Public Policy Criteria for Determination essay

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" (Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, 2007) Questions that must be asked are those as follows: (1) Is the issue one where government can act alone? (2) Is the issue one where external actors can act alone with some influence from government? (3) Is the issue one where a mixed governance approach is required, that is, where government and external actors need to act together? (4) What external actors operate in the same field? (5) Are the external actors potential collaborators? (6) Can they regulate themselves? (7) Can their self-regulatory abilities be enhanced by means such as capacity and institution building? (8) Are indirect forms of government action appropriate as opposed to direct intervention through regulation? (9) Can new actors be found? (10) if creating new markets, can new actors be encouraged to play a role? (Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, 2007) it is stated that questions that must be considered for effective consultations throughout the process of assessing and selecting instruments are those as follows: (1) Which actors and institutions can influence the problem or are affected by the problem? (2) What is the level of knowledge, understanding, and expertise of the actors and institutions? What is their capacity to engage in the instrument choice process and provide information? (2) Are the concerns and risks identified by the actors and institutions integrated into the assessment and selection criteria for instruments?

(3) Is consensus the goal of consultation? (4) How will diverging points-of-view be addressed and how will the various actors and institutions be advised? (5) What there be difficult choices or trade-offs? (6) Will certain actors and institutions benefit more than others? (Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, 2007)


The fifth step in this process involves "taking into account a number of considerations relevant to the assessment and selection of instruments." (Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, 2007) These considerations are inclusive of: (1) effectiveness; (2) legality; (3) conformity and compliance; and (4) accountability. (Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, 2007) There are three stated dimensions in establishment of the considerations utilized in instrument evaluation: (1) identification of the considerations that relate to management of the problems and risks including: (a) technical; (b) legal; (c) implementation; and (d) conformity and compliance risks; (2) identification and taking full advantage of opportunities for coordination of the types and use of instruments with other governments and agencies domestic and international; and (4) identification of considerations that reflect certain values such as economic efficiency, fairness, individual liberty, political acceptability, and accountability. (Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, 2007) the following figure is a sample instrument assessment matrix.

Figure 2

Sample Instrument Assessment Matrix


Import- ance


(H, M, L)

Regul- atory

Instru- ments


Instru- ments


Instru- ments

Inform- ation

Instru- ments














magnitude of risk mitigation over time speed with which risk mitigation objectives are achieved sustainability of risk management performance severity of side effects

Legality and Legal Obligations

consistency with Constitution and statutes international trade agreements international social agreements

Individual Liberty and State Coercion

severity of constraints on individual liberties anticipated need for application of state coercion comparative balance between constraints and enabling effects of instruments

Conformity and Compliance

accessibility of rules/objectives for actors and institutions informal report probability inspection probability

detection probability (from Netherlands example)

Economic Implications

regulatory burden reduction of compliance costs market structure rate of cost abatement price sensitivity potential for value-added opportunities


distributional impacts across social groups, industry sectors, SMEs, regions internalization of externalities

Political Accountability and Legitimacy

expected buy-in from government expected support from Canadians

transparency of process and activities accessibility of information on activities and instrument performance

Source: Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, 2007


This work has reviewed the criteria that are utilized in selection public policies and has provided a matrix listing the various criteria that are used in selection of public policies which includes the actors and their effects on the various criteria used in identification 'good' versus 'bad' public policies.


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