What is the Unified Methodology for the Assessment of Selected Impacts for?
The Unified Methodology governs the impact assessment process of new regulations that are being adopted. Impact assessment is a tool whose aim is the determination and quantification of the expected impacts of materials of legislative and non-legislative nature submitted to the preliminary comment procedure. Assessment of impacts entails impacts on public finance, social impacts, impacts on employment, businesses, environment, IT services, services of the public sector for citizens. This tool is an aid for political decision-making but it is certainly not a substitute.
The process of preparation and authorization of impacts has the following stakeholders:
- Submitter of the material – a ministry or other central government authority with a legislative initiative that submits the material to a preliminary comment procedure,
- Permanent Working Commission for Assessing Selected Impacts (representatives of ministries, representative of the Government Office of the Slovak Republic, representative of the Slovak Business Agency), whose activity lies in methodological support of the submitter during the impact assessment process,
- Other entities affected by the proposed material – in particular, business associations, governmental and public organization, NGOs etc.).
How should a legislator proceed if he identifies an impact of the proposed material on the business environment?
Commission assesses the quality of the impact assessment process and the contents of the accompanying impact analysis. The legislator is responsible for elaborating an impact analysis, with the exception of the SME Test. Based on a preliminary assessment of the legislation’s impacts, the Better Regulation Center issues a recommendation to the Ministry of the Economy of the Slovak Republic, which subsequently decides whether the SME Test should be carried out. Consultations are a compulsory part of the business impact assessment and a first step of the SME Test. They should take place in the early stages of preparation of the material, in the case of legal acts even before the actual paragraph version of the material. In accordance with the Unified Methodology the Better Regulation Center recommends the following procedure to legislators that happen to identify an impact of the material on the business environment.
How can an entrepreneur join in the ongoing legislative process?
The Unified Methodology provides entrepreneurs and/or their representative organizations with a unique opportunity to participate in consultations on draft proposals of legislative or non-legislative nature with the respective legislators.
The purpose of the consultations is to increase transparency in the preparation of proposals and to allow for involvement of affected businesses in their development. Consultations form a mandatory part of assessing the impact of regulations on business environment. The Ministry of the Economy of the Slovak Republic decides whether consultations with businesses will take place.
Entrepreneurs can participate in this process independently or in cooperation with the Slovak Business Agency, which actively promotes the interests of SMEs and also provides an expert analytical support in measuring the impact of submitted materials on SME.
Interested businesses can reach out directly to the Slovak Business Agency, the submitter of the assessed material or may request to be added on the list of consulting entities, which is compiled by the Ministry of the Economy of the Slovak Republic. Further information regarding the application are available on the Ministry’s web page.
Besides consultations on the Slovak legislation, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to engage in consultations concerning proposals which are an initiative of the European Union bodies even before their transposition or implementation into Slovak legislation. Partners of the Enterprise Europe Network in Slovakia are one of the contact points, where businesses can report their problems or simply point out problematic issues concerning legislation that impacts the business environment in the EU. You can participate in these consultations directly via the Enterprise Europe Network web page. An overview of the ongoing consultations on the upcoming regulation at the EU level, sorted by industry, can also be found on the web page of the European Commission.