Risks of Failure in Regulatory Governance


  • Dan McFadyen University of Calgary
  • George Eynon




We identify and discuss the risks of failures in governance of regulatory authorities and the actions governments and regulatory authorities can take to mitigate these risks. The mandates of regulatory authorities are to protect the public by ensuring that entities under their jurisdiction are compliant with the legislation and regulations governing their activity. It is imperative that regulatory authorities hold themselves accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities to the same standard of compliance through consistent, certain, and ethical behaviours.

Risks in effectiveness of the governing legislation and regulations for regulatory authorities, in ethical behaviours of the member(s) of their governing Boards of regulatory authorities, and in effectively implementing governance principles and best practices by their governing Boards can lead to failure of governance and in fulfilling their responsibilities. Failures in any of these areas result in loss of public confidence and trust in regulatory authorities, and consequently erodes public confidence and trust in the regulated entities under their jurisdiction.

A recent example of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds by the energy regulator in Alberta is a case study of the root causes of governance failures. We provide recommendations for jurisdictions and their regulatory authorities to consider in developing sound regulatory oversight that ensures failures in governance do not occur.






Research Papers