Better regulation currently seems to be at the top of policymakers’ agenda and Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is considered a critical tool in the hands of governments to achieve effective and efficient policies. The recent adoption of the Better Regulation Package in October 2015 by the European Commission is just the latest example of this ongoing trend.
A new paper by Rex Deighton-Smith, Angelo Erbacci and Céline Kauffmann widens the perspective to the main OECD Countries, by exploring the contribution of RIA to achieve another major political objective, that is inclusive growth. Namely, the authors endorse the implementation of RIA to the better consideration of social and environmental issues in policymaking.
Drawing from the analysis of the available literature, rules and administrative practices of some OECD Countries, the authors propose a number of principles and considerations for the improvement of the current utilization of RIA by governments in achieving inclusive growth.
- The integration of an inclusive growth assessment within RIA, to effectively influence decision-making (paying attention on the proper method of evaluation of non-monetizable or non-quantifiable aspects).
- Inclusion of proportionality and materiality in the approach
- Ensuring the ability of inclusive growth assessments to eventually modify policy proposals.
- Ensuring adequate transparency, stakeholder engagement and accountability
- Expanding the role of ex post analysis. This could include, for example, a requirement to set out in the ex ante RIA how such ex post review will be undertaken; alternatively, accountability mechanisms could be put in place to ensure that the results of this ex post review activity form an effective policy feedback loop
- The consideration of the institutional conditions, by balancing the primary responsibility of regulatory agencies for the conduct of RIA and the necessary supervision and quality control by a regulatory oversight body.
The paper “Promoting inclusive growth through better regulation.The role of regulatory impact assessment” is available at http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/promoting-inclusive-growth-through-better-regulation_5jm3tqwqp1vj-en
(Maria Sole Porpora)