The high level group on regulation was established in May 2001, following publication of the OECD Review on Regulatory Reform in Ireland, to develop and co-ordinate the better regulation agenda with particular regard to the institutional and policy proposals required on foot of the OECD's report. The group has met 16 times to date and reported to Government on its progress in November 2002. This progress report was published on the website, www.betterregulation.ie, in December 2002 and copies have been placed in the Oireachtas Library. This report outlines progress made in relation to the OECD's recommendations on regulatory reform up to November 2002.
Since the report was published, work has continued in my Department on the drafting of a national policy statement or White Paper on regulatory reform. To inform the formulation of the national policy statement, the 90 submissions received in response to the consultation document, Towards Better Regulation, were studied and analysed.
My Department published in December 2002 a booklet containing two papers: the first summarising the submissions received and the second offering an independent analysis and commentary on the submissions by an independent economist. Over 1,000 copies of the booklet have been sent out to interested parties and copies have, of course, been placed in the Oireachtas Library.
A drafting group composed of senior officials from key Government Departments was formed in January 2003 to commence preparation of a draft national policy statement or White Paper on regulation. While a specific date for publication has not been set, it is anticipated that the draft text of the national policy statement will be submitted to the Government in early summer with a view to publication some weeks later.