Transparency key to regulatory policy progress

By David Donaldson

October 30, 2015

In an effort to make regulation more effective at the same time as being cost-effective, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has released a comparative study of regulatory settings among OECD states.

OECD regulatory policy outlook 2015, published this week, brings together survey results from OECD countries to offer some insights on how regulatory approaches have developed and where they are heading.

Gary Banks, chair of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, argues in the preface to the report that no country could be said to have attained “regulatory nirvana” yet:

“Translating sound regulatory principles into good practices can be challenging, for there is much that militates against it politically and administratively. Transparency and accountability are important to sustained improvement.

“… Hopefully the survey will assist all member governments in identifying where improvements are needed, while pointing to practices which can be emulated.”

In the country profile section, the OECD encourages greater transparency in Australia’s impacts assessment processes:

“Australia’s recent changes to its RIA [regulatory impact assessment] processes included devolving responsibility for some RIA aspects to regulatory agencies. Australia could enhance its RIA system by introducing mechanisms to promote transparency of those aspects of RIA undertaken by regulatory agencies.”

OECD regulatory policy outlook 2015

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