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Guide to Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements

8. Confirming your Regulatory Impact Assessment process

Treasury determines the appropriate Regulatory Impact Assessment template and responsibility for arranging independent Quality Assurance based on information you provide about your processes and on the particular proposal. These decisions are made by the Regulatory Quality Team at the same time using the one process. It is best to seek these decisions as soon as possible in your policy process — before drafting the Cabinet paper.

For further information on the templates for a Regulatory Impact Assessment see Section 9 Preparing a Regulatory Impact Assessment. For further information on potential Quality Assurance arrangements see Section 10 Obtaining independent Quality Assurance.

8.1.  The confirmation process

Once it is clear that Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements apply to your proposal or aspects of it, you will need to provide information to the Regulatory Quality Team to enable these template and Quality Assurance decisions.

The Regulatory Quality Team will determine the appropriate template for the Regulatory Impact Assessment, and whether your agency or Treasury is responsible for arranging Quality Assurance, taking into account the following factors:

  • your agency's policy capability and the demonstrated robustness of its in-house Quality Assurance processes
  • the strength of your agency's regulatory stewardship practice in the affected regulatory system
  • the robustness of your planned policy process
  • the level of significance of the likely impacts of the regulatory options
  • the levels of risk or uncertainty around the likely impacts of the regulatory options.

The Regulatory Quality Team will make these decisions based on the information you provide using the Process Confirmation Form on Treasury's Regulation webpage. Please send the completed form to the Regulatory Quality Team (ria@treasury.govt.nz), copied to your Treasury policy team.

If necessary, you may be asked for additional information, or the Regulatory Quality Team may discuss the information and options with you. If none of the templates are suitable for your proposal the Regulatory Quality Team will discuss that with you and may agree an alternative approach (see section 8.2 below).

Decisions on your Regulatory Impact Assessment process are not necessarily final as they are made on the basis of knowledge and assumptions about the policy process at that time. If any of these factors change, for instance, timeframes become compressed, or additional policy options are included, you must advise the Regulatory Quality Team and the decisions will be reviewed.

If you have any issues or concerns about these decisions, please go back to the Regulatory Quality Team to discuss.

8.2.  Agreeing departures from the templates

The Regulatory Quality Team may agree on a case-by-case basis to depart from the Regulatory Impact Assessment templates.

Impact Analysis is required for a wide range of subject areas and to achieve many different objectives. In some cases it is likely that these standardised templates will be unnecessarily and inappropriately constraining. For example:

  • several different aspects of a single problem are addressed and cannot easily be separated into several single-issue impact statements because of their interdependence
  • the regulatory decision is about whether, or to what extent, Parliament should delegate its legislative power on a particular matter, and who is best placed to exercise that power appropriately. (Here the level and nature of impacts on the so-called “winners” and “losers” is largely the same. Instead, the analysis is more likely to focus on issues like relative credibility and expertise, certainty versus flexibility, constitutional propriety, and appropriate safeguards.)

In such cases it may be necessary for the agency and the Regulatory Quality Team to work together to develop case-specific tailored approaches that better reflect the type of Impact Analysis that is appropriate to the proposal.

The Regulatory Quality Team is monitoring these instances to determine what, if any, further adjustments may be needed, and further guidance to provide.

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