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Legislation Officials build Skills in assessing the Impact of Regulations

Date: 10 April 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Vientiane Times

he Ministry of Justice is rolling out a major training programme to professionalise policymakers at the local level to put in place regulatory environments that foster the development of Lao businesses and communities.

The programme is led by the Centre for Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA Centre) established at the Legislation Department, Ministry of Justice.

The four-day programme from April 8-11 for government officials from all 17 provinces and the capital is looking at the requirements of the Law on Making Legislation which defines the principles, regulations and procedures for drawing up legislation in Laos with a strong focus on regulatory impact assessment (RIA).

RIA provides a process for policymakers to develop and review regulations that achieve objectives in a way that minimises the requirements and negative impacts on individuals and businesses in complying with the regulations, and on the government in administering and enforcing compliance.

Director General of the ministry’s Department of Inspection, Mr Bounmek Bannavong, said “Legislation at the provincial level, like governor decisions, is a key part of the overall regulatory environment governing the community, business and government across Laos. Like officials at the central level, provincial policy planners, makers and decision-makers must be skilled in regulatory impact assessment to carry out their work. We need these officials to plan effectively for the country’s future and target challenges that hinder Laos’ growth and international reputation.”

“When carried out correctly, RIA ensures that all policies are well thought out and targeted, properly communicated and sufficiently resourced. Regulatory impact assessment reduces any artificial barriers to growth caused by poorly developed and implemented legislation.

As a least developed country, it is even more important that Laos maximises the effectiveness of legislation and reduces the inefficiencies,” he added.

“To assist with the process of making Laos a rule-of-law state by 2020, RIA has been introduced into law-making processes at national and provincial levels to enhance socio-economic outcomes. We thank the Asian Development Bank, which has been supporting the government in implementing RIA through technical assistance from 2011-2015, and a loan from 2016 to 2018.”

The reality is that legislation in Laos will only increase in volume and complexity as it grows and becomes better integrated into regional and global markets. This ‘internationalisation’ of Laos will bring about many challenges for the government with its limited resources and for the domestic industries faced by increasing competition.

Mr Peter McKenna, international regulatory expert and consultant, and leading the RIA component of the programme said “The RIA training will promote the need for better government engagement and collaboration with industry such as the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the compiling and review of regulations, and remind policy officers that the policy context must now include reference to regional economic integration.”

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