Government Companies as Regulators

Terence Daintith


In 2016 the government established a new sectoral regulator, with power to grant and withdraw licences, set performance standards, and impose sanctions, not as a statutory authority but in the form of a company wholly owned by the Secretary of State: the Oil and Gas Authority. This article critically examines this and other uses in the UK of government‐owned or ‐controlled companies to discharge public regulatory functions, against the background of current government practice regarding arm’s length public bodies in general and government companies in particular. It assesses the acceptability of the company form by reference to criteria of democratic control, independence and accountability of regulatory institutions.

Published May 2019
Frequency Bi-Monthly
Volume 82
Issue 3
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Online ISSN 1468-2230