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Lessons from Reformers: The United Kingdom Brings in Citizens to Review Regulations

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This case study is part of the Regulatory Governance in the Open Government Partnership publication

Regulatory Governance in the Open Government Partnership When citizens understand and help to shape the rules that govern society, regulations are more effective, business environments are stronger, and levels of corruption are lower. This paper looks at…

The Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC)  – an independent verification body since 2012 – plays an important role in the United Kingdom’s system of regulatory governance. The RPC is responsible for providing an external and independent challenge of the evidence and analysis in all regulatory proposals. It is composed of eight individuals from outside of government, in sectors such as business and academia. Based on its analysis, the RPC issues red, amber, or green ratings for proposed regulations. Importantly, the RPC is involved throughout the life cycle of regulations. As with regulatory proposals, it also assesses post-implementation reviews and publishes opinions.

Today, the RPC serves as a credible actor in the rulemaking process. For instance, government officials generally revise regulations or impact assessments when the RPC is preparing a red rating, as a way of ensuring a green rating alongside the final government documentation. In addition, as of 2015, businesses can now ask the RPC to independently review a regulation’s costs to business if they disagree with the official government impact assessment. In this way, the RPC is an important model for other countries of how to successfully integrate external reviews in a country’s regulatory framework.

 

Featured Photo Credit: UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor (CC BY 3.0)

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