Strengthening the government’s decision making regulatory impact analysis settings

Release Date: 
25 November 2019
Media release

The Government is strengthening its decision making framework to ensure high-quality analysis underpins the major decisions of Government, to increase accountability and to ensure Government policies and actions produce the intended outcomes.

Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) – Regulation Impact Statements (RISs) – are required where there is likely to be measureable changes in the behaviour of businesses or individuals.

To ensure the likely impacts on Australians, their businesses, and their communities are fully considered when taking major decisions, the Government’s RIA settings are being strengthened to:

  • ensure the focus on regulatory cost doesn’t come at the expense of understanding the economic and competition impacts of new proposals;
  • task the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) – which oversees the Government’s RIA settings - to assess Independent Reviews, which can substitute for a RIS, for relevance to the recommended policy option; and
  • establish greater proportionality in the depth of analysis in RISs, to ensure advice to Government is proportionate with the magnitude of the problem and potential impacts of proposed responses.

“Well-designed, well-targeted, limited and fit-for-purpose regulation supports the Government to deliver our agenda and priorities effectively.  Our position should always be not to regulate, but where we must we need to ensure high-quality and rigorous analysis equips us with the best possible information to support decision making,” Mr Morton said.

The Regulatory Impact Analysis framework helps the Government navigate complex policy challenges. It provides a structured approach to investigate and analyse the nature of a policy problem, whether Government intervention is justified, and identifies the full range of policy options to address an issue.

Australia’s is already regarded as a leading nation in terms of the OECD’s assessment of RIA frameworks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do better, and these changes will further enhance our evidence-based decision making processes.

OBPR is now working to update RIA guidance and supporting material, as these changes will take effect by 31 March 2020. Further information about the changes are available at: