Regulatory reform at OECD
NEW: New insights from OECD, by Lorenzo Allio, independent consultant
"OECD's Regulatory Reform Programme is aimed at helping governments improve
regulatory quality -- that is, reforming regulations that raise unnecessary
obstacles to competition, innovation and growth, while ensuring that regulations
efficiently serve important social objectives" (from OECD website).
How does Regulatory Reform differ from Better Regulation?
While OECD work focuses on providing assistance to national
governments, the EU Better Regulation strategy is primarily directed at
improving its own use of regulation, and particularly streamlining the
stock of texts (the "acquis communautaire").
Only on specific issues do the Member States agree to set common
objectives for national regulatory activities: for instance, to reduce
administrative burdens, the European Council endorsed a Commission
proposal that Member States adopt national burden reduction targets.
Though the issue can be discussed, there seems to be very little
difference in the objectives of the two approaches, as both are
inspired by the aim of stregthening productivity and growth.
Outline of OECD resources on RQ:
- by pooling of information about conceptual and operational
developments, and national examples of good practice, and a number of
jointly conducted projects, the OECD documents give a full
picture of each dimension of regulatory quality, addressing all
aspects of policies, institutions and tools. These documents are
presented and discussed in the newly established Regulatory Policy Committee
(which succeeded a working party of the Public Governance Committee).
These resources are very good references when setting up or reviewing
national RQ policies or projects;
- on the strength of this background knowledge, OECD can offer
relevant insight into the situation of each country from an RQ point of
view: the "country reports", which are conducted by both international
staff and national experts depict strengths and weaknesses of each
national situation against a "baseline" set of principles of regulatory
The basic document is the "1995 Recommendation on Improving the Quality of Government Regulation" (C21/FINAL),
which was the first international standard on regulatory quality. It
contains a checklist of questions that should be addressed when setting
up or reviewing a regulatory system.
This guidance was reviewed and upgraded in 2005 with the publication of the 7 principles of regulatory quality and performance.