Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance

Methodology

The Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance project explores how policymakers interact with stakeholders when shaping regulations affecting business communities. The project not only provides information about legal frameworks that allow interested parties to engage in rulemaking processes, but also captures practices not required by law.

The main objective of the project is to measure inclusiveness of regulatory rulemaking processes as well as promote good regulatory practices. The main areas covered by GIRG data include notice and comment practices in the context of new regulations, implementation of impact assessment and regulatory transparency. The data is collected through a questionnaire where questions carefully chart a logical pathway that forms the basic structure required for stakeholder interaction with regulatory authorities. As of this year, the data also provide a breakdown of regulations that are applicable to either primary or secondary laws. In addition, most regulatory practices are classified based on whether they are implemented throughout the government or only by some agencies. The questionnaire is available on the project’s website. The main respondents to the questionnaire include regulatory agencies, such as Ministries of Commerce, Ministries of Corporate Affairs, Ministries of Finance, Ministries of Trade and Ministries of Economy.

The data presented on the website have been collected between the period of October 2017– May 2018. The dataset covers 186 countries: 46 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 31 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 34 in the OECD high-income group, 23 in Europe and Central Asia, 25 in East Asia and the Pacific, 20 in the Middle East and North Africa, and 7 in South Asia.

Questionnaire design

The questionnaire has been developed with inputs from academicians, regulatory governance experts and government practitioners. Its wording is clear, understandable and applicable to a wide range of countries. The questionnaire is translated into four main languages: Spanish, French, Russian and Arabic.

For better clarity and comparable responses, the questionnaire includes a glossary. For example, "regulation" is defined as "any draft rule of general applicability proposed by an executive authority, ministry, or regulatory agency of a government, which if finalized is intended to bind any individuals or companies covered by it – such as subordinated legislation, administrative formalities, decrees, circulars, and directives – affecting business activities in your jurisdiction. The term also includes rules proposed by the Government that require final approval by the parliament or other legislative body or by the head of state." The breadth of this definition is intended to capture regulatory practices in multiple political systems and countries of different legal origins.

Data collection process

The Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance questionnaire had been sent as an email attachment to more than 1,500 regulatory experts in 187 countries worldwide. Each respondent had been given several weeks to complete the questionnaire. Once the questionnaires had been received, the core team conducted extensive follow-up by phone and email to clarify and confirm all the data discrepancies and inconsistencies. The team also verified all the provided websites and supplementary information submitted by the regulatory agencies. Where different regulatory practices existed across different parts of government or special zones (such as independent financial centers), the data had been coded to represent the most common processes. Notable exceptions are explained under the comments section. All the text responses published on the website has been edited for better clarity.

Scoring

The project does not rank countries but it publishes a composite Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance score. The calculation of the score has been updated this year as a result of internal and external consultations with regulatory experts. The objective of the score’s update has been to make it more relevant to current rulemaking processes worldwide. The score ranges from 0 (worst performance) to 5 (best performance) and includes the following main components:

Questions

1. Publication of forward regulatory plans (/1)

Yes – Throughout Government 

0.75

Yes – Some Ministries/Regulatory Agencies

0.5

No

0

Publicly available

Yes

0.25

No

0

The maximum possible score is 1 if publication is done throughout government and is made publicly available.

2. Consultation on proposed regulations (/1)

Unified website

1

Ministry website

0.75

Public meetings

0.5

Targeted outreach

0.25

None

0

When several options are selected, the maximum score is taken.

3. Report back on the results of that consultation process (/1)

Unified website

1

Ministry website

0.75

Public meetings/Printed in a Journal or Gazette

0.5

Targeted outreach

0.25

None

0

When several options are selected, the maximum score is taken.

4. Conduct regulatory impact assessment (/1)

Yes

0.5

No

0

Publicly available

Yes

0.25

No

0

Specialized regulatory body to review impact assessments

Yes

0.25

No

0

To obtain the maximum score of 1, RIAs need to be conducted, made publicly available and there has to be a specialized regulatory body assessing RIAs.

5. Laws are made publicly accessible (/1)

Unified website maintained by Government or Private entity

1

Printed in a Journal/Gazette

0.5

Not publicly available

0

When several options are selected, the maximum score is taken.

Limitations

The Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance project does not measure everything that is important for a good regulatory system to function well. Specifically, the data does not capture the quality of existing rulemaking processes and practices. For example, while the dataset captures if rule-makers engage stakeholders in consultation around proposed regulations, it does not reflect the quality of such discussions or the extent to which the comments lead to changes in proposed regulations. The data also does not capture cronyism, nepotism, corruption and bribery.

Furthermore, the questionnaire asks about national level regulatory practices at large, without focusing on any specific sector of an economy. Regulatory practices can differ from industry to industry and depending on a country, between national and regional level of governments. However, the current project provides a solid platform for further nuanced and targeted research.