Embargo: Immediate Thursday 14th December 2006
Contact: Owen Williams 020 7219 8659


A new House of Lords Ad Hoc Committee formed to investigate the role of regulators issued its Call for Evidence today. The Committee, Chaired by Lord McIntosh of Haringey, will investigate the working methods and effectiveness of the UK's major economic regulators.

The Committee will consider the impact of regulators on competition within their industry and on the UK economy's competitiveness internationally. The Committee will also examine regulators' effectiveness in protecting the interests of consumers and will consider what further scope exists for better co-operation between regulators.

The Committee will asses how the regulators are interpreting their statutory duties and whether they are meeting their objectives. They will also look carefully at the financial performance of regulators and assess the extent to which they are cost effective.

In addition, the Committee will consider whether British regualtors can learn from the other international regulatory models.

The Regulators that the Committee will consider are:

Sectoral regulators:

€ Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)

€ Office of the Water Regulator (Ofwat)

€ Postal Services Commission (Postcomm)

€ Office of Rail Regulation (ORR)

€ Civil Aviation Authority - Economic Regulation Group (CAA)

€ Office of Communications (Ofcom)

€ Financial Services Authority (FSA)

€ The Pensions Regulator

Functional regulators:

€ Office of Fair Trading (OFT)

€ Competition Commission (CC)

Lord McIntosh of Haringey, Chairman of the Committee, speaking at the launch of the call for evidence, said:

"Regulators play a crucial role in the UK economy. It is vital that their input is effective in keeping our markets open and competitive. Anyone whose household uses water, electricity, public transport or a whole range of other services should be interested in how our regulatory authorities are performing."

"This is likely to be a facsinating inquiry. As well as looking at how effective regualtors are in keeping their own markets competitive we will consider how they contribute to keeping the British economy competitive internationally."

"Our inquiry will be broad in scope and will touch on many issues relating to the regulatory state. I would encourage all interested parties to submit evidence. By the time we report around November 2007 we will have a detailed picture of where regulators stand at present and what can be done to improve their performance for the benefit of all British consumers."

Notes to Editors.

1. The Committee issued its call for evidence on Thursday 14th December. The deadline for written submissions is Friday 9th February 2007. The call for evidence can be found here:

2. The new Committee, The House of Lords Committee on Regulators was appointed on 23 November 2006. The members of the Committee are:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey (Chair)

Lord Moonie

Earl of Arran

Lord Norton of Louth

Lord Dubs

Baroness Prashar

Baroness Ford

Lord Ramsbotham

Lord Garden

Lord Sharman

Viscount Goschen

Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market