Is consumer benefit missing from regulation analysis?

The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) has urged the Productivity Commission’s Regulatory Impact Analysis Benchmarking study to place more focus in Regulatory Impact Analyses on the benefits regulation can provide for consumers.

In February the Commonwealth tasked the Productivity Commission with undertaking a study into the Regulatory Impact Analysis process. The aim of this study is to “closely examine and assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the key features of the variety of RIA processes”. As part of this study the Productivity Commission asked interested parties to prepare submissions so that they could consider all the relevant information.

In their submission CALC contended that RIAs needed to provide more information to agencies on the less tangible impact regulation has on consumers. In particular they argued that consideration needs to be given to the benefits of regulation for consumers and the harm of not acting.

CALC stated that the use of this approach, rather than solely relying upon numeric data provided by businesses, would allow both viewpoints to be equally weighted and considered. This balanced approach would ensure that the final outcome is efficient and effective regulation.

Find CALC’s submission here: CALC submission – PC RIA Issues Paper – May 2012