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Guide to Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements

14. Publishing the Regulatory Impact Assessment

To foster openness and transparency around the regulatory decision-making process, the full text of all Regulatory Impact Assessments and Supplementary Analysis Reports (if any) must be published on the websites of both the administering Agency and Treasury.

14.1.  Withholding sensitive or confidential information

Deletions can be made from published versions of Regulatory Impact Assessments and Supplementary Analysis Reports, consistent with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

14.2.  Timing of publication

Publication is required when:

  • any resulting Bill is introduced into the House or Supplementary Order Paper is released
  • any resulting regulation is gazetted
  • the government announces its decision not to regulate.

Regulatory Impact Assessments and Supplementary Analysis Reports (if any) may be published earlier at the discretion of the responsible Minister and/or Cabinet. For example, with the press statement announcing any new policy for which a Regulatory Impact Assessment was required.

14.3.  Process for publication

When the Regulatory Impact Assessment and Supplementary Analysis Report (if any) is due for publication (according to the requirements set out above), agencies must send the completed publication form on Treasury's Regulation webpage and Word versions of these documents to the Regulatory Quality Team at ria@treasury.govt.nz.

Web publication must comply with the New Zealand Government Web Standards and Recommendations, which are available at https://webtoolkit.govt.nz/.

Agencies must keep the Regulatory Quality Team informed (via ria@treasury.govt.nz) about the timing of introduction/gazettal so that Treasury can publish the Regulatory Impact Assessment and Supplementary Analysis Report (if any) as soon as possible after the Bill or regulations become publicly available.

Forty printed copies of the Regulatory Impact Assessment, and Supplementary Analysis Report (if any) for Bills must also be provided to the Bills Office. See http://www.pco.parliament.govt.nz/ris-guidance/. Select committee clerks will include relevant Regulatory Impact Assessments and Supplementary Analysis Reports (if any) in the material provided to Select Committees on Bills referred to that Committee.

The URLs to the location of the Regulatory Impact Assessment and Supplementary Analysis Report (if any) must also be included in the Explanatory Note to any Bill, Supplementary Order Paper (SOP), or regulations for which a Regulatory Impact Assessment and Supplementary Analysis Report (if any) was prepared.

The Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) will provide standard wording for text to accompany the URLs. This wording may need to be adapted for different circumstances (eg, when multiple Regulatory Impact Assessments were prepared for a series of policy decisions). Agencies must provide a specific, designated URL to PCO for each Bill, SOP, or regulations. Agencies must ensure that these are supplied in sufficient time to enable them to be included in the copies of the draft Bill, SOP, or regulations that are printed for submission to the Cabinet Legislation Committee (LEG).

14.4.  Disclosure statements for proposed legislation

Agencies must disclose in a standalone statement the Quality Assurance processes they have undertaken during the development of legislation, and key features of that legislation that are likely to be of interest to the public and Parliament

A disclosure statement is separate from a Regulatory Impact Assessment. But like the Regulatory Impact Assessment, it is an agency document that provides factual information about the development and content of legislation proposed by the government. It largely takes the form of a series of questions that must be answered YES or NO, with further information required to elaborate, explain or clarify the answer given.

The information required for disclosure is linked to existing government expectations for the development of legislation, or to significant or unusual features of legislation that tend to warrant careful scrutiny. The Detailed Guide to Disclosure Statements can be found online at: www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/guidance/regulatory.

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