Independent oversight institutions and regulatory agencies play an important role in the governance systems of many countries. This is especially true in parliamentary democracies. WFD supports the interaction between independent oversight institutions, regulatory agencies and parliament.
Independent oversight institutions include ombudspersons, anti-corruption agencies and human rights commissions. They help to make sure countries' governments comply with human rights and other standards.
Many countries have established agencies to regulate specific sectors, independent from government. For example, countries have regulators for energy, telecommunications, civil aviation or financial services.
WFD's work in this area helps identify and share best practice when it comes to:
- The independence and accountability of independent oversight institutions and regulatory agencies;
- How national parliaments can safeguard or strengthen their independence;
- How parliaments can ensure the accountability of independent oversight institutions and regulatory agencies.
For example, WFD and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) are assessing the collaboration between the Georgian Parliament and independent state institutions and regulatory bodies, in order to identify areas of improvement and develop recommendations based on European best practices.
This paper proposes one assessment framework to analyse the institutional characteristics and functioning of independent oversight institutions and regulatory agencies and their relationship to parliament.
Franklin De Vrieze - Senior Governance Adviser
Franklin is a democracy and governance expert with extensive experience in post conflict, fragile and transition countries. His areas of expertise are parliamentary strengthening, legislative impact analysis and scrutiny, institution building for anti-corruption and integrity, policy making on combatting illegal finance, and the oversight role of parliaments on public finances and public debt.