Australian Government RIS
A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is required, under the Australian Government’s requirements, when a regulatory proposal is likely to have an impact on business or the not-for-profit sector, unless that impact is of a minor or machinery nature and does not substantially alter existing arrangements. The primary role of the RIS is to improve government decision-making processes by ensuring that all relevant information is presented to the decision maker when a policy decision is being made.
Policy officers should begin the preparation of a RIS as soon as the need for a regulation, or amendment, becomes apparent. Using the structured process documented by a RIS can help in developing thoughts and information about the issue and possible responses. The process of developing a RIS should be done with an open mind as to the final recommendation, because the conclusion should be based on the outcome of the analysis undertaken. It is anticipated that the RIS would ‘evolve’ as the proposal is further developed. The RIS for the decision maker should be informed by stakeholder consultation.
The Australian Government has given the OBPR a quality control role for RISs (in addition to the OBPR having a coaching role), so the RIS should be prepared in consultation with the OBPR to ensure that the RIS for the decision maker satisfies the Government's adequacy criteria for RISs.
Important: The RIS must be cleared by the OBPR before it and the associated regulatory proposal can proceed to the decision maker.
A RIS has seven key elements, setting out:
- the problem or issues which give rise to the need for action;
- the desired objective(s);
- the options (regulatory and/or non-regulatory) that may constitute viable means for achieving the desired objective(s);
- an assessment of the impact (costs, benefits and, where relevant, levels of risk) on consumers, business, government and the community of each option;
- a consultation statement;
- a recommended option; and
- a strategy to implement and review the preferred option.
All seven elements of a RIS should contain a degree of detail and depth of analysis that is commensurate with the magnitude of the problem and the size of the potential impacts of the proposal.
The emphasis of the RIS should be on analysis; it is not intended to be an advocacy document. Hence, supporting evidence (preferably quantified) should be used in the RIS wherever possible.
Example RISs may help policy officers in preparing their RIS.
Contact for information on this page: OBPR contacts page