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Regulatory Impact Analysis Handbook

Part 1: Introduction and RIA First Steps

This section sets out the purpose of Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) and how to work out whether the requirements apply to your project - including how to complete a Preliminary Impact and Risk Assessment (PIRA).

A quick guide to Cabinet's RIA requirements

1.   Determine whether the RIA requirements could apply

Are you starting policy work with potential regulatory implications that will lead to submission of a Cabinet paper?

“Potential regulatory implications” means options that could involve creating, amending or repealing primary legislation or regulations.

  If potential regulatory implications, complete Preliminary Impact and Risk Assessment (PIRA) If no potential regulatory implications,RIA requirements do not apply. The RIA framework is still useful to structure analysis
2.   Prepare Preliminary Impact and Risk Assessment (PIRA) Discuss the PIRA with your Treasury policy team as early as possible, to confirm whether the RIA requirements apply and whether any of the potential regulatory proposals are likely to have a significant impact or risk.
  If Treasury confirms that no significant impact or risk is likely, then the agency will be responsible for quality assurance If Treasury confirms that there is likely to be significant impact or risk, Regulatory Impact Analysis Team (RIAT) involvement is required. Early engagement is recommended
3.   Undertake regulatory impact analysis (RIA) Apply the RIA framework to your work from the start of the policy development process. RIAT is available to provide RIA training and project-specific assistance. Discussion documents containing options with a potential for significant impact or risk must be provided to RIAT for comment prior to consultation.
4.   Prepare the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) and Agency Disclosure Statement The RIS should be prepared before the Cabinet paper.  It provides a standalone summary of the impact analysis for decision-makers and must include all the required information. The relevant policy manager responsible for producing the RIS is required to complete and sign the disclosure statement, within the RIS
5.   Obtain independent quality assurance of the RIS Independent quality assurance must be provided either by RIAT or through a suitable internal review process. A quality assurance statement (drafted by RIAT or agency's internal QA) must be provided in the Cabinet paper
6.   Prepare Cabinet paper The Cabinet paper focuses on the Minister's proposal.  It should refer to the RIS, appended to the Cabinet paper
7.   Publish the RIS All RISs must be published on the agency and Treasury websites.  The URLs to published RISs must be included in the Explanatory Note to Bills, but with hard copies also provided to the House
8.   Complete Disclosure Statement A disclosure statement is required for all government Bills (unless exempt) and all “substantive” government SOPs. Disclosure statements are to be provided to Cabinet along with the Bill or SOP when final approval is sought to introduce legislation.
9.   If RIA requirements not met All “significant” regulatory proposals that do not meet the RIA requirements will undergo a post-implementation review. This includes proposals that are not accompanied by a RIS but to which the RIA requirements apply.
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