Australian Government RIS Requirements
This web page is relevant to policy officers developing regulatory proposals where the decision maker is the Australian Government’s Cabinet, the Prime Minister, minister, statutory authority, board or other regulator. In these cases the Australian Government's Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) requirements might apply. However, if you are developing a regulatory proposal involving the Council of Australian Governments, a ministerial council, national standard-setting body or associated body, you should go to the web page for COAG RIS requirements.
A number of changes to the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) requirements occurred in June 2010 aimed at better balancing the rigour and practicality of the RIS process in order to encourage greater compliance. A summary is provided about the changesdescribed in the revised Best Practice Regulation Handbook (June 2010), along with advice on how they relate to the old RIS requirements.
Summary of the Requirements
The Australian Government’s regulatory impact analysis (RIA) requirements are intended to achieve better regulation by supporting:
- Sound analysis. The case for acting in response to a perceived problem, including addressing the fundamental question of whether regulatory action is required, needs to be demonstrated. The analysis should also outline the desired objective of the response, a range of alternative options to achieve the objective, and an assessment of the impact of each option, and should be informed by effective consultation.
- Informed decision making. To help decision makers understand the implications of options for achieving the government’s objectives, they should be informed about the likely impacts of their decision, at the time they are making that decision.
- Transparency. The information on which government regulatory decisions are based should be publicly available.
Central to the Australian Government’s RIA process is the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS). The RIS formalises and provides evidence of the key steps taken during the development of the proposal.
- A RIS is mandatory for all decisions made by the Australian Government and its agencies that are likely to have a regulatory impact on business or the not-for-profit sector, unless that impact is of a minor or machinery nature and does not substantially alter existing arrangements.
- Regulation is any ‘rule’ endorsed by government where there is an expectation of compliance.
- The department, agency, statutory authority or board responsible for bringing the proposal to the decision maker is also responsible for ensuring the RIS requirements are met.
- The OBPR is required to assess whether the proposal requires a RIS.
- The RIS must be certified by the relevant departmental secretary or deputy secretary (or agency head/deputy head) prior to being passed to the OBPR for final assessment.
- The OBPR maintains a central online public register  of all RISs including those assessed as inadequate. RISs and the OBPR's assessments of RISs will be published on the register as soon as practicable from the date of the regulatory announcement, in consultation with the agency.
For more information go to the Best Practice Regulation Handbook, available below, or contact the OBPR
Table of Contents
- 1 Productivity and regulation
- 2 The government’s regulatory impact analysis requirements
- 2.1 When does a RIS need to be prepared?
- 2.2 The RIS process
Notifying the OBPR
Preparing the RIS
The decision making stage
- 2.3 Other requirements and information
Exemptions from the RIS requirements
RIS requirements for treaties
Trade Impact Assessment
Consequences of non-compliance
The OBPR’s ongoing engagement with agencies
Regulation Impact Statements – Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Preparing a Regulation Impact Statement
- APPENDIX A Five-yearly review
- APPENDIX B Annual regulatory plans
- APPENDIX C Best practice consultation
- APPENDIX D Small Business Advisory Committee
- APPENDIX E Cost-benefit analysis
- APPENDIX F Risk analysis
- APPENDIX G Business Cost Calculator
An appropriate reference for this publication is:
Australian Government 2010, Best Practice Regulation Handbook, Canberra
© Commonwealth of Australia 2010
ISBN: 978-1-921600-48-7 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-921600-49-4 (Online)
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced
by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning
reproduction and rights should be addressed to:
Commonwealth Copyright Administration
Attorney General’s Department
Robert Garran Offices
Barton ACT 2600
or posted to the Australian Government - Attorney-General's Department website 
- Is a RIS Required?
- Details the information the OBPR needs to receive from you to assess whether or not a RIS is required for your proposal.
- ‘Carve-outs’ Guidance Note
- Details the process for an agency to enter into a standing agreement with the OBPR to remove the need for case-by-case contact with the OBPR for a type of minor or machinery regulatory change made on a regular basis.
- RIS certification template
- Template letter to be used when your secretary or deputy secretary (or agency head/deputy head) certifies that your RIS is suitable for assessment by the OBPR.
- Post-implementation Reviews Guidance Note
- Expands and clarifies the information provided in the Handbook, to assist agencies in preparing post-implementation reviews.
- PIR certification template
- Template letter to be used when your secretary or deputy secretary (or agency head/deputy head) certifies that your PIR is suitable for assessment by the OBPR.
- Trade Impact Assessment Guidance Note
- Description of the trigger for the preparation of a Trade Impact Assessment (TIA), what should be examined in a TIA and a hypothetical example of a TIA.
- Developing Clearer Commonwealth Laws
- Guidance material to help improve the clarity and accessibility of laws.
- Research Paper: Consumer Preferences and the Design of Regulation
- Research paper that analyses approaches to consumer theory and how these can be used in the design on regulation. Particular focus is on behavioural economics and its application through 'nudge'.
Contact for information on this page: OBPR contacts page