Regulatory policy

OECD Conference on Enforcement and Inspection


On 9 November 2017, the OECD and the Regulatory Delivery of the U.K. Department for Energy, Business and Industrial Strategy held the first OECD Enforcement and Inspections Conference as part of the work of the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee in Paris, France.

The OECD conference gathered policy makers and experts responsible for the Better Regulation agenda with practitioners involved in regulatory enforcement and inspections and enabled the exchange of experience among them to share approaches to inspections and their reforms.

The OECD Secretariat presented a draft of the OECD Toolkit for Regulatory Enforcement and Inspections, offering political decision-makers, government officials, regulators, stakeholders and experts a simple tool to assess the level of development of their inspection and enforcement system. A number of presenters from OECD and non-OECD countries showed successful examples of cross-cutting reforms in the area of regulatory enforcement and inspections and highlighted how countries have tried to improve their countries’ institutional set-ups for enforcement and inspections as well as horizontal lessons on improving regulatory enforcement and inspections in specific sectors.


Key conference conclusions

  • Enforcement and inspections are a critical component of the regulatory policy cycle, because they ensure that practices enshrined in legislation are put into practice. Therefore, enforcement and inspection systems should be efficient and designed to support the public good.
  • Enforcement and inspection authorities should be well integrated into the regulatory policy cycle. Their feedback should be part of the review process of regulations.
  • Reforming enforcement and inspections at a high level is challenging, rewarding and specific to the institutional context of the country.
  • Reform requires a whole-of-government perspective. Enforcement and inspections link designing regulations to their monitoring and implementation, effectively closing the policy cycle loop, particularly in a “post-truth” environment where well-grounded evidence is becoming increasingly critical.
  • There is demand for a group of regulatory enforcement and inspectors working in the area of whole-of-government reform to share experiences.




Next Steps

At the end of the conference, the OECD Secretariat was invited to look into the feasibility of creating an international network of enforcement and inspection authorities. Conference participants were also invited to join in the public consultation on the OECD Enforcement and Inspections Toolkit, which will begin early in 2018. 


For further information, please contact Daniel Trnka, Senior Policy Analyst, OECD Regulatory Policy Division or Eric Thomson, Policy Analyst, OECD Regulatory Policy Division


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