Regulatory quality can be improved by using a variety of tools to assess existing or proposed legislation and regulations. These tools must be deployed in a consistent and mutually supporting manner if systemic quality assurance is to be the result. Five key areas are considered as regulatory tools: Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), administrative simplification, transparency and communication, alternatives to regulation, and the issue of compliance and enforcement.
The use of RIA is progressively improving the empirical basis for regulation in most OECD countries. Its role in this regard is supported by greater dialogue with affected parties, through the increasing use of a range of consultation processes and tools. In addition, the policy-makers' "tool-box" is expanding, as greater attention is given to alternatives to traditional "command-and-control" models of regulation. Finally, numerous efforts to improve the "user friendliness" of regulatory requirements are being put in place, often under the heading of "administrative simplification".
The OECD work on regulatory policy tools refers to the following areas: