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Outsourcing Enforcement: Principles to Guide Self-Policing Regimes

29 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2010  

Sarah L. Stafford

College of William and Mary - Arts and Sciences; William & Mary Law School

Date Written: November 17, 2010


In his book Outsourcing Sovereignty Paul Verkuil warns us to be wary of the possible threats to accountability and process in what has been a largely unexamined shift from private to public governance. This goal of this article is to examine particular form of outsourcing - the outsourcing of regulatory enforcement to regulated entities themselves, a practice known as self-policing - to determine whether this type of delegation of public power can be justified as being in the public interest. The article presents a case study of the Environmental Protection Agency’s self-policing program, assessing the extent to which it is a defensible form of outsourcing. Additionally the paper reviews a number of other federal self-policing programs and provides a brief assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the article concludes with some general guidelines for self-policing programs that can help to minimize concerns about this form of outsourcing.

Keywords: Self-Policing, Audit Policy, Voluntary Disclosure, Inherently Governmental Activities, Accountability

Suggested Citation

Stafford, Sarah L., Outsourcing Enforcement: Principles to Guide Self-Policing Regimes (November 17, 2010). Cardozo Law Review, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Sarah L. Stafford (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Arts and Sciences ( email )

104 E Morton Hall
Williamsburg, VA 23187
United States

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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