Defining the policy objective and purpose of proposed legislation
This is a single section from Chapter 2. Read the full chapter here.
Is the policy objective and purpose of the legislation clearly defined?
The policy objective must be clearly defined and discernible.
Achieving the policy objective should drive the design of the legislation and all the detailed decisions made when drafting. Therefore, the broad underlying objective (the policy it is implementing or the reason for it) should be clearly defined before substantive work begins and clearly discernible in the legislation and policy documents (including the Cabinet policy papers and the departmental disclosure statement).
While it is not necessary to determine every detail of the policy at the beginning, it is highly desirable to settle as much policy detail as possible prior to writing drafting instructions and undertaking consultation on the proposed legislation. Providing more policy detail will enable others to properly assess the effects of the proposal and the ultimate legislation.
It may be helpful to look at examples of similar legislation to determine the level and nature of the policy analysis required. When developing policy, officials may also find it helpful to produce an outline of the key elements of the proposed bill as this can sometimes assist in identifying issues, especially more detailed ones, that need to be addressed.