Dáil Éireann - Volume 577 - 17 December, 2003
Written Answers. - Regulatory Reform.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
10. Mr. Sargent asked the Taoiseach the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the OECD report on regulatory reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29725/03]
Mr. Kenny Mr. Kenny
12. Mr. Kenny asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the implementation of the recommendations of the OECD report on regulatory reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31116/03]
The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
The Taoiseach:I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 and 12 together.
As I informed the House on 15 October 2003, the high level group on regulation has made considerable progress since its establishment in May 2001 following publication of the OECD review on regulatory reform in Ireland. The group has met 16 times to date and its last report is available on my Department's better regulation website.
The group has focused on two areas in particular. It began the process of framing a White Paper on better regulation through the publication of the public consultation document, Towards Better Regulation. The consultation document was designed to highlight the key issues that are likely to feature in the Government White Paper and to promote public debate and awareness in regard to better regulation.
The consultation document set out the key questions that we need to address in considering why we regulate, what we need to regulate and new approaches to governance in a global economy. It is important to emphasise that this process is not about resolving micro-level regulatory issues or specific market problems. Rather, it is about giving us a set of core principles to guide future regulation and policy-making.
To inform the subsequent formulation of the White Paper, submissions made in the consultation phase have been studied and analysed. Earlier this year, my Department published a booklet containing two papers – the first summarising the submissions received and the second offering an independent analysis and commentary on the submissions by an economist. A drafting group composed of senior officials from key Departments has been working on the White Paper on regulation. It is expected that the Government White Paper will be published in January 2004.
The second priority of the high level group – and a key element of the forthcoming White Paper – is the development of a system of regulatory impact analysis, RIA, as recommended by the OECD in its report. RIA is a policy tool designed to identify and quantify, where possible, the impact of new and existing regulations. A working group of officials has been developing an approach to RIA that would be suitable for the Irish legislative and policy making context. I understand the next steps will be to: pilot the model in a small number of volunteer Departments; prepare detailed guidance material and supports; and devise and deliver a programme of awareness raising and training to inform civil servants and other interested parties about RIA.
The publication of a White Paper on regulation and the introduction of RIA across Departments are two of the commitments on regulatory reform contained in Sustaining Progress. Overall, significant progress has been made in the area of better regulation and I look forward to continued progress in the coming years.
Question No. 11 resubmitted.
Question No. 12 answered with Question No. 10.
Dáil Éireann 577 Written Answers. Regulatory Reform.