ABOUT THIS PORTAL
The Ghana Business Consultations Portal is an interactive portal to enable policy makers easily consult affected businesses and individuals in a transparent and timely way, and at a considerable cost savings. E-consultations is one of the important steps envisaged in the simplified process for Ministries preparing draft memorandum for submission to Cabinet, according to the 2017 revised guidelines. It is expected in advance to ensure that the real-world impacts of proposed policies and regulations are anticipated and considered by Government, and cumulative or overlapping regulations are avoided. Inputs from the Business Consultation portal will feed into Regulatory Impact Analysis and significantly improve the evidence basis for Inter-Ministerial decision-making.
Brief on Business Regulatory Reforms
In pursuit of Government’s mandate to develop and implement policies to make Ghana a competitive manufacturing economy capable of contributing significantly to job-creation and economic growth, one of the key interventions is the Business Regulatory Reform Programme (2017-2020), an integrated medium-term plan coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to create a better regulatory framework for the private sector to invest in job creation.
The BRR Programme consists of seven pillars intended to systematically transform how Government makes and revises the regulations governing business activities in Ghana. It is designed to put in place efficient and fair government rules that encourage all businesses - small, medium and large - to invest in innovation, drive economic transformation, create more jobs, and become successful in the domestic, regional or global markets.
It will ensure that an efficient system is in place for managing and updating the country’s stock of regulations and for ensuring that new rules to govern business and investment activities have a basis in sound economic, social and environmental analysis. The key priority is to ensure that the country’s stock of regulations support the national economic objective of transformation and jobs, remain fit for competitiveness, and are kept abreast with best practice in a fast-changing global environment, characterised by rapid advancements in Information and Communication Technology.
Keeping the administration business regulations effective and responsive of requires greater speed, transparency and accountability in making regulatory decisions, including timely use of evidence to inform decision-making and measure outcomes. This is to be achieved through the BRR with a set of inter-related interventions to administer reforms, namely:
- Regulatory Impact Assessment
- Web-based Public Consultations;
- Electronic Registry of Business-related Legal and Regulatory Instruments; and
- Structured Public-Private Dialogue
Regulatory reform is a process of reviewing and changing policies and regulations that aims to ensure the public benefits from policies and regulations exceed their costs. In Ghana, as in many jurisdictions, policies and regulations are proposed at the Sector and Ministerial level in the form of draft bills and subordinate legislation approved by Cabinet and enacted by Parliament; or as bye-laws passed at a local government level by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
How Regulatory Impact Assessment procedures are institutionalized differ markedly from country to country, to reflect the different needs and institutional structures of each country. In Ghana, Guidelines (revised 2017) for submitting memoranda to Cabinet reinforces impact assessment as a mandatory requirement, recognising that decision makers need to know the effects and impacts of the options that are before them.
These include the a) economic; b) financial; c) rural; d) social; e) political; f) gender equality; g) regional; h) loan/trade agreement; i) legal and constitutional; j) institutional; k) regulatory; and l) environmental impacts. Other factors to be considered in the analysis of options are the differences in group and regional impacts, whether there are obvious winners and losers, costs and benefits and how impacts change over the short, medium and long-term, and constraints (e.g. jurisdictional, legal and trade obligations).
Rigorous impact assessment is therefore an integral part of Government’s broader commitment to improve the quality of governance through evidence-based policy making. Globally, Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is considered to be an effective means of addressing growing concerns about the cost and benefits of regulatory changes, especially inconsistencies in the depth of analysis undertaken when developing new regulations and the general absence of objective standards for assessing and anticipating the impact of new regulations in developing countries such as Ghana.