The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to reverse its decision to suspend Regulatory Impact Assessments for COVID-19-related proposals.
Taxpayers' Union spokesperson Islay Aitchison says, "RIAs are some of the most critical 'free and frank' pieces of advice our public sector is famously designed to provide. They are a key opportunity for agencies to inform ministers of risks, costs and unintended impacts of proposed decisions."
"The Government is pushing through record spending at speed. Taxpayers could unnecessarily end up paying obscene amounts for ineffective policies if Cabinet doesn't receive adequate high quality advice."
"At the very least, the Government should have been upfront about this decision. Six weeks after Cabinet elected to forgo RIAs until September, the public have only just found out."
"There's some speculation that the RIA drafting process is drawn out by last-minute amendments made to avoid political embarrassment. Axing this practice and allowing for more concise and timely analysis surely would have meant RIAs could continue to be provided."