Chapter 1: Strategy and policies for Better Regulation
- Establish a comprehensive policy on Better Regulation taking full account of its potential to improve the design and administration of new and existing regulation.
- To secure its relevance and effectiveness, prepare the policy through an iterative consultation process with input from government ministries, the Social Partners and the wider community.
- The strategic framework for e-Government should be examined for its potential to further support Better Regulation processes, including promoting transparency, public consultation and reducing the transaction costs for officials engaged in preparing impact assessment on regulatory proposals.
Chapter 2: Institutional capacities for Better Regulation
- Establish a core working group of Better Regulation champions, at both ministerial and official level, chaired by the Federal Chancellery, and including the Finance ministry, the Court of Audit and any other key and committed player in the central Federal administration.
- Give responsibility to the Federal Chancellery, as part of its Better regulation functions, for developing comprehensive training programmes on Better Regulation for the Austrian administration. Ensure that this is supported by the development of guidance documents and IT tools to assist with undertaking impact assessment.
- Undertake an audit to centrally record the names and functions of all regulatory agencies, including budgetary, staffing and reporting relationships. Identify which of these agencies have coercive or rule-making powers.
Chapter 3: Transparency through consultation and communication
- Draw up and adopt (through the Council of Ministers) comprehensive guidelines on public consultation, to set minimum good practice requirements on ministries in the development of new regulations.
- Expand the use of existing IT systems in the preparation of regulation including a clear link between public consultation and the drafting process.
Chapter 4: The development of new regulations
- The Federal Chancellery should co-ordinate an annual formal plan of forthcoming legislative projects, as a communication and planning tool both for internal government use and to promote public transparency as well as better structure public consultation.
- Develop administrative mechanisms to support the incorporation of ex ante analysis in the development of regulatory policy including formal administrative requirements, the development of RIA guidelines and training and capacity building involving the ministries.
- Establish institutional oversight of compliance with RIA processes in the Federal Chancellery including economic analysis skills to assess and comment on the quality of the RIA documents, the role of preparing guidance on the use of RIA, engaging with ministries to ensure its performance.
Chapter 5: The management and rationalisation of existing regulations
- Develop a policy framework for the ex post review of regulation drawing on the RIA methodology to ensure that the regulatory stock is kept up to date, and meets policy objectives efficiently and effectively.
- Establish a framework to evaluate the success of the administrative burden reduction programme in reducing burdens on business. Include an assessment of the perceptions of business of the most successful burden reduction initiatives.
- Develop collaborative programmes with the Länder to extend the administrative burden reduction programme, including sharing good practices and common ICT tools for the calculation of administrative burdens on the basis of the standard cost model.
Chapter 6: Compliance, enforcement, appeals
- Undertake a survey using the records already compiled by agencies to develop a strategic assessment of the underlying trends and difficulties with compliance and enforcement practices.
- Engage the Länder Courts of Audit to jointly develop a principle based framework for assessing the quality of enforcement practices and the preparation of draft guidance for agencies, with reference to good practices within Austria and examples from other jurisdictions.
Chapter 7: The interface between member countries and the European Commission
- Produce guidelines to apply impact assessment to EU regulations at the transposition stages, to ensure that the incorporation of EU directives does not duplicate Austrian law or create unnecessary burdens.
- Consider formalising the processes by which the representatives of the Länder are informed about and involved in the early stages of the legislative process at the EU level.
Chapter 8: The interface between subnational and national levels of government
- Undertake an assessment of the areas of regulatory responsibility of the Länder that may be of concern to businesses operating across different parts of the federation, either because of unnecessary transaction costs or possible barriers to entry.
- Use co-ordination mechanisms with the Länder to encourage a Better Regulation strategy for the Länder governments, including a focus on developing and sharing best practice to improve enforcement and compliance strategies.
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Contact: Jennifer Stein