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Effective ex post Evaluation: Purpose and Challenges

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Presentation by Gary Banks, Chair of the Regulatory Policy Committee, at the 9th Conference on Measuring Regulatory Performance - Closing the Regulatory Cycle: Effective ex post Evaluation for Improved Policy Outcomes which took place in Lisbon on 20-21 June 2017. Further information is available at

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Effective ex post Evaluation: Purpose and Challenges

  1. 1. Effective ex-post evaluation: purpose and challenges Gary Banks Presentation to OECD’s 9th Expert Meeting on Measuring Regulatory Performance June 2017 Lisbon, Portugal
  2. 2. OECD Council Recommendation #5 “Conduct systematic reviews of regulation against policy goals, including costs and benefits, to ensure that regulations -- remain up to date, cost effective and consistent, and -- deliver intended policy objectives” 2
  3. 3. Ex post evaluation: why needed? • All regulations are ‘experiments’ ─ Many will not have been done well ─ Others will have passed their ‘use by date’ • The ‘stock’ of regulation is much greater than the flow and gains are potentially large • Evaluations can build trust and help sustain political support • Ex post reviews can also provide learnings for future regulatory actions 3
  4. 4. 4 There are multiple costs of regulation Benefits foregone if regulation is ineffective  other perverse effects  other ‘non -market’ distortions Fees and charges a Economic distortions  dead weight losses  lower investment  lower innovation Substantive compliance costs  investments in systems training  higher cost of investment Administrative costs to business  paper work time  reporting time Administration cost to regulators Benefitsneededtojustifycosts Compliance costs ‘Distortion’ costs Costs to government Costs to business b Costs to community Coststocommunity
  5. 5. 5 Ex post reviews complete the ‘regulatory cycle’ Stage II–Establishment  Design to include embedded reviews  Development of regulator management strategies Stage IV- Review  Programmed reviews o Sunsetting o Embedded o PIRS  Ad hoc reviews o In-depth o Specific benchmarking o Public stocktakes Stage I- Decision  RIS triage o Identify need for embedded reviews o Set sunset flags  Stock-flow linkage rules Stage III - Administration  Regulator management strategies  Monitoring review requirements Lessons from regulators on what works Lessons from expost evaluation
  6. 6. What is an effective system? • Comprehensive coverage over time − including related instruments • Targeted and proportionate − where most potential for net gains • Timeliness of reviews • Effective consultation mechanisms • Independence where appropriate • Institutionalised oversight − Monitoring performance of the overall system 6
  7. 7. 7 Approaches to ex post evaluation Programmed reviews Ad hoc reviews Ongoing ‘management’ •Sunsetting •Embedded in statute •Post implementation reviews – process failure – catch-all •Public stocktakes •‘Principles-based’ reviews •Benchmarking •‘In-depth’ reviews •Stock-flow linkages – Budgets – ‘In-Out’ / ‘Offsets’ •Red tape reduction targets
  8. 8. Key questions to be answered … • Appropriate? (Still a valid rationale?) • Effective? (Achieved the intended outcome?) • Efficient? (Unnecessary costs or unintended impacts?) • A better alternative? 8
  9. 9. Fewer countries have formal requirements Source: 2015 Regulatory Policy Outlook 9 28 24 28 ConsultationRIA Ex-post evaluation of existing regulation 21 24 20 3433 29 35
  10. 10. How do OECD countries measure up? 10 10 Source: OECD, Regulatory Policy Outlook 2015
  11. 11. Ex post reviews in Australia: a ‘mixed bag’? According to a Productivity Commission review, improvements were needed in the following areas: • embedding evaluations in regulatory design • proportionality/depth of reviews • prioritisation and monitoring • timeliness (PC 2011) 11 11
  12. 12. Some obstacles to better practice • ‘Technical’ −(Highly) skilled people are scarce −Data are often poor • ‘Political’ −Greater focus on the new than the old −Perceived risks from a poor ‘score’ −Beneficiaries may oppose scrutiny −Administrative ‘inertia’ is ever present! 12
  13. 13. Ways forward? Insights from Australia • Building ex post evaluation into a regulatory regime from the outset has advantages • ‘Automatic’ triggers can be useful • Attention to timing can make a big difference • Skill development is fundamental • Need avoid administrative ‘overload’ • Creating oversight arrangements helps 13
  14. 14. Effective ex-post evaluation: purpose and challenges Gary Banks Presentation to OECD’s 9th Expert Meeting on Measuring Regulatory Performance June 2017 Lisbon, Portugal