Executive summary

The OECD Regulatory Policy Review of Slovenia assesses the country’s regulatory management capacity by taking stock of regulatory policies, institutions and tools, describing trends and recent developments, and identifying gaps in relation to good practices. Improving the entire regulatory policy cycle will ensure that regulations are built on a foundation of solid evidence and public participation and designed to improve the security, health and well-being of citizens at a reasonable cost.

The government of Slovenia has made great strides in improving its regulatory policy. Line ministries are required to use tools such as regulatory impact assessment (RIA) and stakeholder engagement when developing laws and regulations. However, challenges remain in ensuring that they implement these tools effectively. Slovenia should support good law-making by strengthening the governance and oversight of the regulatory process.

Key findings

  • In Slovenia, the requirements for better regulation are set out in a variety of laws, government resolutions and other government documents. Despite progress over the past decade, critical regulatory policy tools, such as RIA, stakeholder engagement and ex post evaluation, are often not implemented in line with requirements.

  • A number of line ministries, centre-of-government offices and other institutions are involved in regulatory policy oversight. However, none has the authority or resources to perform a thorough quality check of RIA, stakeholder engagement or ex post evaluation. As a result, implementation of these tools remains uneven across ministries.

  • The National Assembly of Slovenia has made a political commitment to a whole-of-government regulatory policy, which is reflected in a number of policy documents and government resolutions, including the Resolution on Legislative Regulation and Rules of Procedure of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.

  • Regulation is also often developed quite rapidly in Slovenia. The government uses an urgent procedure to pass legislation (which, in theory, should only be used in case of a national emergency) more often than a standard or shortened procedure, which require more thorough stakeholder engagement process and ex ante analysis.

  • When RIA is applied, it is often limited to a qualitative assessment, although the situation has improved markedly since the Ministry of Public Administration introduced the SME Test – a tool to measure impacts on businesses – and more thorough guidance on RIA.

  • The Slovenian legal and policy framework creates conditions for efficient stakeholder engagement in regulatory policy, especially for developing new regulations and their amendments. However, there is a need to strengthen the enforcement of this framework. Although a few ministries do engage with stakeholders early on in the regulation-making process, most do so at the final stage.

  • Ex post evaluation is relatively rare, despite requirements for ex post evaluation for regulations passed through emergency procedure and for reviewing the effectiveness of current regulations while drafting amendments or new laws. Ex post evaluations focus on regulatory burdens rather than on whether a regulation met its objectives. Greater use of ex post evaluation could further enhance Slovenia’s competitiveness.

  • Slovenia already requires regulators to consider how to track the impact of regulations. Guidance on RIA also includes definitions on what makes a good indicator. However, few proposals actually include a strategy or framework for tracking results and impacts.

  • Since 1995, Slovenia has made a number of amendments to its compliance and enforcement policies, most of which seek to boost co-ordination and co-operation between inspectorates. Regulatory enforcement strategies continue to focus on sanctions, although risk-based approaches to compliance are being introduced.

Key recommendations

  • The Government of Slovenia should relaunch better regulation along with a high-level strategic plan to prioritise the implementation of regulatory policy.

  • The better regulation agenda should move beyond administrative burden reduction and strengthen the institutional frameworks and capacities for RIA, stakeholder engagement, and ex post evaluation. Slovenia should focus more on the benefits and overall efficiency of regulations rather than just the costs.

  • The Government of Slovenia should centralise oversight in one body and give this body stronger powers. For example, in addition to checking the structure of RIAs and regulatory management tools, the General Secretariat could verify the quality of RIAs and stakeholder engagement and have the power to send inadequately analysed proposals back to ministries.

  • The Ministry of Public Administration could expand training and guidance on regulatory policy tools. Currently, the Ministry only offers regular training on the SME Test and administrative burden reduction. Adding modules on cost-benefit analysis, evaluation, data collection, and survey methods could greatly increase the information on methodology available to regulators and thus the quality of RIA, stakeholder engagement, and ex post evaluation.

  • The government policies on stakeholder engagement should be updated to cover the process of reviewing and enforcing regulations. The policy should make it clear that when reviewing the existing regulatory framework, stakeholders’ views should always be taken into account.

  • RIA is time consuming and resource intensive. Prioritising which proposals should be subject to a full RIA could be done at an early stage, e.g. when the development of the regulation is added to the government work programme.

  • The Slovenian government should monitor whether ministries perform ex post evaluation on regulations passed by urgent procedures and publish this information online to provide incentives for ministries to undertake evaluations.

  • The government should evaluate how well ministries are implementing regulatory policy every 2 to 3 years. This could encourage them to continue to improve procedures for RIA, stakeholder engagement and ex post evaluation. A high-level co-ordination body or the supreme audit institution could regularly undertake reviews on the implementation of regulatory policy and report publicly on the results.

  • Line ministries should be required to develop frameworks for monitoring the impact of major regulations to ensure that they meet the objectives of government and the needs of citizens. This could be achieved through greater co-ordination with the Statistical Office and better guidance.

  • To simplify the administration of compliance and enforcement, the government could consider sectoral reviews and reviews of inspectorates’ competencies where necessary.

  • The government could bolster the use risk-based approaches to enforcement and should ensure that compliance and enforcement strategies are developed as part of the regulatory development process.

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