ensure better-quality government intervention. In addition, documenting and publishing the evidence and analysis used to design interventions can enhance accountability and transparency in the policy-making and decision-making processes.

The OECD has played a leading international role in promoting regulatory reform and sound regulatory practices across the whole of government. The 2012 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance summarises the information and experience it has gathered.

Building on this wealth of information and practices, these Principles provide a synthetic tool to help decision makers, policy makers, civil servants and other practitioners in the public sector internationally better design and implement their RIA systems and strategies. 

This document was approved by the Regulatory Policy Committee at its 21st Session on 6 November 2019 and prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

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