Defining Success & Measuring Regulatory Performance
With Professor Malcolm K Sparrow
During this two-part seminar we will be discussing the meaning of “success” in a regulatory environment and the associated challenges of performance measurement and management.
Professional regulators and law-enforcement officials certainly deal with customers, and so the normal range of customer-service metrics has some relevance for them. But their principal business is to deliver protections to society against various classes of harm, and towards that end they deliver and, where necessary, enforce obligations, influence behaviors, and manage compliance. The nature of “success” to be pursued and assessed is therefore quite different in the “protective” role of government than in service-provision roles.
Many public agencies select three or four metrics they think are particularly important, and designate them as “Key Performance Indicators,” drawing to them an inordinate amount of internal and external attention. Sometimes this focus can have perverse effects and bias operations in a way that is not quite as valuable as executives intended and may even distort operations in a way that is contrary to the public interest.
For regulators, much attention is typically paid to functional outputs (such as inspection or audit rates), to the rates at which agents discover or detect non-compliance, and to process metrics such as timeliness and accuracy of decision making. Connecting these measures to each other, and to valuable social outcomes, remains a complex puzzle.
This seminar provides an opportunity for attendees to assess their own organisation’s traditions in performance measurement and reporting, and—where necessary—to identify opportunities to broaden the range of indicators and analyses in a way that will enable their agency to present a more rounded and meaningful picture of their contributions to society.
Who should attend?
This course is designed for mid to upper level regulatory and enforcement practitioners.