First years of systematic regulatory impact assessment in Estonia – lessons learnt18.09.2014, Tallinn Helena Braun Advisor of RegulatoryImpactAssessment Ministry of Justice
Presentation 1. Overview of the Estonian regulatory impact assessment systemregardingprimarylegislation. 2. Achievements and drawbacksidentifiedbytheLegislativeQualityDivision of theMinistry of Justice.
Road tosystematic RIA in Estonia • Detailed RIA rules since 2012 • Whynewrules? Various analysis showedthat: • In mostcases RIA wasmissingordonepartially; • RIA was made afterdraftingthelaw; • RIA wasonlylimitedtotheareas of competency of theministrydraftingthelaw. Negativeresultsbecause: • No RIA tradition; • No qualitycontrolmechanism; • No clearlegalframework; • Notenoughanalyticalcapacity and competency. Issuesthathavemainlybeendealtwith
Road tosystematic RIA in Estonia (2) • 2007 – Better Regulation Programme withpartialfundingfromtheEuropeanSocialFund; • 2009 – RIA conceptpaperby a specialworkinggroup; • 2011 – Parliamentauthorised RIA concept; • 2012 – Renewedlawdrafting Regulation „Rulesforgoodlegislativepractice and legislativedrafting“ comesintoforce (transitionalperioduntil 2014 – fully in forceas of 01.01.2014); • December 2012 – Methodology of RIA adoptedbytheGovernment – practicalguidanceforimplementing RIA requirements.
Qualitycontrolmechanism – RIA organisation LegislativeQualityDivision of theMinistry of Justice– RIA qualitycontrol of primarylegislation • Coordination – guidelines, trainings, seminars, datacollection, representation in internationalfora (OECD, EU Better Regulation formations); - Qualitycontrol– checking and commentingtheRIA-s of all theministries in theofficial inter-ministerialcoordinationround. All otherministries must dothesameregardingtheirfield of competence.
Categories of impacts • Accordingtothe „Rules of goodlegislativepractice and legislativedrafting“ sixcategories of impactshavetobeconsidered: • Environmentalimpact; • Economicimpact; • Impact on regionaldevelopment; • Impact on state and localgovernmentorganisation; • Impact on statesecurity and International relations; • Social, includingdemographicimpacts. The list isnotexhaustive
Steps of RIA • EX-ANTE RIA – before and duringthedevelopment of Regulation • Preliminary RIA of all regulatorychanges; • In-depth RIA of regulatorychangeswithsignificantimpacts • EX-POST RIA – after Regulation hashadeffect
Steps of RIA in legislativeprocess PREPARATION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT • PROBLEM OBJECTIVE • PRELIMINARY IMPACT ASSESSMENT -IMPACTS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE • STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT • min 4 WEEKS OF CONSULTATION • ALL MINISTRIES MUST CHECK IMPACTS IN THEIR FIELD OF COMPETENCE • MINISTRY OF JUSTICE CHECKS THE OVERALL QUALITY OF RIA CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT PREPARATION OF LEGISLATIVE DRAFT • RESULTS OF IN-DEPTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS • STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT • PLAN OF EX-POST RIA CONSULTATION • min 4 WEEKS OF CONSULTATION • FEEDBACK TO CONSULTATION
Steps of RIA in legislativeprocess • ALL MINISTRIES MUST CHECK IMPACTS IN THEIR FIELD OF COMPETENCE • MINISTRY OF JUSTICE CHECKS THE OVERALL QUALITY OF RIA INTER-MINISTERIAL COORDINATION GOVERNMENT ENDORSES PARLIAMENT RIIGIKOGU DECIDES EX-POST RIA • PRESENTED TO THE PARLIAMENT, THE STAKEHOLDERS AND THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE • WHAT NEXT?
EX-ANTE RIA - preliminary RIA – legislativeintent The aim istothink of all theimpactsthattheplannedpolicychangeswouldhave and identifysignificantimpactsthatrequirefurtheranalysis 1. Whatwillchangesubstantially? 2. Whichcategoriesdoesthechangeimpact (6 categories)? 3. Whichtargetgroups are influencedbythechange? 4. Howexactlydoesthechangeimpactthetargetgroup? 5. Isitpossibleto show causalitybetweenthechange and theobjective? 6. Doesthechangeimpactanytargetgroupsignificantly ? – if so, in-depth RIA isrequired.
Exceptionsfromlegislativeintent – butnotfrompreliminary RIA • Urgent need tointroducelegislation; • Transposition of EU law; • International agreements; • Statebudget; • Impacts are negligible (technicalchanges). NB! In casethelegislativeintentisnotpresented, the RIA criteria of theintenthavetoberespected and reflected in theexplanatoryletter of thelegislativedraft.
EX-ANTE RIA – in-depth RIA - Significance of animpactisestablishedusing 4 criteria: • Size of targetgroup • Scopeof impacttothetargetgroup • Frequence of impacttothetargetgroup • Risk of unintendedimpacts - No veryconcreterulesfor in-depth RIA – hastobeinclusive, analytical, evidence-based, show alternativesolutionstotheproblem and theirpositive and negativeimpactstotargetgroup(s).
EX-POST RIA • Ex-post RIA ismandatory where such assessment was considered necessaryduringthepreparation of theact. • No practicalexamplesyet. • Problematicthatsince 2012 no ex-postRIAsplanned.
Main changes introducedtoRIA system in 2012 • Legislativeintentisobligatory (someexceptions); • Stakeholderconsultationsare obligatory in thephase of legislativeintent; • Notdoingex-post RIA must beexplained; • Ministry of JusticeisofficiallythecoordinatingbodyforRIA withregardtoprimarylaw; • In-depthanalysisforsignificantimpactsisobligatoryand must bereported. DETAILED LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND QUALITY CONTROL MECHANISM
„In anidealworld, theselection of oneregulatoryoptionoverotherswouldbebased on a comparison of thecosts, benefits and potential side effects of variousdiscreteoptions. However, impactassessmentsystems are notsituated in anidealworld, and thehistory of RIA islitteredwithdisappointmentconcerningtheeffects of RIAs on actualpolicychoices and contestationconcerningthedesign and operation of RIA regimes.” Kai Wegrich, Handbook on thePolitics of Regulation
RIA system in practice – achievements and drawbacks
Achievements Transparency • Formulation of problems and objectiveshasimproved; • RIA part of explanatorylettersmakesdraftseasiertocomprehend; • RIA part of explanatoryletters shows howmuchevidence and analysisbackstheproposedpolicychange.
Achievements Legislativeintenthashelpedtoretrenchresourcesand hasenabledto solve substantialproblems in anearlyphase of decision-making.
Achievements RIA awarenesshasincreased – mindset of „every link in thechain of policymakingprocess“ isveryimportant foreffective and efficient functioning of RIA.
Drawbacks RIA isnotyetthebasisfordecision-making – stillafter, notbeforethedraft. We need toworkhardtogofrom „hereistheconclusion – whatfactscanwefindtosupportit“ to „here are thefacts – whatconclusioncanwedrawfromthat?“ „Weuseevidencethesamewayas a drunken man uses a lamp post – moreforsupportthan forenlightenment“ Better Regulation communityinspiredby A. Lang
Drawbacks Speedylawmaking and veryfewlegislativeintents: • 324 lawsout of 398 lawsthatwere in force in 1st September 2013 havealreadybeenamended, many of themmorethanonce; • In 2014 onlyin 19% of the cases alegislative draft was preceded by a legislative intent. • Importantchangesthatseemtohavesignificantimpactsare approved in urgentprocedurewhereaswithregardtosmallerchangescorrectprocedureisfollowed – problematic.
Drawbacks All ministriesdonothaveenoughanalyticalcapacitytoproperlyfollowtherenewed RIA rules.
Drawbacks Lack of will and habitto research, analyse. Usedto doingwhatistold.
Drawbacks Evenif all theinformation isprovided, pros and cons broughtout, theinitialidea seems too deartoletgo of it.
Currentactivities • Updatestolegal RIA framework; • Seminars, trainingcourses, capacitybuilding; • Establishment of RIA contactpoints in all ministries; • International bestpracticecollection.
Somequestionsforthefuture • Qualitycontrol: - isqualitycontrol in one of theministriesthebestchoice? - isitenoughthatqualitycontrolisdoneoncelegislativeintent and/orlegislativedraft are readyorwouldassistancebeneededfromthebeginning of theprocess? • Would Estonia need a Better Regulation Unitwhere RIA, publicconsultation, administrativeburdenreduction and otheraspects of Better Regulation wouldbedealtwithsystematicallytogether?
Thankyouforyourattention! Helena Braun Advisor of RegulatoryImpactAssessment LegislativeQualityDivision, LegislativePolicyDepartment Estonian Ministry of Justice firstname.lastname@example.org