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Regional Capacity-Building Seminar - Some Lessons from Regulatory Impact Assessments OECD Seminar, Istanbul, Turkey 20 November 2007 Tom Ferris Economist.

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Presentation on theme: "Regional Capacity-Building Seminar - Some Lessons from Regulatory Impact Assessments OECD Seminar, Istanbul, Turkey 20 November 2007 Tom Ferris Economist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional Capacity-Building Seminar - Some Lessons from Regulatory Impact Assessments OECD Seminar, Istanbul, Turkey 20 November 2007 Tom Ferris Economist Ireland

2 Four Themes of Presentation 1. Why have RIA? 2. How to Control Use of Plastic Bags? – a practical case-study 3. What has been EUs experiences of RIA? – consultants report (The Evaluation Partnership – TEP) 4. Which Critical Success Factors?

3 THEME 1: RIAs many roles It clarifyies justification for Regulation It assesses alternatives (taxes, grants or fines) It identifies costs and benefits It facilitaties consultation It ensures a full awareness of what enforcement will be required It alerts those who will be affected, as to compliance costs It helps to ensure that there are no surprises

4 And RIA Can Help to… Capture the relevant costs and benefits of regulations Identify the scope for no policy change Show Alternative forms of regulation Show Alternatives to regulation Highlight proposals that merit examination But, recognise that proportionality must be taken into account

5 One glove does not fit all For example, two-phased approach used in Ireland : Screening RIA Applied to all primary legislation involving changes to regulatory framework, significant Statutory Instruments and draft EU Directives and EU Regulations Full RIA Only conducted where Screening RIA suggests significant impacts or significant costs (initial cost of 10 million or cumulative costs of 50 million over 10 years)


7 THEME 2 : Curbing the over-use of Plastic

8 Solutions to the Over-use of Plastic Bags in Ireland Solution 1: Take no action Solution 2: Voluntary reduction in plastic bag consumption Solution 3: Set-up a Plastic-bag Police Team to take action, or Solution 4: Impose a levy on plastic bags

9 Levy on Plastic Bags Irish Government introduced levy in March 2002 Levy at 15 cent per plastic bag Pre-levy: 328 bags per person p.a. Post-levy: 21 bags per person p.a. and a decrease of over 95% in plastic bag litter

10 Levy into Environment Fund The provision of civic recycling facilities and bring centres Enforcement of the Waste Management Acts North / south waste initiatives such as the award winning all-island scheme for the Management of waste fridges and freezers Waste awareness campaigns and "Green Schools" initiative

11 Reinforcing Impact of Levy Use of bags increasing – from 21 (2002) to 30 (2006) Therefore Government decided levy increase From 15 cent to 22 cent per bag on 1 July 2007 If usage back to 21 bags per person p.a., an extra 0.5 mn to 0.75 mn levy fund revenue If usage down to 20 bags per person p.a., a fall of between 0.5 mn to 0.75 mn levy funds

12 Local Authority Enforcement visiting retail outlets and talking to retailers carrying out initial spot checks ensuring that exemptions are not being abused checking tills to confirm that customers are being charged the 22 cent levy for plastic bags taking appropriate action where it has been established that the levy has not been charged to customers – e.g. issuing letter informing retailer of obligations under the regulations and follow up where necessary following up on any complaints from the public

13 Revenue Commissioners Role (Tax-collectors) Identification of accountable persons Processing returns and payments received from accountable persons Carrying out verification checks relating to the accuracy of returns Pursuing accountable persons who fail to deliver returns and payments within the statutory time limits Making estimates where returns are not received or where liability is under stated Dealing with appeals against estimates raised

14 Alternatives to using Plastic Bags Alternatives to disposable plastic shopping bags, such as reusable boxes, and reusable bags are now available in many shops In the grocery sector, substitution of reusable long life shopping bags for disposable plastic bags Plastic shopping bags designed for re-use are exempt from the levy provided that the retailer charges at least 70 cent for the bag

15 It is not possible to eliminate most plastic from daily life But it makes sense for our health to reduce use of plastic It also makes sense to to reduce use of plastic so as to help protect our environment Overall reduction in plastic usage, proper management for disposal and public awareness can make a real difference

16 THEME 3 : TEP (The Evaluation Partnership) and EU Assessment Over past 5 years, Impact Assessment has been one of the key elements in the EUs Commissions Better Regulation policy to deliver on: oLisbon strategy oEuropean Governance oSustainable Development Introduced 2003; transition period in 2003-2004 2003-2006: 195 Commission impact assessments IA Guidelines (first version 2003, updated 2005/2006 and continuously being improved In August 2005, TEP engaged to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the IA Process

17 TEP: OVERVIEW Stakeholder Interviews Number Commission Officials in Operational Units IA Quality Assessments20 IA Case Studies18 Commission Officials in IA UnitsEU Interview Programme I13 EU Interview Programme II4 IA Case Studies4 Commission Senior Managers and members of Cabinets EU Interview Programme II5 External experts / consultantsIA Case Studies6 European Parliament and Council Representatives EU Interview Programme II8 IA Case Studies23 External Stakeholders (Civil Society & MS) IA Case Studies18 TotalInterviews119 Surveys Commission officials in Operational Units EC Officials Survey89 Commission Officials in IA UnitsInformation Request21 External stakeholdersStakeholder Consultation118 TotalSurvey responses228

18 Stakeholder Consultation : Responses to TEP …..In many cases, consultation carried out to the satisfaction of stakeholders, and provided relevant and useful input for EU …..In some others, however, consultation organised in a manner and timeframe that left stakeholders frustrated, and unlikely to have had much of an effect on the IA

19 TEP Feed-back on Stakeholders Views TEP lists most frequently expressed criticisms by stakeholders: More time: Sufficient time should be provided for responses (eight weeks as an absolute minimum) Earlier consultation: Stakeholders should be consulted as early as possible in the IA process in order to ensure that balanced, comprehensive and realistic IAs Limit the use of online consultations and closed questions: Many stakeholders feel that internet surveys tend to be oversimplified Balance and representativeness: More attention to the weighting of responses (e.g. from organisations vs. individuals) Transparency: Exact purpose and scope of the consultation and the requested data should be made more explicit Feedback and acknowledgment: Stakeholders often feel theyre not adequately told about what happens to their input

20 TEP: Three Key Objectives for Successful Assessments.

21 … TEP call to add QUALITY Limit scope of application to proposals with most significant impacts Reduce number of IAs, by limiting the scope of application to proposals that are likely to have the most significant impacts: All legislative initiatives in Commissions Legislative Work Program Non-legislative Commission Annual Legislative and Work Programme ( CWLP) and other non-CLWP proposals (incl. comitology measures) identified by Impact Assessment Board Differentiate between different IA types/approaches Maintain broad scope of application, but differentiate between different types of IAs, and provide clear guidance on whats expected of IAs Operationalise the principle of proportionate analysis by defining broad categories of IAs, and providing guidance on areas for differentiation and customisation….one glove does not fit all !

22 …prepare for BETTER IAs Harness the potential of Roadmaps; early consultation DGs to launch IAs sufficiently early, especially on far-reaching proposals. Develop stricter minimum standards and quality control mechanisms for Roadmaps. Ensure early circulation of Roadmaps to other DGs, and explore possibilities for engaging external stakeholders & other EU institutions Formalise early IA steps by means of a scoping paper Require parts of IAs to be produced from very beginning of policy process. Introduce an obligation to produce a document (scoping paper / initial IA) as soon as the policy idea is generated, outlining the rationale, policy alternatives and their likely impacts De-couple the IA process from drafting of the proposal Do not allow proposals to be drafted until the IA has been completed: Produce IA before the initiative is included in Comms Leg/Work Prog. Externalise the entire IA process to an expert body?

23 …encourage better IA work by COMMISSION at all levels Encourage DGs to further develop IA capacities All DGs should assess and, where necessary, enhance their capacity to provide operational staff with support in developing high-quality IAs Require and encourage top-level sign-off / buy-in of IAs by Commissioners Centralise quality control at SG and IA Board Secretary General takes on the responsibilities of DG IA support functions, becomes central service providing ongoing quality control before passing IAs on to Impact AssessmentBoard for final quality check Externalise (parts of) the quality control of IAs Expand the IA Board to include external experts with full voting rights Consult external stakeholders on draft final IA reports Involve the European Court of Auditors in ex-post IA quality control Create a new independent agency for quality control

24 …more Support & Guidance Provide more / more relevant / more tailored IA training Enhance practical usefulness of the IA Guidelines Continue to improve methodologies: Lack of appropriate methodologies to assess certain types of impacts, particularly social impacts Integrate/co-ordinate the efforts of all DGs and MSs; develop guidance papers to assess impacts in particular fields Address problems with availability of data: Comprehensive, reliable and comparable data is often not easily available. Efforts to collect it are resource-intensive and do not always produce the desired results Develop a more systematic, integrated approach to data collection, involving DGs, Member States, stakeholder and expert networks

25 TEP: Some Key Findings IA Guidelines: extensive guidance, within recognised international context Some good IAs,but uneven implementation, both in terms of scope and quality Process to be helped with External evaluation and creation of the Impact Assessment Board Need to cover the entire regulatory cycle, with Common approach across institutions Ongoing dialogue a must, with stakeholders, interest groups and scientific community on system design and application

26 THEME 4: What are RIAs Critical Success Factors? High level administrative and political support Development of RIA network for sharing of experience and best practice Ongoing liaison with EU colleagues especially Directorate for Better Regulation Learning by doing – RIA very much an iterative process Awareness-raising and training very important Ensure sufficient resources

27 Feedback and Review are Critical for Successful RIAs Give feedback to key players and those who participate Publish and acknowledge submissions made (taking account of data protection etc.) Review the assessment processes on a regular basis

28 Questions

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