Standards have been established to safeguard the quality of information and assessments presented to the public by governments in support of their policies. Governments are held to high quality standards because the public relies on information and assessments disseminated by governments and their agencies to a much greater extent than it does with other sources. These standards have been established over decades as elected administrations, and their political leanings and objectives have fluctuated.
The European Commission also has information quality standards such as that for questionnaires in surveys-based statistical measurement. According to EC-issued guidelines, “[i]mpact assessment is a set of logical steps to be followed when you prepare policy proposals. It is a process that prepares evidence for political decision-makers on the advantages and disadvantages of possible policy options by assessing their potential impacts.” The EC has made clear that “all policy decisions should be based on sound analysis supported by the best data available.” At a minimum, non-legislative initiatives should describe “the most significant potential impacts of different approaches”.