Comparing Sustainability Checks

Essay by TaitkenCollege, Undergraduate November 2014

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Thomas Aitken 48636120

Poli 320 term 1

Comparative paper, Plan B, Option 1

"Cross-national Comparisons"Sustainability Checks

A sustainablity check is defined as an assessment which looks to analyse the costs and benefits of regulations and thus assess whether more or less regulations should be implemented; according to the SGI codebook, a high quality sustainability assesses the short and long-term impact on social, economic and environmental issues when regulations are implemented.. The 2014 Country Report of the United States concedes that "there is no separate check required for "sustainability" per se" (p34 Quirk, 2014) since the definition of the term sustainabilty can be interpreted in many ways. According to other Country Reports, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom don't have a seperate check for 'sustainability' either, only it is written less blatently due to the different authors involved in the reports. What is initially peculiar about this is that all four countries were awarded a score of at least 7 out of 10 for the criteria of sustainability checks despite none of them actually having a seperate check.

This is because the scores are derived from the quality of each country's regulatory impact assessment (RIA) which assess a regulation's impacts on socioeconomic and other indicators; according to the SGI codebook, a strong RIA "analyses consistently involve stakeholders by means of consultation or collaboration, results are transparently communicated to the public and assessments are effectively evaluated by an independent body on a regular basis" ( p57 Codebook, 2014). RIAs can include cost assesments of social, economic and environmental issues, thus implying that a seperate check is not necessary as it is already included in the RIA, as stated in the US 2014 country report "one could argue the U.S. regulatory impact assessment process does include a sustainability check. After all, assessments are...