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Regulatory Impact Analysis — Concepts and Good Practices

In May the Standards Alliance brought together more than 20 regulatory agencies and representatives of the private sector in Bogota to talk about good regulatory practice, to understand the fundamentals of the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), and to address the challenges associated with the normative evaluation in Colombia, in the framework of the RIA workshop led by the Standards Alliance Program in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism (MinCIT) and the National Department of Planning (DNP).

A RIA is an analytical framework to examine and measure the benefits, costs and likely effects of the implementation of a technical standard before and after their issue. In order to perform this type of analysis it allows to regulatory agency to clearly identify the problem to be solved through a specific rule and the alternatives not regulations with the aim of improving the decision-making.

With the Decree 1595 of 2015, the development of a RIA becomes a mandatory practice in the preparation and issuance of a technical regulation. In addition, the public consultation can be performed in two electronic systems-Sistema Único de consulta pública-SICAL of MinCIT for technical regulations, and Sistema Único de consulta pública-SUCOP DNP for decrees.

During the workshop they discussed, among other issues, when and why it is appropriate to regulate, the need to identify alternatives to the normative framework, the importance of the RIA as a process prior to the issuance of a rule and the methodological considerations of this kind of analysis. Also outlined was the need to adapt the RIA to the conditions of the country, taking into account that, to optimize the use of resources, Colombia should approach the implementation of a RIA to regulations with greater impact and define policy alternatives for the solution of a problem.

The following observations were made by the participants on good practices of RIA in the Colombian context:

  • Need for trained personnel and adequate resources to perform the RIA
  • Need to improve inter-agency coordination to define technical regulations
  • Avoid the transfer of costs from one sector to another, by the entry into force of a regulation
  • Include public consultations since the beginning of the process of issuing a regulation
  • Currently, in Colombia, the regulations are the main instrument to correct market failures (it is estimated that during the first half of 2015 issued a decree every 1.3 days.)- Source DNP