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Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution$
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Nicholas Bamforth and Peter Leyland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670024.001.0001

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Calling Regulators to Account

Calling Regulators to Account

Challenges, Capacities and Prospects

Chapter:
(p.354) 15 Calling Regulators to Account
Source:
Accountability in the Contemporary Constitution
Author(s):

Julia Black

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670024.003.0015

This chapter explores the accountability of UK regulators by looking at the capacity of organizations to call a regulatory agency to account. It identifies five key challenges facing anyone seeking to call regulators to account: the scale of the regulatory landscape; the problems of multiple hands, shifting roles and blame-shifting; the technical complexity and contestability of the regulatory task; the opacity of regulatory processes; and the willingness of the accountee to be called to account. It then explores how these challenges are manifested and addressed in the activities of intra-executive organizations charged with implementing the ‘better regulation’ agenda; parliamentary select committees; the National Audit Office; and consumer panels.In each case, the chapter examines the significance of accountability capacity and institutional position in the ability to call regulators to account, and the fluidity of roles that an accountor can play in regulatory processes.

Keywords:   accountability, regulators, regulatory agencies, intra-executive organizations, better regulation, accountability capacity, regulatory processes

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