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A Reader on Regulation$

Robert Baldwin, Colin Scott, and Christopher Hood

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198765295

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198765295.001.0001

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(p.524) ANNEX

A Reader on Regulation
Oxford University Press

Summary of Recommendations

The following table gives a brief summary of recommendations on various issues. The commentators singled out have been chosen as representatives of particular positions who have developed their own views most fully. My apologies to those who were omitted. My apologies also for the necessarily schematic summaries of each commentator's views.


Cento Veljanovski

Dieter Helm

Sir Christopher Foster

Dan Corry et al

Cosmo Graham


Government to provide Regulatory Charter—a clear statement of principles governing regulation; joint working party of regulators, OFT and MMC to produce policy document on various issues.

Common set of financial rules through a White Paper, guidelines or initiative of regulators. Also common basis for efficiency comparisons.

As clear a distinction as possible to be drawn between social and economic matters—regulators to concentrate on economic matters.

Central framework set by Ministers, common division of powers for regulators, accompanied by guidelines governing relationship between regulators, regulatees and consumer bodies and clear statement of how regulators intend to pursue their objectives.

Government to give policy guidelines to regulators regarding statutory duties. Guidance to be published.

Relations with government

Rationalisation of powers of Secretary of State—reduction of powers in electricity.

See Rules and Role of MMC.

No greater government influence than already

Ministers to set the framework for regulatory decisions. Right of intervention if decisions perverse or contrary to government policy.

Specific government powers of intervention to be reduced.

Regulatory rationalisation

Office of Communication, Office of Energy Regulation, Office of Transport Regulation.

Office of Communication. Office of Energy Regulation. Office of Transport Regulation.


Single regulatory departments dealing with each of the main multi-utility sectors—energy, transport and communications—and with water.

Worth considering.







Commission Procedures

Adversarial, open hearings before the MMC. Reasons for decisions to be given.

Reasons for decisions to be given

General procedural guidance to be given, as well as reasons for decisions.

Major regulatory decisions to be preceded by public consultation, including public hearings. Full reasons to be given.

Common set of procedures for regulatory decision making either through Code of Practice or legislation. Open up relationship between agencies.

Appeal rights

Regulatory decisions to be appealable.

Not considered.

Wider scope for appeals, possibly to MMC.

Proper appeal procedures to be established.

No change.

Role of MMC

Major licence modifications to be determined by MMC and MMC to adjudicate on regulatory disputes.

Automatic referral of major licence changes at MMC, MMC to report to Secretary of State.

Conduct retrospective reviews of economic offences across all natural monopolies.

As now—power to restrict scope of references to MMC.

Retrospective review of economic and social matters cutting across utilities could be helpful.

Parliamentary oversight

Create Regulated Industries Select Committee.

Further steps needed.

Would not quarrel with new Regulated Industries Select Committee.

Establishment of new Parliamentary Select Committee.

Establishment of Regulated Industries Select Committee, perhaps supported by NAO.


Private rights of action for breach of licences and Regulatory Charter.


In time will be a need for damages and compensation.

New independent consumer representative bodies.

New independent consumer representative bodies.

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