Creating a Culture of Independence

Practical Guidance against Undue Influence

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Regulators are the “referees” of markets that provide essential services to citizens; they guarantee that all actors respect the rules and work to achieve the best outcomes. This means that their behaviour must be objective, impartial, consistent and free from conflict of interest – in other words, independent. Yet, regulators need to engage with a number of stakeholders, who may also seek to apply pressure and exert undue influence on regulatory outcomes. The independence of regulators is thus constantly under stress. This report 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). It presents a practical checklist to support behavioural and organisational change, and helps other stakeholders better understand and appreciate the role of regulators and how to interact with them.

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Foreword and acknowledgements

Regulators oversee the functioning of markets for the improved quality and delivery of public services. In order to fulfil their function, regulators need to make and implement impartial, objective and evidence-based decisions that will inspire trust in public institutions and encourage investment. Undue influence, whether real or perceived, can undermine a regulator’s ability to behave in this way, impinge on its independence, and ultimately, on its performance.

English French, Spanish

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