Principles of effective regulation – Report Summary

This is a House of Commons Committee report, with recommendations to government. The Government has two months to respond.

Author: Committee of Public Accounts

Related inquiry: Principles of effective regulation

Date Published: 15 September 2021

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Summary

Regulation touches on every aspect of our lives. Used effectively it can keep citizens safe, support economic growth and protect the environment, but when it fails, it can have serious consequences. UK regulators face significant challenges, risks and opportunities, such as taking on new roles previously carried out by European regulators and needing to adapt to changes such as rapid technological development, changing social attitudes and an increased focus on the climate emergency.

It is not clear that government and regulators are equipped to meet these challenges. Increasingly global markets and technological advances mean that now, more than ever, regulators must work together and coordinate their actions to regulate effectively. And the world which they regulate is changing rapidly—so regulators need to be able to adapt and act quickly to these new challenges. More also needs to be done to ensure that regulatory decisions are based on a good understanding of costs and benefits, and that regulators use data more effectively to assess risks and identify areas where they need to be more innovative while continuing to maintain regulatory standards. While we heard from government and regulators about the actions they are taking to step up to the challenges they face, we are concerned that they have much more to do to ensure regulatory bodies have the frameworks and capabilities they need.