Overview and recent developments

Norway improved its standard procedure for developing regulations by updating the Instructions for Official Studies and Reports in 2016. Now under the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance, these Instructions establish whole-of-government procedures regarding the requirements and guidance on preparing regulatory proposals, RIA, stakeholder engagement and ex post evaluations. The Instructions establish new thresholds for determining when a simplified versus full analysis is required, as well as requiring the quantification of costs/benefits when the regulation is expected to have a large impact on many people. Transparency could be enhanced by publishing all RIAs online as well as the reasoning behind conducting a simplified analysis, when applicable.

Public consultation is conducted for all draft laws. While the 2016 Instructions calls for more early-stage consultations, data shows that this provision has yet to be fully implemented. The Instructions also encourage better coordination between national and sub-national governments for all laws, and the use of inclusive mechanisms such as videoconferences or social media to ensure inputs from all parties affected. Ex post evaluations are not mandatory, but have been carried out for certain regulations in response to requests from parliament, external groups, audit office, or due to legal requirement. Principle-based reviews on competition and administrative burdens have also been conducted in recent years to improve productivity growth and reduce the cost on businesses.

Institutional setup for regulatory oversight

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the Instructions for Official Studies and Reports, which sets the requirements and guidance on the preparation of regulatory proposals, RIA, stakeholder engagement and ex post evaluation. It also provides guidance and training on these topics. The Ministry of Finance, along with the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, may also initiate efforts for improving the effectiveness of regulations. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has the main responsibility for scrutinising the legal quality of regulations under development. A significant reform is the establishment of the Better Regulation Council (NBRC), a body at arm’s length from government that reviews selected RIAs and proposals for new or altered regulations that have consequences for businesses. It is overseen by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries and responsible for promoting good regulatory practices and reducing burdens. The NBRC publishes formal opinions on the quality of RIAs using a traffic light system and can make suggestions for revisions. These opinions are posted on their website, as well as that of the Ministry for use in public hearings.

Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG): Norway, 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.

Source: Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance Surveys 2014 and 2017,


Location of regulatory oversight functions: Norway

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,

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