Economic regulators are key to the performance of network sectors such as energy, e-communications, transport and water. They regulate and supervise to ensure sectors that can efficiently deliver essential services for the benefit of society. Operating from a unique position in relation to consumers, operators and government, they provide evidence-based and objective decision making that can build trust in the regulatory system and public institutions. A crucial factor in their ability to do this is their governance, including how they are resourced. Resourcing arrangements can make or break regulators’ effectiveness. Constraints in their funding or in their autonomy to manage resources may limit regulators’ agility or capacity to act. Where these constraints are significant, they may undermine the regulator’s ability to fulfil their mandates. This report discusses the implications of funding and staff arrangements for the autonomy, agility, accountability and transparency of regulators in the energy, e-communications, transport and water sectors. It identifies trends, challenges, opportunities and good practices, drawing upon survey responses from 57 economic regulators across 31 countries.
Good regulatory outcomes depend on more than well-designed rules and regulations. They also require bodies to administer these rules to ensure that the right policy outcomes are realised. Regulators are at the delivery end of the policy cycle, where they oversee sectors and markets that provide essential services to citizens. The governance of regulators helps ensure that regulatory decisions are made on an objective, impartial and consistent basis, without conflict of interest, bias or improper influence. This series of publications brings together research and recommendations on what makes “world class regulators”, drawing on the experiences of more than 80 regulators from network sectors, including energy, communications, transport and water.