The Regulatory Policy Committee was created by the OECD Council on 22 October 2009 to assist member and non-member economies in building and strengthening their regulatory reform efforts. The Committee will foster a multi-disciplinary approach to regulatory quality in the OECD.
The path to a sustainable recovery depends critically on the capacity of governments to design effective and efficient regulations. This calls in turn for quality tools for evidence-based decision-making, and for evaluation of the actual impact of regulations. Governments need to further their efforts in cutting red tape, building a more friendly environment for businesses and citizens. Institutions must be prepared to manage risks, reducing regulatory gaps while adhering to good governance principles.
A symposium was held on 6 November 2009 to discuss strategic directions for the future of regulatory reform. Current and emerging regulatory policy challenges are truly global. The Regulatory Policy Committee will help to move this agenda forward into the 21st century.
Session 1: The Political Interest in Regulatory Quality
Regulation is a political instrument to meet policy objectives, but it must adhere to legal standards and emerge from a process of consultation. Reactive regulation, adopted in the heat of an emergency, can be both ineffective and costly. On the other hand, a crisis can be the opportunity to bring forward measures that are long overdue. Bringing evidence-based analysis to bear early during this process, and engaging citizens and business to ensure the transparency necessary to the success of reforms, can be a challenge to political decision-making.
Session 2: Regulation in a Multi-lateral Context
The financial crisis has drawn attention to the international regulatory co-operation as a critical aspect of enforcement, and of promoting the compatibility of regulations, to close regulatory gaps. This dimension of regulatory governance has been limited in the past to some technical fields in environment and transport, for example, but has significant potential across many sectors. Major challenges concern sensitivity about sovereignty, and avoiding “a race to the bottom.”