Regulatory review process

Regulation is often necessary to achieve economic, social and environmental objectives. It includes any laws or other government-endorsed ‘rules’ where there is an expectation of compliance. However, poor regulation can stifle business and jobs, have other adverse social or environmental impacts, and might not even address the problem it was intended to solve.

Regulatory review is intended to improve the quality of regulation through a robust, transparent and evidence-based process to identify the option that effectively addresses the policy problem while benefiting society most.

Queensland’s regulatory review framework is set out in the Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation. The Guidelines set out the regulatory impact analysis (RIA) framework, which provides a systematic approach to investigate and analyse the nature of a policy problem, consider whether there is a case for government action, identify feasible options to address the problem, and analyse the pros and cons of each option. The framework also considers how effectively a regulation is implemented.

Regulatory impact analysis (RIA)—a tool to aid best practice policy development

Regulatory impact analysis (RIA)—a tool to aid best practice policy development

Informed by consultation through all stages, the RIA framework is used to consider the likely impacts of regulation on businesses and the community, to provide an objective and transparent basis for regulatory decision-making.

Key steps of regulatory review

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) supports agencies to assess regulatory impacts in accordance with the Guidelines. Regulatory impact analysis is required for all measures that seek to impose mandatory obligations on business and the community. The level of analysis required is proportionate to the significance of likely impacts.
The OBPR provides advice to agencies on:

  • whether regulatory proposals are excluded from further impact analysis. For example, minor amendments which have minimal impact or seek to reduce burdens.
  • whether a regulatory proposal is likely to result in significant adverse impacts and requires further analysis:
    – a Preliminary Impact Assessment (PIA) helps to determine whether further analysis and engagement with the community would improve the development  of a regulatory proposal
    – a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) informs stakeholders of options to address a problem and allows them to comment and provide new evidence in support of various policy options.
  • developing best practice RISs and the adequacy of Consultation and Decision RISs.

Further information on exclusions, PIAs and RISs, and other aspects of regulatory review is available here.

We work closely with agencies, engaging at the beginning of the regulatory review process and offering guidance and support. This helps to ensure that advice to the government is robust, informed by relevant data and stakeholder evidence, and is proportionate to the expected impacts of the proposed regulation.

Finally, the OBPR provides formal advice to agencies on the adequacy of analysis of regulatory proposals. Government agencies incorporate OBPR’s advice in submissions to Cabinet and explanatory notes for Bills. Where a RIS has been completed and approved for publication, the OBPR’s letter of advice is published on the Commission’s website, along with the RIS.