What is the best option from those you have considered?

In this section of the RIS, you must:

  • Describe what you learned from consultation.
  • Indicate which of the identified options you are leaning towards.
    • Explain the decision making process and clearly outline any:
    • caveats or qualifications
    • assumptions
    • unresolved issues
    • weightings applied to evidence or arguments.

If you put in the effort up front, this part should be easy

Your RIS must recommend a preferred option from among those presented and analysed.

Take into account the costs and benefits. The option with the highest net benefit should be your recommended option, though in every case the reasons for your choice must be transparent and defensible.

Any areas of uncertainty must be weighed openly and honestly. Any assumptions you have made must be disclosed, discussed and assessed for their impact on the final decision.

This section must also cover what you learned by consulting stakeholders. Were your assumptions validated? Did your estimates of potential regulatory costs pass muster? Did stakeholders suggest any alternative policy approaches that you hadn’t thought of? Were you able to find acceptable solutions to any of the problems identified? Is your preferred option generally supported, or are there going to be problems implementing it?

Caveats relating to methodology, estimates, limitations of your analytical techniques or issues of data quality must be disclosed and any potential for them to have affected your conclusions must be acknowledged and assessed.

You should be clear about how the impact of your preferred option will be distributed across the community. Where will the burden fall? Is there anything you can do to mitigate the burden?

You should also consider how best to convey this information to decision makers.

The form of language in any policy recommendations must reflect these underlying uncertainties, not by hedging your bets or failing to choose an option, but by making a confident recommendation explicitly taking any uncertainties or ambiguities into account.

Good decision making relies on honest and thorough analysis.