OECD guidelines

The OECD has undertaken and commissioned considerable research on the implementation of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) systems. It is conceptualized as an approach to systematically assess the negative as well as positive effects of regulations and non-regulatory alternatives. Other than in the EC, for example, the OECD perceives this approach as a mean to not only assess the impacts of proposed policies. RIA methodology is also regarded as an approach to evaluate already existing regulations.

The OECD RIA homepage provides several links to resources on RIA.

The OECD offers guidance for policy makers for establishing RIA systems as well as guidelines on the implementation of a specific RIA.

In these guidelines, 6 elements of an RIA process are defined:

  1. Definition of the policy context and objectives, in particular the systematic identification of the problem that provides the basis for action by government.
  2. Identification and definition of all possible regulatory and non-regulatory options that will achieve the policy objective.
  3. Identification and quantification of the impacts of the options considered, including costs, benefits and distributional effects.
  4. The development of enforcement and compliance strategies for each option, including an evaluation of their effectiveness and efficiency.
  5. The development of monitoring mechanisms to evaluate the success of the policy proposal and to feed that information into the development of future regulatory responses.
  6. Public consultation incorporated systematically to provide the opportunity for all stakeholders to participate in the regulatory process. This provides important information on the costs and benefits of alternatives, including their effectiveness.

Next to these general information on the RIA process, the OECD guidelines also offer guidance on checklists for the problem identification and the development of policy options, methods for the impact analysis as well as evaluating RIA. Moreover, the OECD has compiled several best practice examples to illustrate how the RIA process can be set up.