Regulatory policy

Public consultation on the draft OECD Recommendation on Agile Regulatory Governance to Harness Innovation


The draft OECD Recommendation on Agile Regulatory Governance to Harness Innovation and the draft Companion Document is hereby presented for public consultation.


The pace, scope and complexity of innovation pose far-reaching and interrelated regulatory challenges for governments, which can be broken down into four broad categories:

  • The “pacing problem”;
  • The design of “fit-for-purpose” regulatory frameworks;
  • The regulatory enforcement challenges;
  • The institutional and transboundary challenges.


The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the above-mentioned challenges and forced governments to rethink their approach to rulemaking. The social and economic disruption that the pandemic has wrought further highlights the strategic importance of developing more agile and  co-ordinated regulatory approaches to increase responsiveness and resilience in changing environments, harness the opportunities provided by innovation and protect the public interest. As governments rebuild afresh, they must ensure that the innovation that will power economic growth and solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges is not held back by regulations designed for the past.


Building on the 2012 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory and Policy Governance as well as broader OECD efforts and initiatives to help governments address the challenges raised by innovation such as the work undertaken by the Committee for Digital Economy Policy and the Committee on Scientific and Technological Policy, the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) has decided to develop a draft OECD Recommendation on Agile Regulatory Governance to Harness Innovation with the aim of further strengthening regulatory governance by helping to ensure that relevant instruments, processes, and institutions are fit for the world we live in.


More precisely, the draft OECD Recommendation seeks to provide a conceptual framework and relevant policy guidance for using and adapting regulatory policy and governance in the face of the regulatory challenges and opportunities arising from innovation. It  is conceived to catalyse efforts to improve regulatory policy and governance so as to support government reform and facilitate co-operation in response to those regulatory challenges. It also seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of agile and resilient regulatory approaches in response to and to further stimulate innovation.


What are OECD Recommendations and how are they used?

Recommendations are adopted by the OECD’s governing body, the Council, and result from the substantive work carried out in the Organisation’s substantive committees and their subsidiary bodies. Recommendations generally contain high-level policy directions based on agreed good practices and aspirational goals, and serve to highlight the importance of specific work areas in the context of broader international policy-making. They are not legally binding, but represent a political commitment to the principles they contain and entail an expectation that Adherents will do their best to implement them. For more information, please consult the online Compendium of OECD Legal Instruments.

If adopted by the Council, the proposed draft OECD Recommendation for Agile Regulatory Governance to Harness Innovation will form the basis for OECD reviews, for the development of performance indicators, as well as for the design of a publicly available Toolkit that Adherents would use to help them implement the draft Recommendation. The RPC would also report on the implementation, dissemination and continued relevance of the Recommendation to the Council periodically.


Purpose of the public consultation

The OECD is launching a public consultation to reach government officials, civil society organisations, international organisations and interested citizens and stakeholders from all over the world in order to ensure that the final text of the proposed Recommendation reflects the experience, needs and aspirations of the international community. Through the consultation, the OECD also aims to improve the relevance and applicability of the guidance included in the draft OECD Recommendation.


Structure of the draft OECD Recommendation

The draft Recommendation is organised around four main pillars:

  • Adjusting regulatory management tools to ensure regulations are fit for the future;
  • Laying institutional foundations to enable co-operation and joined-up approaches, both within and across jurisdictions;
  • Developing or adapting the governance frameworks to enable the development of agile and future-proof regulation;
  • Adapting regulatory enforcement activities to the “new normal”.


Process for the finalisation of the draft OECD Recommendation

The draft OECD Recommendation is being developed through an inclusive and horizontal approach, involving a number of OECD bodies. This draft is a work in progress. Its content is without prejudice to the final text that will be adopted by the OECD Council. Inputs collected during the public consultation will be taken into account to finalise the draft Recommendation. All comments will be considered public and may be published unless requested otherwise.


You were invited to comment on the draft OECD Recommendation, including on the level of detail to be provided (i.e. whether to include the sub-paragraphs set out in square brackets), and the draft Companion Document electronically by sending your comments by 2 July 2021 to the following email address: [email protected]. Please note that the consultation is now closed.


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