The Productivity Commission reports today, after investigating the quality of governments’ efforts in assessing the cost of red tape to the community, that ministers often announce policies first with the costs coming later ‘as an afterthought’.
Examples of policies made exempt from red tape considerations and or not properly analysed include:
The research report ‘Regulatory Impact Analysis: Benchmarking’ indicates there is considerable scope to improve the way that regulations are developed and scrutinised in Australia. Different processes could improve policy development and ensure that regulations (or other policy initiatives) provide the greatest benefit to the community, relative to the overall cost imposed.
It seems there is a significant gap between agreed and actual practice.
“Regulatory impact analysis processes are failing to deliver on their potential due to inadequate ministerial and agency commitment..
Proposals with the largest impacts on communities are often not rigorously scrutinised.”
Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald says improvements could include:
“More widespread and consistent adoption of the leading practices identified by the Commission, particularly in relation to transparency and accountability, would create stronger incentives for governments to demand and officials to deliver policies that are well considered and supported by rigorous analysis of different options and their impacts.”
Let’s not waste effort and resources