The United Kingdom presents a stimulating contrast of tradition and modernity, which is reflected in a mature and innovative regulatory system. The broad sweep of its reforms is impressive. Continuous reforms of the regulatory management system, the competition policy and law as well as in the regulatory regimes of key economic sectors are a strong basis for ensuring high quality regulation contributing further to drive economic performance. The UK was early in liberalising its public utilities and in developing new regulatory approaches to the complex problems of managing the network industries. It was also among the first countries to introduce a system of regulatory impact assessment, which, along with competition policy and law, has been continuously updated since. It has a reputation for having a regulatory environment that is among the most supportive of market openness and global competition in the world. The UK now faces challenges typical of a mature regulatory regime at the cutting edge of developments. Complexity and diversity - of regulatory objectives, of the institutional architecture and of procedures - are major issues to be continuously monitored. Building on these efforts and continuing to address regulatory challenges and areas of weaknesses will permit the UK to maintain itself as a leader in regulatory governance.
The United Kingdom is one of many OECD countries to request a broad review by the OECD of its regulatory practices and reforms. This review presents an overall picture, set within a macroeconomic context, of regulatory achievements and challenges including the quality of the public sector, competition policy and market openness. It also assesses progress in the gas, electricity and telecommunications sectors.
The background material used to prepare this report is available at:
In the same series:
Regulatory Reform in Canada
Regulatory Reform in the Czech Republic
Regulatory Reform in Denmark
Regulatory Reform in Greece
Regulatory Reform in Hungary
Regulatory Reform in Ireland
Regulatory Reform in Italy
Regulatory Reform in Japan
Regulatory Reform in Korea
Regulatory Reform in Mexico
Regulatory Reform in the Netherlands
Regulatory Reform in Poland
Regulatory Reform in Spain
Regulatory Reform in Turkey
Regulatory Reform in the United States
The policy starting point for these reviews is presented in the OECD Report on Regulatory Reform: Synthesis, and the supporting two-volume OECD Report on Regulatory Reform: Sectoral and Thematic Studies, published in 1997.