Research Study on Incorporation of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) within the Egyptian Business Regulatory Environment
The scope of the assignment was to scan the local status in terms of application and/or preparations for RIA, in addition to scanning the international experience of both developed and developing countries in incorporating RIA within their regulatory environment, and to solicit a set of recommendations that would lead to applying RIA in Egypt.
Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is a tool that could be utilized in delivering the policy objectives successfully. It is a framework for analyzing the likely outcomes of a policy change and the range of options for implementation.
The international comparative study scanned the experience of 3 developed countries:
- Canada as one of the leading countries in the area of regulatory reforms and use of RIA
- UK as one of the most matured models in the field of RIA
- USA as one of the earliest countries to implement regulatory control and reform.
A second group was selected and included countries where RIA is introduced and under implementation, whether it is still in experiment or those who started implementing the RIA. This group includes Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Ireland.
On the local level, the study showed that there are studies conducted for intended regulatory reforms in several cases; however, RIA in its known form is conducted neither for laws nor for regulations as there is no legal requirement that makes RIA mandatory for new legislation’s.
The local status also showed that there are no government guidelines, neither for legislative process, for RIA, nor for consultation. As well, there is no standard procedure for post evaluation for the application of new laws and there is no entity that holds the responsibility of ensuring the quality of regulation.
In developed countries that are applying RIA, the study showed that RIA has the highest political support and commitment, where RIAs are mandatory for new laws, regulations and ministerial decrees. Standard models and guidelines for regulations in general and for conducting RIA in specific are developed and implemented by all regulating entities and a central RIA unit is established at the cabinet office to monitor and ensures the quality of regulation as well as providing technical assistance to ministerial RIA units when conducting their RIAs.
The international comparative study also showed that consulting with different stakeholders, impacted group and public in general is a corner stone in the legislative process. Public consultation is mandatory in all new laws/regulations, and the information packages provided during the consultation process provide the interested stakeholders with enough information enabling them to provide educated and useful responses. In All the scanned countries, the IT and internet are utilized during the public consultation.
As for other countries that are in the process of introducing RIA, the study showed that they are adopting a phased approach. In other words, the implementation of RIA starts with an “Experimental Period”, where a pilot project would be conducted for a defined regulation or set of regulations. The study showed that a legal framework was issued to establish the experimental period and that RIAs were conducted experimentally on laws as well as subordinate regulations.
To introduce and incorporate RIA in the regulatory environment in Egypt, the study recommended a phased approach of three phases:
- Inception Phase: this phase would be dedicated to raising the awareness about RIA and designing the Experiment Phase.
- Experiment Phase: during which, the RIA is piloted and fine-tuned and the Enforcement phase is designed.
- Enforcement Phase: RIA should be ready for implementation at the start of this phase.
The study concluded with a detailed model for introducing and implementing RIA in Egypt based on the above mentioned phases. It also included a detailed action plan with specific tasks, owners, actors, impact and implications.
A copy of the study could be obtained from the website of the “Small and Medium Enterprises Development Unit” under the URL http://www.sme.gov.eg/Jan_publications/RIA_EN.pdf