Select Committee on Constitution Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by energywatch


  energywatch supports the call for the establishment of a Regulation Select Committee (RSC). We believe that a RSC would provide a more transparent, focused and effective method of regulating the economic regulators.

What would the Regulation Select Committee be responsible for?

  The RSC would be appointed to examine on behalf of Government the expenditure, administration and policy of the economic regulators. Ofgem, the regulator of the gas and electricity markets, would be defined as one of the economic regulators.

  The RSC would play an important role in bringing the economic regulators to account over their decision making processes and policy setting. The RSC would, for example, consider the rationale for and constituency of each of the economic regulators policy decisions.

  The RSC would also look at cosistency between the approaches adopted by each of the ecomomic regulators and would try to promote best practice across them. Where appropriate the RSC could develop and promote a set of commmon principles, for example relating to consumer benefits.

  In scrutinising the economic regulators, the RSK may draw on the expertise of other established bodies. For example the National Audit Office (NAO) cold support the RSC in its scrutiny of the expenditure of the economic regulators or the Better Regulation Taskforce could support the RSC in its promotion of best practice.

  From time to time, the RSC would report on the outcome of its investigations and set out its key recommendations. The RSC would continue to monitor the work of the economic regulators to ensure that its key recommendations have been implemented.


30 May 2003

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