Better Regulation is a whole of government approach to improving the quality of the legislative process.
The goal of Better Regulation is to ensure that policy is evidence-based, as far as possible, through stakeholder consultation and impact analysis; therefore that regulation is introduced only when necessary, and that it has the intended effects, once implemented. Additionally, the stock of existing regulation is evaluated to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies or unnecessary costs that can be reduced.
Better Regulation ensures that legislation is fit for purpose. By this we mean that it is (1) Necessary, (2) Proportionate, (3) Effective, (4) Accountable, (5) Consistent, and (6) Transparent, as set out in the 2004 White Paper, Regulating Better.
This policy goal is converted into practice through the following key activities:
- Making “better use of evidence-based policy-making” through “Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA)”
- Conducting “Systematic reviews of the regulation of key areas and sectors …”
- A programme of “Statute Law Revision”
- Improvements to the “procedures for appealing regulatory decisions”
- Monitoring “the cumulative burden of compliance on business and SMEs”
- Publishing “explanatory guides alongside primary legislation with significant impacts”
- Establishing “norms and standards for consultation processes”
- Co-ordinating “sectoral regulators”
- Requiring Departments “to streamline service delivery and administrative processes”
- Promoting “training and awareness-raising of policy analysis skills”
- Improving the coherence of legislation through revision, restatement and repeal”
The work of the Business Regulation Unit of the Department is focussed on point number 9, reducing administrative burdens on business.