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.
Description of regulatory policy activities in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
This innovative book combines results from research conducted in Colombia about how communications services consumers make consumption choices with OECD expertise in regulatory policy, behavioural economics, and data analytics, in order to help improve the consumer protection regime in Colombia. It focuses on the types of incentives that should be provided to change both provider and user behaviour, and considers where appropriate regulatory interventions may be needed to ensure that these incentives are realised. This work supports the Communications Regulator of Colombia in redesigning its consumer protection regime. This effort has refocused the regulatory framework from “protecting rights” towards making the market function best; this involves encouraging the providers to improve the quality of their services and rates offered in the market and to foster a better understanding of what is being offered and how. The book also makes specific recommendations on possible follow-up experiments to test some of the possible solutions to help communications services consumers better understand the information provided by service operators.
Regulators operate in a complex, high-risk environment at the interface between the public and the private sectors. They often share some responsibilities for the sectors and industries they regulate with other public institutions. And yet, if the lights go out, tap water stop running, trains break down or phones stop working, they are often held to account. In this challenging environment, the governance of regulators is critical. The role of the regulator and how it co-ordinates with other public institutions, the powers it is given and how it is held accountable for exercising these powers are key elements of a governance architecture that needs to be carefully crafted and appropriately implemented if the regulator is to succeed in combining effective regulation with a high level of trust. This report looks at the way in which four regulators – the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), Portugal’s Water and Waste Services Regulation Authority (ERSAR) and the UK Office of Rail and Road (ORR) – have addressed these governance challenges. The report identifies approaches to implement accountability, transparency and co-ordination and helps identify some lessons that can help guide how these principles can be translated into practice.
This paper examines the potential contribution of RIA to better incorporating the inclusive growth perspective in regulatory decision-making.
Urban, demographic and climate trends are increasingly exposing cities to risks of having too little, too much and too polluted water. Facing these challenges requires robust public policies and sound governance frameworks to co-ordinate across multiple scales, authorities, and policy domains. Building on a survey of 48 cities in OECD countries and emerging economies, the report analyses key factors affecting urban water governance, discusses trends in allocating roles and responsibilities across levels of government, and assesses multi-level governance gaps in urban water management. It provides a framework for mitigating territorial and institutional fragmentation and raising the profile of water in the broader sustainable development agenda, focusing in particular on the contribution of metropolitan governance, rural-urban partnerships and stakeholder engagement.
Many economically advanced countries are failing to fully enforce regulations on political party funding and campaign donations or are leaving loopholes that can be exploited by powerful private interest groups, according to a new OECD report.
This report examines the Netherland’s new Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (MRDH), drawing on lessons from governance reforms in other OECD countries and identifying how the MRDH experience could benefit policy makers beyond Dutch borders. Long in search of ways to strengthen urban areas, the Dutch government has recently undertaken the development of a National Urban Agenda known as Agenda Stad, in parallel to a series of broad institutional reforms. This included abolishing the country’s traditional eight city-regions, which led Rotterdam, The Hague and 21 smaller neighbouring cities to form the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag, or MRDH). This report analyses the emergence of the MRDH both as a geographical area that spans 23 municipalities in the southern Randstad region and as a new metropolitan authority with transport and economic development responsibilities. One of the challenges the MRDH faces is how to bring the economies of Rotterdam and The Hague closer together while generating growth and well-being.
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This OECD Regulatory Policy Working Paper relies on an empirical stocktaking of mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) among selected OECD countries. It aims to build a greater understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of one of the 11 mechanisms of international regulatory co-operation.
This report on the Public Procurement Service of Korea examines the effectiveness of its system, identifying good practices that can inspire reform efforts in other countries. In particular, the report highlights the efficiency gains achieved by implementation of a comprehensive e-procurement system and the savings generated by an integrated support for government-wide contracts. It also looks at how Korea is adopting a strategic and multi-dimensional approach to using public procurement in the support of small businesses and other social objectives. In identifying possible improvements to Korea’s system, recommendations include a more centralised look at workforce training and development issues and additional features for Korea’s e-procurement system, as well as a review of existing certification and preference programs.