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Guidelines for Setting Charges in the Public Sector -April 2017

5.7  Final check - does the charging regime meet the policy objectives?

Once they have been developed cost recovery regimes should be tested against the policy objectives. Introducing new charges, or changing the way that charges operate will likely have an impact on the behaviour of those who pay the charges. It may also have an impact on the way that the charging entity's staff implement the policy. This should be tested back against the policy objectives to test for possible unintended consequences.

For example, if charges are introduced for safety audits this may cause a decrease in the amount of time spent on safety audits. If the overall policy objective is to improve safety then a cost recovery regime designed this way may undermine the policy intent. This does not necessarily mean that cost recovery is not appropriate, but that the design might need reconsidering.

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