As you work through the RIS questions, work closely with your portfolio Deregulation Unit. You can also seek the informal guidance of OBPR at any time.
You can submit your RIS for formal assessment by OBPR at two different points during its development.
These are the Early Assessment and Final Assessment stages.
An Early Assessment is undertaken once you have completed the first four questions and planned your consultation process. When you submit your RIS for Early Assessment, it must be signed off by a deputy secretary, secretary or chief executive.
The decision maker must not have finalised any decisions about the preferred option at this point.
OBPR will comment on your partly–complete RIS with two important criteria in mind:
Have you accurately costed the regulatory burden of your policy options and offsets?
Do you have an appropriate plan for consulting those affected by your policy?
If the Early Assessment finds your costings inadequate or your consultation plan unsatisfactory, OBPR will advise on the areas that need to be addressed, otherwise your RIS could be found to be non-compliant at the Final Assessment stage.
OBPR may also comment on whether you have considered all of the policy options available to you.
It pays to remain in touch with OBPR throughout the development of your RIS to avoid non-compliance: remember once a RIS is formally lodged with OBPR, the Final Assessment (whether compliant or non-compliant) will be published on OBPR’s website.
The Final Assessment can only be done when all seven RIS questions have been answered in full.
In addition to checking your costings and consultation process, OBPR will assess your RIS against the question: Does the analysis support an informed policy decision?
The Final Assessment is a two pass process.
In the first pass, OBPR comments on whether the RIS is consistent with the Government’s requirements and adequately addresses all seven RIS elements, including the quantification of regulatory costs and associated red tape reduction offsets.
OBPR may comment on whether your RIS accurately reflects stakeholder feedback on your policy analysis and whether the options considered reflect the full suite of policy options available to you, including those suggested by stakeholders.
The OBPR will provide formal written comments within 5 working days if improvements are required to the RIS and there is no limit on the amount of time you can take between the first pass and second pass. You can draw on OBPR’s advice at this time to improve your RIS in any way. First pass comments are not published.
In the second pass, OBPR assesses the RIS for consistency and adequacy and will respond in writing within 5 working days. A RIS assessed as consistent will conform to all applicable processes and have all necessary inclusions, such as an appropriate consultation approach and a minimum of three policy options, one of which must be a non-regulatory option.
To be assessed as compliant with requirements, your RIS must not contain obvious errors; must have an appropriate level of detail; and the depth of analysis must be in keeping with the size of the problem and potential regulatory impact. The quantification of regulatory benefits, costs and offsets must also be assessed as accurate.
Portfolios must ensure each RIS gives genuine consideration to options put forward by stakeholders through the consultation process. Your analysis must treat these options as serious policy alternatives and ensure they are assessed equally against your original policy options. If stakeholder proposals are not adopted, your analysis must offer a thorough and transparent rationale.
OBPR can find your RIS non-compliant with RIS requirements if any of your analysis is unsatisfactory, your costings inaccurate or your consultation process inadequate.
Once OBPR assesses your RIS as compliant, you can proceed to the decision maker for a final decision. You can also proceed to the decision maker if your RIS is found non-compliant, but be aware: OBPR will publish your RIS and its assessment on the OBPR website (and you will be obliged to also publish it on yours). A non-compliant RIS is likely to attract unfavourable scrutiny.
For both of the two passes, your RIS must be certified by your deputy secretary, secretary or chief executive prior to lodgement with OBPR. The certification letter received with your RIS on the second pass will be published on the OBPR website when the RIS is published. Certification letter templates are available from OBPR.
If you have any concerns about OBPR’s assessment of your RIS, you are always welcome to discuss your concerns with the Executive Director of OBPR.
It is good practice to ensure policy makers and Deregulation Unit staff remain in close contact through the early stages of the implementation of your policy. This ensures your regulatory burden estimates can be validated and reported on properly. It also ensures offsets are pursued as promised. Separate guidance material is available from this website to explain the assessment process in more detail.