Regulators operate in a complex environment at the interface among public authorities, the private sector and end-users. As “referees” of the markets that provide water, energy, transport, communications, and financial services to citizens, they must balance competing wants and needs from different actors. This means that they must behave and act objectively, impartially, and consistently, without conflict of interest, bias or undue influence - in other words, independently. What distinguishes an independent regulator is not simply institutional design. Independence is also about finding the right balance between the appropriate and undue influence that can be exercised through the regulators’ daily interactions with ministries, regulated industries and end-users. This report identifies the critical points where undue influence can be exercised at different moments in the life of a regulator and discusses some of the avenues for developing a culture of independence, including through interactions with stakeholders, staffing and financing.
Developing a common definition of metropolitan areas increases international comparability of the economic, social and environmental performances of metropolitan areas. The OECD and the EU have developed a harmonised definition of urban areas as "functional economic units".
Northern Ireland is currently undertaking public administration reforms organised around three main objectives: improving strategic approaches, improving operational delivery of services to citizens and businesses, and improving engagement with people. This review supports those reforms by providing an assessment and recommendations on a wide range of issues, including strategy-setting and co-ordination, strategic government-wide human resources management, open government, regulatory reform and digital government. It highlights areas where Northern Ireland possesses strengths upon which to build future reforms and suggests actions for the future. This is the first Public Governance Review to be conducted by the OECD at the subnational level.
Mexico has developed an ambitious national open data policy to create value from the use and re-use of government data by the public, private and social sectors. Open government data (OGD) has the potential to spur the digital economy, as well as contribute to more efficient public service delivery and greater public engagement. Mexico has demonstrated its commitment to OGD through its close involvement in international open data initiatives. However, it faces challenges in effectively implementing OGD domestically in a way that makes a greater impact on the economy and society. This would require, notably, institutionalizing open data, understanding the demand for government data, reaching out to potential users and working more closely with local governments. To fully realise the potential of open data, it is crucial that public bodies understand the benefits, are fully behind the project and actively participate in its implementation. This report provides an analysis of Mexico’s policies as well as recommendations for achieving its national objectives and making the most of OGD.