THE PRESIDENCY: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
IMPACT ANALYSIS/ASSESSMENT (RIA) PROCESS
IN SOUTH AFRICA
Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)1 has become a global phenomenon in response to widespread pressures for more effective and efficient governance.
RIA systems were first developed in United States of America and various European countries in the 1980s.
In South Africa, RIA was approved by Cabinet in February 2007. The approval followed a detailed joint study commissioned by the Presidency and the National Treasury to investigate the possibility of introducing RIA in South Africa.
The study2 was a response to concerns that the government had regarding the findings of various studies on the cost of doing business, inconsistencies in the depth of analysis undertaken by departments when developing regulation and the general absence of impact assessment in the development of regulation.
RIAs are an extension of a broader commitment to the quality of government through evidencebased policy making. The advantage of instituting RIA is that RIA adds structure, predictability, and methodological clarity to assessment while also ensuring that the right information is available for decision making. The manner in which RIA is institutionalized differs markedly from country to country, in order to reflect the different needs and institutional structures of each state.
This document provides a guide on how to conduct RIA and is divided into three key sections: Understanding RIA;
RIA system in Government; and
Key steps in the RIA process
A template RIA document structure is provided as Annexure A.
For enquiries, please contact the Presidency, Cabinet Office at: RIA@po.gov.za 1
Alternatively referred to as Regulatory Impact Analysis or Impact Assessment The detailed background study on RIA and its relevance for South Africa (2005) is available on www.thepresidency.gov.za. These were compiled by a consortium led by SBP commissioned by The Presidency and National Treasury.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
SECTION 1: UNDERSTANDING REGULATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
1.1 What is RIA?
1.2 What is the rationale for RIA?
1.3 What are the objectives of RIA?
1.4 Stages of analysis in RIA application
1.5 What sorts of questions should be addressed in a RIA?
1.6 Who should prepare RIA?
1.7 How to ensure RIA quality?
SECTION 2: THE RIA SYSTEM IN GOVERNMENT
2.2 The RIA Oversight Function
2.3 Application of RIA and threshold criteria
2.4 The RIA process
SECTION 3: KEY STEPS IN THE RIA PROCESS
Step 1: Problem identification and initial assessment
Step 2: Stakeholder consultations and data collection
Step 3: Data collection, analysis and discussion of findings
Step 4: Preparing the final RIA report
Step 5: RIA approval
Table: Summary of the RIA process
List of Boxes
Box 1: Content of initial RIA report
Box 3: Impact Assessment Methodologies
List of Annexures
Annexure A: Regulatory Impact Assessment Report Format and Template
Annexure B: Summary of RIA analytical areas
Annexure C: Stages of law-making process
Annexure D: Section 4 of the Guide for the Drafting of Cabinet Memoranda
Appendix I: Framework for the Cabinet Memorandum
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Describes the situation prior to a
development intervention is performed and
this becomes the point against which
progress is assessed or comparisons are
made. This is the current condition...
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