Regulatory quality and COVID-19: The use of regulatory management tools in a time of crisis

by Maria Bianca Armiento

This OECD policy brief discusses different regulatory approaches and tools adopted by Government to fight Coronavirus pandemic. Several governments took a flexible approach to regulatory management tools: some OECD countries established exceptions to the requirements for carrying out a regulatory impact assessment. RIA and scrutiny procedures were also characterized by more flexibility and simplification.

However, this did not mean a lack of scrutiny. Moreover, some easements were introduced, such as the removal of regulatory barriers (e.g those that limit the participation of public and private laboratories to provide testing services) or regulatory exemptions (such as in the transport sector), or in enforcement (e.g. inspections were suspended or minimised due to difficulty originated by mobility restrictions). Consultations did not stop: in particular, ICT consultations tools and targeted consultations became crucial in ensuring the participation of stakeholders to rulemaking. Finally, the brief examines the different kinds of communications employed by government.