August 27, 2015

The Role of Stakeholder Relationships in Regulatory Excellence

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Dame Deirdre Hutton, DBE serves as the Chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Previously she served as the Chair of the UK Food Standards Agency.


So my starting point for excellent regulation with consumers in mind is to keep the following principles firmly in mind:

  • Only regulate for risks that are real and cannot be better managed by a competitive market.
  • Only regulate those things that consumers cannot regulate for themselves. For example, consumers can see, smell, and assess the food on the shelf at the supermarket; they cannot see or affect what goes on further back in the food chain at the farm or the processing factory.
  • Understand what consumers really care about. Regulatory over-confidence can lead to regulating things that do not matter to consumers. There is a well-documented example in the UK when, during the course of the infectious BSE/CJD crisis, the government took the precautionary action of banning beef on the bone. This meant no more T-bone steak or rib roast. Consumers were outraged. They saw this as a step too far, an instance of the government taking control of a risk that consumers wished to assess for themselves.

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