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Equipping Agile and Autonomous Regulators

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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.

English

Financial resources

This chapter presents findings on how economic regulators receive and manage their financial resources, based on the 2021 OECD Survey on the Resourcing Arrangements of Economic Regulators. It first identifies the different sources of funding for regulators and the procedures through which funding needs are identified and decided upon. The chapter then distinguishes the arrangements regarding funding through national budget appropriations and funding through regulatory fees. The sections on financial management and audit highlight the restrictions regulators may face in managing their funds and spending, as well as the mechanisms in place to scrutinise their spending. The chapter also explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on regulators’ funding and illustrates how financial arrangements tend to differ for regulators overseeing multiple sectors.

English

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