Written Answers. - Regulatory Reform.

John Bruton

Question:

446 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if she will make a statement on the adoption or otherwise by her Department of the recommendations made in the OECD review, Regulatory Reform in Ireland; and the concrete steps taken by her Department in pursuit of these recommendations since the publication of the report. [10794/03]

The recommendations of the OECD review, Regulatory Reform in Ireland, which was published in 2001, mainly relate to responsibilities of Departments and agencies other than the Department of Social and Family Affairs which have a more substantial role in regulating the operation of private sector markets and activities.

Under the new partnership agreement the Government is committed to publishing a national policy statement on better regulation this year. This White Paper will identify core principles which will inform future decision making in relation to regulatory institutions and struc tures. It is also planned to introduce a model of regulatory impact analysis on a pilot basis in a number of Departments. The precise implications that regulatory reform might have for my Department will be considered following the publication of the White Paper.
The concept of regulatory reform is one that has developed over time and can encapsulate such desirable objectives as improved governance, consultation with stakeholders and legislative simplicity and consolidation. My Department actively pursues these objectives through the Strategic Management Initiative as noted by the OECD in its report. The quality and quantity of the relevant legislation impacts directly on our operating environment and is fundamental to the efficient, effective and transparent conduct of our business. Ensuring clarity in legislation, regulations and guidelines, adequate consultation with stakeholders in the preparation of policy proposals and ready access for stakeholders of information on the requirements of legislation is a key priority of the Department. Better regulation involves ongoing commitment to improving, and reforming where necessary, the processes of making laws and regulations. My Department will continue to play its part in supporting this objective.