Regulatory proposals are accompanied by an impact assessment (IA), which assesses and estimates the likely costs and benefits, as well as presenting the associated risks, of a regulatory proposal that has an impact on business, civil society organisations, the public sector or individuals. Following scrutiny of an IA the RPC provides an opinion on the quality of analysis and evidence presented in the IA. The RPC bases its opinions on a wide range of material, including additional information provided by government departments and other stakeholders. Some of this additional material may be confidential and/or sensitive and cannot be shared more widely. The RPC opinion informs the decisions of ministers as to whether or not they should proceed with the proposal.
Guidance on the issues the RPC considers when scrutinising an IA can be found here.
The opinions published here relate to both consultation and final stage IAs for proposals which have been taken forward by government.
An opinion which includes significant concerns would result in the IA being red-rated as ‘not fit for purpose’. Where the RPC identifies significant concerns with an IA, but these concerns are addressed adequately by the department following a review notice, this is recorded on the relevant opinion. In some cases a further submission is required to resolve sufficiently the issues and concerns raised.