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Report showing a phone user

The Office of Telecommunications: Helping consumers benefit from competition in the telecommunications market

“It is hard for consumers to understand how to get a good deal for fixed-line telephones, and therefore many do not try. Oftel has been working to help raise awareness, but it needs to have a better understanding of why consumers behave the way they do and should also make it easier for them to compare the tariffs on offer, for example by building on its tariff comparison accreditation scheme.”

Published:
11 Jul 2003
Report cover showing pylons

The New Electricity Trading Arrangements in England and Wales

“Ofgem, together with the electricity industry, has achieved much through the NETA programme of reforms. But my report shows that there are a series of questions that the regulator will need to continue to keep under close scrutiny. How much of the savings in the wholesale market will be passed on to retail customers? How sure can we be that the lights will stay on? And can Ofgem monitor the market so as to prevent market abuse distorting prices?”

Published:
9 May 2003
Report cover showing scales

Department of Trade and Industry: Regulation of weights and measures

“The accuracy, reliability and fairness of weights and measures is key to ensuring that the products we buy every day are not being sold in short weight or short measure. The Department should press ahead quickly with its plans to modernise legislation, as well as improving its information about local enforcement of that legislation, if it is to be effective in promoting appropriate standards of trading across the country.”

Published:
14 Mar 2003
Report cover showing a shark

The Office of Fair Trading: Progress in Protecting Consumers’ Interests

“There are areas, particularly in the management of consumer credit licensing, where the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been constrained in what it can achieve. The OFT should take full advantage of the opportunities presented by recent consumer protection legislation and the outcome of the Government’s review of consumer credit to improve its performance still further. In this way the OFT can build on the implementation of past recommendations made by myself and the Committee of Public Accounts in its important work of protecting the interests of consumers.”

Published:
6 Mar 2003
Report cover showing tablets

Safety, Quality, Efficacy: Regulating Medicines in the UK

“The Medicines Control Agency has a good record and its work is highly respected around the world and forms a model in many countries. But it needs to do more to communicate directly with health professionals and the public and improve the effectiveness of its safety messages. The Agency, and its successor after merger with the Medical Devices Agency, must build on its strong position to maintain an influential position in the European regulatory environment.”

Published:
16 Jan 2003
Report cover showing two people cycling

Opra: Tackling the risks to pension scheme members

“Opra has achieved much since they were established in 1995. But, as it and the Government now recognise, it needs to move from handling a large number of small scale reports to focus more on identifying and mitigating the more serious risks faced by members of pension schemes. Opra’s enthusiasm for change will be an important asset during a time of general development in the regulatory environment for work-based pensions”.

Published:
6 Nov 2002
Report cover showing construction works at Outfall Sewer, London in 1902

Pipes and Wires

“The way that the regulators have used their price reviews to drive down the costs of the major utility networks while the quality of the service delivered has improved, represents a great success story. But regulation inevitably has its drawbacks and I am glad that the regulators are considering how to head off the risks we have identified to incentives and future investment.”

Published:
10 Apr 2002
Report cover showing postal worker on a vehicle

Opening the Post: Postcomm and postal services – the risks and opportunities

“My report concludes that Postcomm have taken some important steps to introduce competition and further the interests of users of postal services. But for their strategy to be successful, and to ensure that postal services improve rather than decline they need to address the risks I have identified. Postcomm’s proposals should be scrutinised with a view to ensuring that Postcomm are managing these risks successfully so that customers will indeed see improved services.”

Published:
24 Jan 2002
Report cover showing illustration on business man on a spring

Better Regulation: Making Good Use of Regulatory Impact Assessments

Regulatory impact assessments (RIA) have helped contribute to better policy making and reducing the costs to business according to a National Audit Office report published today. It concludes that while there are many examples of good practice in the process of preparing RIAs across Whitehall, there is room for improvement. Presenting the report to Parliament, … Read more

Published:
15 Nov 2001