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Whither Better Regulation: Policy Workshop

Whither Better Regulation: Policy Workshop

NUI Merrion Square
Fri 30 Mar 12 (9.30am - Midday)

During 2010 a small team of researchers from the UCD Centre for Regulation & Governance conducted research on regulatory capacity in Ireland and produced and discussed some initial findings (links to 2010 working papers appear below). The initial research was supported by grants from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and by the Institute of Public Administration. Since the initial research was completed changing economic conditions and, in particular, the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support, and a change in government have significantly altered both the context and policy environment of regulation in Ireland. A further grant from the IRCHSS has enabled us to bring the research up to date and in this workshop we present and discuss initial findings from the new research and consider the implications for future directions in regulatory governance. The team is currently completing a bookRegulating Ireland to be published by the IPA.

Workshop Programme

9.30: Coffee/Tea

10.00 -10.45: Session 1

Ciara Brown and Colin Scott, UCD “Changing Context and Changing Priorities in Regulatory Governance”

Discussant: Richard Boyle, IPA

Feedback and Discussion

This session will address the effects on regulatory governance of the changing economic and political context of regulation, including new regulatory priorities, rationalization, recruitment and pay, changing rule structures, enforcement trends and accountability pressures.

10.45-11.30: Session 2

Ciara Brown and Colin Scott, UCD “Future Directions in Regulatory Governance”

Discussant: Edward Donelan

Feedback and Discussion

The previous government signalled in October 2009 a commitment to providing stronger central coordination of regulation through promoting greater transparency and ministerial participation in a Regulators’ Forum and also through enhancing capacity through research and training. An OECD evaluation in 2010 signalled approval for the range of measures adopted by government to oversee the development of regulation but raised some questions about the reach and depth of the regime.

The Action Plan for Jobs (February 2012) gives indications as to the approach of the Government elected in February 2011 to regulatory governance. This document re-commits the government to a programme of coordinated regulatory reform. Renewed emphasis on coordination of regulation ties issues of regulation directly to competition policy. The government indicates that some of the institutional details of how this programme might be developed are yet to be worked out.

The second session will address potential future directions in regulatory governance and in particular the potential of different institutional approaches to oversight and coordination of regulation and regulatory reform, the balance between state and self-regulation, and how best to harness the diversity of regulatory instruments available to deliver on government objectives.


2010 Working Papers

Ciara Brown and Colin Scott “Regulatory Capacity and Networked Governance”http://ideas.repec.org/p/ucd/wpaper/201043.html

Ciara Brown and Colin Scott “Regulation in Ireland: History, Structure, Style and Reform” http://ideas.repec.org/p/ucd/wpaper/201044.html