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OECD issues report on regulator independence

The OECD has released ‘Creating a culture of independence: Practical guidance against undue influence, a report that provides practical advice on how to address stress points and protect economic regulators from undue influence, drawing on the experience of over 80 regulators that participate in the OECD Network of Economic Regulators (NER). The OECD says that “independence is never a foregone conclusion nor should it be taken for granted; nor is formal (de jure) independence sufficient to guarantee the impartiality of a regulator’s daily behaviour and decisions. On the contrary, a regulator’s independence is frequently under stress, particularly at given ‘pinch points’ where there is potential for greater undue influence to be exerted. In order to navigate these challenges, regulatory agencies need to build and sustain a strong and institutionally proactive culture of independence that will bolster their daily practice and behaviour. Certain institutional and practical measures can contribute to such a culture of independence.” The report has a set of guidelines structured into five sections that reflect dimensions under which these pinch points can occur. They cover considerations linked both to the external and internal governance of regulators. These five dimensions include basic and necessary institutional measures to establish and maintain the capacity of regulators to act independently. The guidelines also include a set of aspirational steps that could be taken to further bolster independence and safeguard regulators from undue influence. The five dimensions are: role clarity and responsibility; transparency and accountability; financial independence; independence of leadership; and staff behaviour. Read more

  • Monday, 22 May 2017

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