Independent oversight institutions and regulatory agencies play an important role in the governance system of many countries, and specifically in parliamentary democracies. WFD is exploring practical ways to support the interaction between independent oversight institutions and regulatory agencies with parliament. To ensure a sufficient level of accountability, parliament’s interaction with these bodies is very relevant to WFD programmes.
What is an independent oversight institution?
From the Ombudsperson Institution to Anti-Corruption Agencies or the Human Rights Commission, independent institutions play an important role ensuring countries governments comply with human rights and other standards. Independent oversight institutions exercise oversight over the democratic functioning and integrity of the executive and state administration.
What are regulatory agencies?
Many countries have established regulatory agencies, which often play a fundamental role in specific sectors like energy, telecommunications, civil aviation or financial services. They conduct a regulatory role over a specific economic sector, independent from government.
This new thematic area will examine three questions:
- What characteristics determine the scope of the independence and accountability of Independent Oversight Institutions and Regulatory Agencies in a democratic system of governance?
- To what extent is their consistency in the application of the mechanisms of independence and accountability by similar-type institutions across countries?
- How can national parliaments safeguard or strengthen the independence while ensuring the accountability of these independent oversight institutions and regulatory agencies?