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Best in Class Regulator Initiative

The Initiative

University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor Cary Coglianese has been selected by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) of Canada to lead a major, independent initiative defining and measuring regulatory excellence. 

Drawing on public consultation as well as analysis from experts across the University of Pennsylvania and other leading researchers from around the world, the Best-in-Class Regulator Initiative at the Penn Program on Regulation (PPR) will generate a framework for identifying and achieving important organizational, legal, policy, and deliberative responsibilities facing energy regulators and other regulatory authorities around the world. 

The Best-in-Class Regulator Initiative seeks to develop recommendations informed by the best available evidence on regulation and regulatory processes.   PPR has therefore commissioned a variety of research papers as part of this Initiative.  One paper, expected to be completed in the winter, will provide the first-ever review of regulators’ strategic plans, extracting from these plans a survey of attributes of regulatory excellence that regulators from around the world have identified for themselves. 

Another set of longer papers, expected to be issued in final form in the summer, will distill the available evidence on four “core” dimensions of a regulator’s work: priority setting, problem solving, internal management, and public engagement.  More information about these areas of analysis and the research papers can be found on this website’s “Papers and Reports” page.

In addition to conducting and overseeing research on regulatory management and performance, PPR is reaching out to obtain the views of a wide variety of knowledgeable experts and interested stakeholders.  We are very interested in your input and encourage you to contact us, whether by email, phone call, or via our on-line comment box.  We are also reaching out through individual meetings and phone conversations with many international experts as well as a diverse group of interested stakeholders in Alberta. 

Finally, we are organizing and hosting three major dialogue sessions this spring designed to foster structured deliberation on regulatory excellence involving a cross-section of internationally recognized experts in regulatory excellence as well as a diverse set of interested stakeholders.  Each of these sessions will be followed by the public release of a detailed report synthesizing the key issues discussed, the main themes from each dialogue, and the perspectives shared and trade-offs identified.

  • Aboriginal Dialogue in Alberta

This dialogue, expected to be held in late March (date to be determined), will bring together representatives of Aboriginal peoples to work collaboratively through key issues of energy regulation from their perspectives.  The dialogue may combine an opening presentation with group discussion. 

  • International Expert Dialogue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This two-day, invitation-only expert dialogue will be held at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia in March, 2015.  It will involve intensive dialogue among a diverse group of about thirty academic experts, regulatory officials, industry representatives, environmental group leaders, and other experts from Canada, the U.S., and around the world.  Approximately ten of the academic experts attending this dialogue session will be invited to write discussion papers to provide insights on defining and measuring regulatory excellence which will be subsequently released as well as developed into larger academic paper and published as a book.

  • Alberta Dialogue in Calgary, Alberta

This dialogue will be held on April 12-14, 2015 in Calgary and will bring together a diverse group of about eighty representatives from the Alberta public.  Invited attendees will include representatives of the following groups: landowners, industry, environmental groups, Aboriginal peoples, municipal officials, academic experts, and other concerned citizens.  The dialogue will combine plenary panel discussions with small-group breakout discussions.  All the plenary sessions will be video-recorded and made available online. 

The Initiative will culminate in a final convenor’s report to be presented to the Alberta Energy Regulator’s senior leadership detailing the Initiative’s independent findings and recommendations.  Before it is finalized, a draft of the report will be subjected to a peer review workshop to be held in Philadelphia that will involve a diverse group of additional experts on regulation from around the world.

The Best-in-Class Initiative will explore the core attributes of regulatory excellence so as to develop a forward-looking, generalizable framework.  It is not intended as an evaluation of the AER’s current or past performance, but instead aims to identify evidence-based metrics and methodologies that the AER or any regulatory authority could use to guide its management and decision-making.

The final convenor’s report and other papers produced as part of this initiative will be made public on our “Papers and Reports” page, and we welcome your insights and feedback as the Initiative progresses.  We welcome your comments.