Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Goldsmith, Seymour eye more robust regulatory analysis

Goldsmith, Seymour eye more robust regulatory analysis

By Paul McBeth

April 21 (BusinessDesk) - Regulatory Reform Minister Paul Goldsmith and his under-secretary David Seymour want government officials to provide more robust regulatory analysis under a tighter framework to avoid poor advice typically undermined by seeking a preordained solution.

The government today announced changes to the regulatory impact analysis (RIA) requirements to boost the use of economic and cost-benefit analysis, ensuring the work is fit for purpose, increasing its transparency and encouraging earlier and broader consultation, Goldsmith and Seymour said in a statement. The measures form part of the government's response to a 2014 Productivity Commission report on regulatory practices and draw on an independent review by consultancy Castalia.

"At the core of the regulatory management strategy is the government agencies' role as regulatory stewards and the expectation that they will actively monitor and maintain regulation to ensure it delivers the intended benefit," Goldsmith said. "While we have a well-established reputation for our fiscal management and reporting disciplines, the challenge is to build that same level of discipline around government regulation."

In its 2016 annual report, the Treasury found 78 percent of significant regulatory impact statements (RIS) met the required levels in the year ended June 30, 2016, an improvement from the 63 percent level a year earlier but falling short of the department's 90 percent target. The government's financial adviser said there were a number of reasons why the reports fell short of expectations and it was investigating ways to improve other departments' performances.

Castalia's review found an even split of 'high quality' and 'low quality' assessments, with the difference between the two mainly influenced by policy processes that didn't embed the regulatory impact analysis requirements.

Lower quality assessments tended to view the regulatory impact statements as a "tickbox" exercise, and "was most prevalent when RIS authors or ministers had already decided on the nature of the problem or the preferred solution, leading to RISs with poor problem definitions and weak options analysis," Castalia said. "In several instances, officials had already presented 'high-level' policy papers to their minister and sought a steer before drafting a RIS; this created difficulties when a full RIA analysis undermined the original preferred option."

Castalia recommended the regulatory impact analysis team in the Treasury work with departments to help them lay groundwork when formulating policy, and outline the expected level of analysis and resourcing expected for different types of analysis.

Seymour said the changes were in line with Castalia's findings and would help make regulation more robust.

"The changes also reflect feedback from the business community suggesting costs of regulation are insufficiently considered," he said.

Earlier this month, Chapman Tripp partner and chair Victoria Heine said the expansion of regulatory regimes and increased budgets was pushing government oversight to a "tipping point" where the costs start outweighing the public benefits, when releasing a report on dispute resolution in New Zealand.

At the time, New Zealand Initiative senior fellow Bryce Wilkinson said governments tend to regulate in response to the public demanding a response to something "without enough checks and balances to make sure that the response to that public anxiety is a sensible one in terms of the essential wellbeing of the community."

Wilkinson said one of the tensions was that ministers need to rely on their department's expertise to provide cost-benefit analyses, but that it's "hard for a department to produce an assessment which is critical of a preannounced policy of its own minister."

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Our Fresh Water: Monitoring Report Confirms Serious Challenges For Rivers

• nitrogen levels are getting worse at 55 percent and getting better at 28 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand • phosphorus levels are getting better at 42 percent and getting worse at 25 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand More>>

ALSO:

Stats: Wind And Geothermal Emerge As Significant Sources Of Energy

Geothermal’s contribution to New Zealand’s total renewable energy generation increased from 11.5 percent in 2007 to 21 percent in 2015.... The value of wind jumped from $238 million (2 percent of total renewable energy generation) in 2007 to $884 million (6 percent) in 2015. More>>

Errors Found: Electricity Authority Dumps Transmission Pricing Modelling

The Electricity Authority is ditching the cost-benefit analysis at the heart of its controversial attempt to find a new way to divide up costs for the national grid after finding an expanding range of serious computational errors in the work by Australian consultancy Oakley Greenwood. More>>

ALSO:

New Record: Migrant Arrivals At 129,500 A Year

Annual net migration has been steadily increasing since 2012. "This was mainly due to the rising number of migrant arrivals to New Zealand," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "Fewer migrant departures also contributed to the increase in net migration." More>>

ALSO:

Launched: NASA's Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From NZ

NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time), on a mission designed to run 100 or more days floating at 110,000 feet (33.5 km) about the globe in the southern hemisphere's mid-latitude band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news