government proposals, legislation, assessment, economic impact
The fifth year of the Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis was characterised by the COVID-19 epidemic. The main task of the Council is to issue opinions on the draft proposals of the Government, but the ministries’ preparation of legislation not related to the epidemic slowed down this year, which reduced the number of proposals submitted to the Council. In addition, the Secretariat of the Council worked for the Prime Minister’s Office during the state of emergency in spring 2020, which affected the Council’s work.
Over the course of 2020, the Council issued a total of 10 opinions. The most extensive proposals on which the Council issued opinions were the Act on Organising Healthcare and Social Welfare and the Act on Extending Compulsory Education.
The findings of the Council concerning the Government’s proposals in 2020 were very similar to its findings in previous years. The opinions almost always drew attention to shortcomings in quantitative assessment. Half of the opinions noted shortcomings in the treatment of alternative means and the assessment of costs and benefits. In addition, the Council found shortcomings concerning the assessment of impacts on fundamental rights.
The Council’s statements also drew attention to unclear writing. Some government proposals are written mainly for experts, which makes it difficult for laypeople to understand their content. Legislation is intended for businesses and members of the public who live with it on a daily basis.