There is no single formal government regulatory policy in Lithuania, though some elements are embedded in several strategic documents. A major part of the Lithuanian government’s efforts still focuses on administrative burden reduction, mainly for businesses. There are some general requirements to conduct monitoring and ex post reviews of existing primary laws, and the government has strengthened the regulatory oversight function and transparency related to ex post evaluations in 2020, although efforts remain in order to improve the effectiveness of the ex post evaluation framework. For example the Office of Government could be mandated to co-ordinate regulatory evaluations across government, involving all relevant institutions, and allocating appropriate resources.

While impacts are required to be assessed for all primary laws, regulatory impact assessment (RIA) remains a largely formal exercise to justify choices already made, rarely based on data, and is more embedded into regulatory decision-making procedure for primary laws than for subordinate regulations. The RIA processes in Lithuania should be improved, with a special focus on starting early in the policy development in order to inform the choice of policy instruments and on better quantification of regulatory impacts. Lithuania could develop a clear data governance framework for evidence-informed policy making, as well as simplify access to administrative data for analytical purposes by public institutions.

Consultation is systematically required once a regulation is drafted, but it does not frequently take place before a decision to regulate is made. Lithuania has continued developing its stakeholder engagement and consultation methodology, particularly with the development of written guidance on how to conduct stakeholder engagement in 2019.

The institutional responsibility for co-ordinating regulatory policy and promoting regulatory quality lies primarily with the Government Office, which organises and supervises the law-making process when draft laws are initiated by the executive and which is in charge of preparing the annual legislative programme. The two main bodies with this location are the Strategic Competences Group, which is responsible for promoting better regulation, and the Government Strategic Analysis Centre – involved in RIA quality control, consultation and assistance to ministries in conducting RIA. The Better Regulation Policy Division of the Company Law and Business Environment Improvement Department, within the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, co-ordinates initiatives in the field of administrative simplification for business, including licencing and business inspection reforms and administrative burden reduction plans. The Ministry of Justice was mandated for the co-ordination of ex post evaluation but there remains scope for strengthening the oversight functions related to ex post evaluation.

Concerning regulatory enforcement and inspections reform, Lithuania is ahead of most of OECD countries. Lithuania could consider building on existing efforts for better co-ordination of regulatory policy by bringing the different elements of regulatory policy from a whole-of-government perspective in an integrated strategic plan that includes identified objectives and a clear communication strategy.

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