Section 1: Regulatory Impact Statement

The first step in any policy development process is for policy officers to consider whether they need to complete a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). A RIS allows policy officers to assess all viable policy options available including non-regulatory alternatives, in a transparent and accountable way. The RIS considers the impact a change in current practice will have upon Australian businesses, individuals and community groups.

The use of standards and risk assessments to support policy or programs is one option that should be considered amongst many in a RIS. As part of their consideration, policy officers should ensure that non-regulatory approaches are considered and that regulation is not the default option. As policy officers work their way through the RIS process, it should become clear which option has the least impact upon the broader community and achieves the policy objective required.

Not all policy circumstances and situations will require the completion of a RIS. To determine whether you need to complete a RIS, you must complete a preliminary assessment and submit this assessment to the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

Assistance for Regulatory Impact Statements

The department’s Regulation Reform team can provide policy officers with assistance in completing both preliminary assessments and RISs and ensuring that they comply with all government requirements. Policy officers should make contact with the Regulation Reform team at the beginning of any policy development process by emailing Policy officers can also refer to the Industry Policy Officer’s Guide to Regulation Reform for further information. A link to this guide can be found in Annex G.

If OBPR requires officers to complete a RIS, many of the evaluations, processes and tools described in this guide, are compatible with RIS processes, and will assist officers in considering whether the use of standards and/or risk assessments are an appropriate policy option.

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