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Regulatory policies emphasizing deregulation, privatization, re-regulation, and the creation of independent oversight agencies are viewed as critical by many governments. However, regulatory effectiveness must be evaluated consistently to sustain evidence-based decision making and accountability within the public service. The widespread adoption of Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) in policymaking enhances accountability, transparency, and inclusiveness and builds trust in the public sector. GRP systems allow citizens’ inputs on policies and regulatory practices that affect them directly and the national economy generally. The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) is supporting member governments by providing systematic guidance on how to improve regulatory effectiveness. Given the important role of the public sector in all economies, better GRP-based policies resulting in the optimum utilization of human and financial resources will ultimately enhance overall national productivity and competitiveness.
In cooperation with the Malaysia Productivity Corporation, the APO organized a workshop on Measuring, Monitoring, and Evaluating Regulatory Performance for Productivity and Competitiveness, 7–11 October in Kuala Lumpur. The objectives were to: identify common practices in measuring, monitoring, and evaluating regulatory performance to enhance national productivity and competitiveness; review the effectiveness and quality of regulatory policies/programs in place for better design and implementation; and provide an understanding of elements contributing to the effective measurement, monitoring, and evaluation of regulatory activities undertaken by governments.
Three resource persons from Canada, the ROK, and the Philippines as well as three local speakers made presentations on various topics central to regulatory performance review. The workshop was attended by 22 individuals involved in regulatory reform in the public sector from 15 APO member countries. Because GRP and associated review systems are relatively new to many economies in the Asia-Pacific, some participants were not accustomed to measuring and monitoring the performance of national regulatory agencies on a consistent basis. The resource persons were able to explain the basics of measuring and monitoring in easily understood presentations, with concrete examples directed toward participants’ specific concerns.
Canadian resource person Corrinne Pohlmann of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business commented that the workshop gave an overview of “how an overly burdensome regulatory environment can make it difficult for smaller businesses to compete.” She noted that applying approaches detailed in the case studies from Canada and the ROK could help APO members in “attracting more business growth and investment,” thereby improving national productivity levels.
During a site visit hosted by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, workshop attendees were introduced to the measurement, monitoring, and evaluation methods in place to ensure the effectiveness of existing regulations and to identify adjustments needed. This was appreciated by host country participant Cham Yin Hwa, who found the visit “enlightening,” and the opportunity to ask questions especially useful. She felt that her own work would benefit from the expertise shared by the resource persons and insights from the methods adopted by City Hall.