Overview and recent developments

Korea has significantly improved its regulatory policy system over the recent years. Ex post evaluation is mandatory for all regulations developed by the executive and central ministries are required to outline the intended evaluation plan as part of each RIA. Korea has been putting effort into systematically implementing this approach in practice. RIAs are undertaken for all subordinate regulations in Korea and for the primary laws initiated by the executive. To increase the quality of RIA and reduce the burden of preparing RIA statements, e-RIA was launched in May 2015, providing public officials with the data necessary for cost-benefit analysis.

Institutional setup for regulatory oversight

The Regulatory Reform Committee (RRC), which is co-chaired by the Prime Minister and a representative from the non-governmental sector, reviews all regulatory proposals from central administrative agencies throughout the regulatory cycle. This includes oversight of evaluation and stakeholder engagement processes. The Prime Minister’s Office, through its Regulatory Reform Office (RRO), serves the role of RRC’s secretariat and plays an oversight and steering role across central administrative agencies. The Public-Private Joint Regulation Advancement Initiative, led by the RRO and non-government organisations, regularly consults with public stakeholders. Two regulatory research centres, the Korea Development Institute (KDI) and the Korea Institute of Public Administration (KIPA), support cost-benefit analysis, provide guidance and training and conduct evaluations of the regulatory policy framework.

Consultations are conducted for all regulations initiated by the executive and recent efforts aim to increase the transparency of consultation processes. The e-Legislation Centre launched in 2016 and the Regulatory Information Portal inform the public in advance about upcoming consultations and regulators are required to provide feedback on the comments submitted through these portals. Korea also introduced the petition system “Regulatory Reform Sinmungo” to alert the government to unnecessary burdens on business and citizens and the “Cost-in, Cost-out” rule in 2016 after an initial pilot phase.

Indicators presented on RIA and stakeholder engagement for primary laws only cover processes carried out by the executive, which initiates approx. 13% of primary laws in Korea. Primary laws initiated by parliament are not accompanied by a RIA and not always supported by stakeholder engagement. To further improve the regulatory quality in Korea, there should be regulatory quality check mechanisms put in place for regulations initiated by the National Assembly.

Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG): Korea, 2018

Notes: The more regulatory practices as advocated in the OECD Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance a country has implemented, the higher its iREG score. The indicators on stakeholder engagement and RIA for primary laws only cover those initiated by the executive (11% of all primary laws in Korea).

Source: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Surveys 2014 and 2017, http://oe.cd/ireg.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933815851

Location of regulatory oversight functions: Korea

Regulatory oversight functions

Centre of government

Ministry of Finance, Economy or Treasury

Ministry of Justice

Other ministries

Non-departmental body


Office of the Attorney General

Supreme audit institution

Part of the judiciary

Quality control of…


Stakeholder engagement

Ex post evaluation

Identifying policy areas where regulation can be made more effective

Systematic improvement of regulatory policy

Co-ordination of regulatory policy

Guidance, advice and support

Scrutiny of legal quality

Notes: ⚫ indicates that a given regulatory oversight function is covered by at least one body in a particular location. Data present the situation as of 31 December 2017 and do not reflect changes that may have taken place in 2018.

Source: Survey questions on regulatory oversight bodies, Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Survey 2017, http://oe.cd/ireg.

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