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Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) capacity building for local public authorities

The Republic of Serbia increasingly recognises that high-quality regulation at the sub-national level is an essential precondition for effectively responding to a range of fundamental trends in the country: legislative harmonisation with the EU’s acquis communautaire, increased competition, decreased state aid transfers, increased global trade, domestic private sector development, SME promotion, regional and environmental policies, enhancement of social and labour market policies, improving the investment climate etc. An important element of evaluating the quality of regulatory policies within the state consists of differentiating between inputs, outputs and outcomes of the policy. From the input perspective, the state needs to elaborate and adopt new policies and normative acts, as well as creating a new institutional framework based on its activities on new efficient tools. However, this is insufficient, as new capacities need to be implemented, enforced and, ultimately, need to deliver results deemed successful. Political will needs to be tested in the face of opposition from public, and especially private interests. Institutions need to have personnel and budgetary resources necessary to apply the policies, as well as created tools. The second array of tests focuses on the outputs of the policy and the question of whether the inputs have produced better quality regulations. Finally, the institutional framework needs to implement and enforce the tools necessary to achieve tangible results for individuals and businesses. These would lead to positive consequences related - as has been mentioned - to higher investments, economic growth, better quality natural environment, increased social welfare, etc. The goal of the IFC Sub-national Competitiveness Project in the Republic of Serbia is to increase the competitiveness of selected localities and help increase the levels of private investment. The Project focuses on: - reducing the cost and time required to comply with business formalities, including licenses and permits in order to reduce the cost and risk of doing business; - improving the capacity of governments to manage administrative and licensing procedures related to business operations and deliver services to businesses and - establishing a transparent and legally secure Registry of formalities and related information for businesses and the general public.

Within the Project, ORGUT carried out an assignment to build capacity among local public authorities to conduct Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA). The assignment had the main objective to provide assistance to the five local authorities in designing common training materials that focused on an on-going training process of public servants and stakeholders, ensuring that they understand the principles and approach of the regulatory reform, and know-how to use regulatory impact analysis to improve the quality and transparency of regulations. The assignment also included developing sustainable local training capacities by training local trainers.

The necessity to achieve this objective comes from the fact that Serbia applies at the national level the impact assessment as one of the basic requirement to be prepared as a component part of a draft regulation. On the other hand, there is no institutional capacity among Serbian local public authorities yet. Following the above mentioned, there is a capacity gap in national versus local implementation of impact assessment exercise.

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