Lords Committee criticises Government over lack of regulation reviews

12 November 2009

The House of Lords Merits Committee publishes its report today into how the Government evaluates whether its Statutory Instruments (SIs) are working

In its report 'What happened next?', the Committee found that most Departments are not evaluating how their regulations have performed. Without some sort of review the Government will not know whether its legislation is working or not. The Government is also missing valuable opportunities to improve the formulation and delivery of its policies due to an insufficient understanding of how earlier legislation worked in practice.

The Committee found that 46 per cent of the regulations in a sample from 2005 had not been subject to any form of follow-up evaluation at all and only 29 per cent to full post-implementation review.

In its report the Merits Committee stresses the urgent need for the Government to take a more active role in supervising the Impact Assessment and Post-Implementation Review systems to ensure the necessary information is available and the reviews are done.

Commenting on the report, Lord Filkin, Chairman of the Merits Committee, said:

"Our inquiry confirms that far too few new SIs are based on an analysis of how the original legislation is working. Without a robust system for reviewing legislation policy makers will not learn what works best to deliver their policy objectives. It is clear that to achieve real improvements to the outcomes of new regulations, a real process of Post-Implementation Review must be kick-started by central Government."

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