Consumer’s Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis | Regulatory Studies Center | The George Washington University

Regulatory impact analysis (RIA) weighs the benefits of regulatory proposals against the burdens they impose. Even regulatory policies that are ultimately decided on political, legal, ethical, or other grounds will benefit from the structured evaluation of tradeoffs and alternatives that a good RIA provides.Although RIAs are a core feature of regulatory practice in the United States and other countries (OECD, 2016) there is increasing concern that they are “used to justify decisions already made, rather than to inform those decisions” (Carrigan & Shapiro, 2016). RIAs often serve as legal documents, running hundreds or even thousands of pages, prepared by agencies in a defensive posture in anticipation of litigation. Observers argue that RIAs “often omit consideration of meaningful alternatives and are so detailed that they are practically indecipherable” (Carrigan & Shapiro, 2016).

Source: Consumer’s Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis | Regulatory Studies Center | The George Washington University

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