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2b Regulatory drafting – Preparatory body

Regulatory drafting is commonly the most labour-intensive step in legislative drafting. It begins with a mandate from the ministry for the legislative project and concludes with the completion of the draft Government bill. The mandate is given to a separate preparatory body when broader-based participation is warranted. The preparatory body can be e.g. a committee, a commission, an advisory board, or a working group and consist of stakeholders, representatives from other ministries, experts in the field question, and political decision-makers.

During regulatory drafting, the matter at hand is expanded upon and examined in greater detail to build upon the information accumulated during preliminary preparation. Legal issues, including those relating to the Constitution and other legislation, are also reviewed. Studies or reports may be commissioned for drafting purposes. At this step, alternative solutions for the issues to be resolved are determined and the impacts of the alternatives are assessed.Stakeholders not represented on the preparatory body are consulted. The knowledge base required for the preparation and the impact assessments is expanded as the work progresses.

The preparatory body is responsible for the impact assessment of the proposed legislation. The assessment concerns the relevant economic impact, the impact on the public administration, the environmental impact and the societal impact. A follow-up of the effects of the implemented reform is also a part of the impact assessment procedure. The result of the assessment performed during the drafting should be written down in the legislative proposal. Government draft proposals applicable to businesses or proposals that otherwise impact businesses are to be sent within the normal request for statements procedure to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy’s Registry with the heading ‘Assessment of the Impact on Businesses’. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy will issue a statement on the impact on businesses with which the draft can then be amended, if necessary. The statement will be issued on the basis of the checklist for impact identification.

During regulatory drafting, the secretary of the preparatory body drafts the text and rationale for the legislation in the form of a draft Government bill. The contents of this draft are determined by preparatory body under the leadership of its chairperson.  

Further information

Constitution of Finland

Instructions for legislative drafting