Work in the OECD

Work in the OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

OECD is an international organisation with the mission to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD also provides a forum for the 34 member states’ governments and administrations in which they can discuss and work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems and challenges. More information about the OECD is available here, http://www.oecd.org.

The OECD Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) was created by the OECD Council of Ministers in October 2009 to support member states and non-member states in building and strengthening their work on regulatory reform. The results of the work of the committee shall help countries further develop their regulatory policies, tools and institutions, learning from each other’s experience.

More information about the Committee and the work of OECD on Better Regulation is available here, http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/regulatory-policy-committee.htm.

Between 2008 and 2010 the OECD made reviews of the work on Better Regulation in fifteen of the EU member states. The results of the reviews were presented in different country specific reports as well as in a synthesis report. The OECD report on the work on Better Regulation in Sweden is available on, http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/betterregulationineuropesweden.htm.

A result of the reviews was that OECD and its member states developed a new Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance which was adopted by the OECD Council in March 2012. The Recommendation is the first international instrument to address regulatory policy, management and governance as a whole-of-government activity that can and should be addressed by sectorial ministries, regulatory and competition agencies.

The Recommendation sets out the measures that Governments can and should take to support the implementation and advancement of systemic regulatory reform to deliver regulations that meet public policy objectives and will have a positive impact on the economy and society. These measures are integrated in a comprehensive policy cycle in which regulations are designed, assessed and evaluated ex ante and ex post, revised and enforced at all levels of government, supported by appropriate institutions.

The Recommendation contains several parts that are important to business including that: all  regulatory costs, direct or indirect, should be assessed in impact assessments; stakeholders should be consulted when new regulations are developed; independent scrutiny boards should be established to review the quality of new regulatory proposals and impact assessments; a continuous review of all existing legislation and the costs of these should be made in order to simplify the regulations and to decrease the regulatory costs; a systematic follow-up and evaluation of the real regulatory costs should be made ex post; the non-regulatory option should always be considered in the impact assessment.

More information about the Recommendation and its preceding documents are available on: http://www.oecd.org/governance/regulatory-policy/2012-recommendation.htm.

The full text of the Recommendation is available on: http://www.oecd.org/governance/regulatory-policy/49990817.pdf.

The OECD’s Recommendations are not legally binding, but practice accords them great moral force as representing the political will of member states and there is an expectation that members will do their utmost to fully implement a Recommendation. This is why member states often refrain to vote when a Recommendation that they do not intend to implement is to be adopted.

The OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2015. Based on a unique survey filled by all OECD countries and the European Commission the OECD has made an analysis of the progress made by countries to improve the way they regulate and establish conditions for good regulation.

The areas that were assessed in the outlook were impact assessments, ex ante evaluation of regulations and engagement with business and other stakeholders. The indicators provides an overview of a country’s routines with regard to these areas. The countries (34 member states and the EU) have with regard to their results been divided into three groups.

Sweden which over the years has claimed to have high ambitions in this field and has sometimes been promoted as a good example only ends up in the middle-group in this review.

The NNR has provided the OECD with feed-back during their review and has actively contributed to the dissemination of information as well as discussion of the report by the arrangement of a seminar in Stockholm with focus on the Swedish result. More information on the OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook 2015 is available here, http://www.oecd.org/publications/oecd-regulatory-policy-outlook-2015-9789264238770-en.htm. On the same page a link to the country profile for Sweden translated into Swedish is available.

A follow-up of the OECD Regulatory Policy Outlook will be made every three years. The next outlook will be presented at the end of year 2018. For the next outlook new indicators have been developed for the area of regulatory oversight.

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