Guidance for Policy Makers

What is the purpose of this Guidance?

The CCPC has prepared guidance for policymakers to help them assess whether proposals they are considering may have implications for competition.

This guidance provides practical examples of how competition may be affected and sets out a checklist of questions which policymakers can use to test for likely competition impacts.

Government regulations, policies or administrative practices may inadvertently restrict competition by raising barriers to entering the market or by changing the nature or extent of competition between businesses. The guidance provides a framework for assessing the competition effects of proposals. This can help ensure that no unnecessary or excessive restrictions on competition are introduced or retained. It is designed to complement and extend existing guidance on policy appraisal in use in the public sector.

What does the checklist do?

Policymakers can use the checklist to test for likely competition impacts. Competition impact assessment focuses on the following four questions, which are expanded on and explained in Section 5 of the guidance.  

Does the proposal:

a) Directly or indirectly limit the range or number of businesses which can provide a particular good or service?

b) Limit the ability of businesses to compete?

c) Limit the incentive of businesses to compete vigorously?

d) Limit the choices or information available to consumers?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, the policy is likely to raise competition concerns.  In these circumstances, policymakers may want to consider whether there are alternative ways to meet their objectives, or whether the policy can be remodelled so as to minimise any restriction of competition. 

How can I get further information on this area?

The CCPC advises the Government, its agencies and public bodies on how proposed legislation, regulations or policies could affect competition or consumer welfare. If you have questions about this guidance, or would like further information about our work, you can email advocacy@ccpc.ie and a member of the team will get back to you.

Did you find what you were looking for?

Join our mailing list

Simply complete the form to keep up to date with our activities.