Agency has presented the Handbook on legislative impact assessments

The Agency for Legislative Initiatives and the Parliamentary Centre (Canada), in cooperation with the PROTECT program, presented a handbook on legislative impact assessment for representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Impact assessment is an important step in the decision-making process that allows identify and assess the future consequences and likely impacts of proposed decisions before they are adopted and implemented. Laws (or, more broadly, public policies) are adopted with a specific purpose and expected result. Assessing how a law (or other public policy instrument) will achieve a goal is an important part of legislative control.

Impact assessment as an analytical tool is used in the policy development process in many governments around the world. However, for Ukraine, impact assessment is still not a common tool for lawmakers.

“One of the problems that we have faced in the parliament during many years of work is that MPs often do not understand the importance of high-quality expert and analytical support. And, in fact, one of the tasks of this handbook is to explain to legislators the value of information, analytics, and justification in the process of initiating and considering legislative initiatives”, – said Oleksandr Zaslavskyy, director of the analytical department of the Agency for Legislative Initiatives.

The Agency for Legislative Initiatives and the Parliamentary Centre worked together with two committees of the Verkhovna Rada – the Committee on Law Enforcement and the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union – to adapt the Canadian experience of legislative impact assessment to the Ukrainian context.

“One of the key directions of our project is the support of the Committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in strengthening their legislative work on reforming the security and defense sector. A year and a half ago, we offered them a methodology for assessing the impact of draft laws. And since then, they began to actively use the methodology in the consideration of draft laws, despite the difficult conditions associated with russian aggression”, – said Anastasiya Shtaltovna, program and communication coordinator of the Parliamentary Centre (Canada).

As part of the project, both committees of the Verkhovna Rada significantly improved their skills in conducting legislative impact assessments. In total, 18 analytical documents were prepared: 8 – by the Committee on Law Enforcement, 10 – by the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the EU.

The handbook is a description of the methodology of legislative impact assessment, the legislative procedure in Canada and Ukraine, as well as the experience of preparing an assessment by two committees of the Verkhovna Rada — the Committee on Law Enforcement and the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union.

“With clear explanations and useful templates, this handbook will be a useful and easy-to-use guide to assist analysts in their work to prepare more in-depth impact assessments of legislative proposals. These assessments, in turn, will help parliamentarians be confident that they have the information, analysis and clarity they need to make informed decisions”, — noted Rick Stewart, a Canadian legislative impact assessment expert.

The application of the Canadian experience of conducting a legislative impact assessment in Ukraine will contribute to a more in-depth study of the problem that the legislative initiative solves, its causes, and as a result — to determine the forecast of consequences in the event of the adoption of the draft law. Systematic use of this instrument will help improve the quality of draft laws and reduce legislative spam.

In the future, it is planned to conduct trainings, prepare educational materials and share this experience among other committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The handbook was prepared within the framework of the project “Parliamentary Accountability of the Security Sector in Ukraine” (PASS Ukraine) with the support of the Ministry of International Affairs of Canada (GAC) and the Peacebuilding and Stabilization Program (PSOPs) in partnership with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.