The ex ante-procedure is designed to prevent unnecessary bureaucracy and compliance costs. Before the Federal Cabinet adopts any piece of legislation, the NKR reviews the ministries’ estimates of compliance costs for citizens, businesses and public authorities. The annual and one-off compliance costs that are to be expected are critically assessed.
The NKR also examines:
- information regarding the aim and necessity of any regulation for its comprehensibility,
- considerations relating to other possible solutions/"alternatives",
- considerations regarding the effective date of a regulation, time limits and evaluation,
- information concerning simplifications of legal and administrative procedures,
- information concerning the one-to-one transposition of EU law.
Under the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries, the NKR is incorporated into the legislative process in the same way as a ministry. Draft regulations are required to be submitted to the NKR no later than the start of the coordination process within the Federal Government. In practice, the ministries often involve the NKR at an earlier date.
The NKR prepares a draft opinion for each regulatory initiative. These are presented to the NKR plenum for adoption. The NKR sends its comments to the lead ministry. The draft law or regulation is then submitted, together with the NKR comments - and as applicable, with a response of the Federal Government - to the Federal Cabinet for deliberation. The Bundestag and Bundesrat always receive the government drafts together with NKR opinions. The comments form part of the papers printed for parliamentary deliberations and are accessible to everyone at that point in time. The NKR reviews draft regulations from the Bundesrat when the Bundesrat refers these to the NKR. It comments on draft legislation from the floor of the Bundestag only at the request of the parliamentary group or members introducing the bill.