Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Regulatory Impact Analysis
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
Question 267: To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress made towards the implementation of the commitment in the programme for Government requiring Government Departments to carry out regulatory impact assessments before Government decisions are taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9288/12]
Brendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) is a tool used by Departments to assess the costs, benefits and qualitative impacts of regulatory proposals. The use of this tool has been mandatory in relation to proposals for primary legislation as well as significant secondary and EU regulations since 2005, although, in general the practice to date has been that RIAs were only published once a Bill or Statutory Instrument was published.
The Better Regulation function has historically been shared between the Departments of the Taoiseach and Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. In this context, the Department of the Taoiseach previously offered advice and support to Departments undertaking Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIAs) including through the preparation and updating of guidelines on the use of RIA in an Irish regulatory context. During the re-configuration of Departments following the appointment of this Government, the staff previously assigned to the Better Regulation Unit within the Department of the Taoiseach transferred to my Department but have been assigned to other duties
There is no specific Better Regulation Unit within my Department at present. The locus of responsibility for the Regulatory Impact Analysis support aspect of the Better Regulation agenda has yet to be finalised and is the subject of ongoing discussion at senior official level. However, while there may be a need to update guidelines and related supports, the production and publication of RIAs remains a matter for the individual Departments concerned.