As highlighted in the OECD Policy Framework on Sound Public Governance, effective policy and legislative development is critical to ensuring that governments can translate long-, medium- and short-term policy goals into concrete actions. It also provides an opportunity for governments to collaborate with a broad array of stakeholders and, as such, is core to the democratic process. It ensures that public governance values – such as integrity, openness and transparency, inclusiveness and accountability – are adopted widely across government, and mainstreamed across the policy cycle.

Rule of law and sound policy and legislative development are key objectives of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) ongoing efforts to build stronger institutions, address economic and societal challenges, and, ultimately, promote people’s trust in the decision-making process. The Basic Law of 2002 outlines an institutional framework and mechanisms based on the rule of law, quality control and oversight of decision-making authorities. Moreover, the Guidelines on Legislative Drafting and Guidelines on Secondary Legislative Drafting were important early steps to institutionalise best practices in support of a transparent, evidence-based and people-centred legislative development process in the PA. Two OECD reports published in 2011 informed the Palestinian Authority’s later efforts to review existing regulatory practices and update legislative drafting and public consultation guidelines.

Today, better law-making mechanisms and regulatory principles continue to be key features of the PA’s strategic plans: Pillar 1 of the “National Policy Agenda 2017-22” notably cites the legislative process as a key priority. However, the de facto dissolution of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) following the 2006 elections means law- and policy-making take place in a particularly challenging setting. To date, the PLC remains inactive and legislation is being issued by presidential decree. The PA also faces a number of other cross-cutting challenges that further hinder the Authority’s efforts to reform the legislative- and policy-development processes: from humanitarian emergencies, fiscal deficits and high wage bills to specific governance challenges relating to ministries’ weakened capacities for planning or the absence of institutional mechanisms to aptly co-ordinate legislative planning.

This Review looks at existing institutional frameworks, structures, mechanisms, and capacities to better address the aforementioned challenges hampering the policy and legislative process in the PA. Building on previous work, notably the 2017 assessment of the PA’s legislative process by EUPOL COPPS, the Review draws on first-hand information collected from key institutions involved in these processes, as well as established OECD standards and good practices for sound policy and legislative development. It presents a detailed assessment of policy- and law-making in the PA and offers actionable recommendations to guide the Authority in administering requisite reforms.

While this Review focuses on the early stages of policy making, principally on legislation, a forthcoming complementary Review will look at other stages of the policy-making process, including policy delivery, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the OECD supports the Authority through the development of The Good Practices Manual for Policy and Regulatory Planning, which aims to institutionalise clear guidelines for better planning and regulatory practices.

Both this Review and the forthcoming Manual are the result of the OECD’s contribution to the “Support the Palestinian Authority to enhance Governance and the Rule of Law” project funded by the European Union. The project seeks to contribute to a more effective, transparent and participatory policy- and law-making process, and enhance people’s and businesses’ trust in the Authority’s action. In line with the strategic priorities of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme under the OECD Public Governance Committee, the project deepens the OECD's support to the PA on issues of governance and the rule of law. Through the MENA-OECD Governance Programme, a strategic partnership between countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and OECD Member countries, the OECD has supported the PA’s efforts in several areas related to public governance, such as open government, integrity and anti-corruption, citizen participation, gender equality, budget management and local governance. The project is also implemented in close cooperation with the SIGMA Programme, a joint initiative of the OECD and the EU, principally financed by the EU.

This document was approved by the Public Governance Committee and Regulatory Policy Committee via written procedure on the 26th August 2022 and prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the Palestinian Authority.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2022

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at