Government Companies as Regulators

28 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2019

See all articles by Terence Daintith

Terence Daintith

University of London - School of Advanced Studies; The University of Western Australia Law School

Date Written: May 2019


In 2016 the government established a new sectoral regulator, with power to grant and withdraw licences, set performance standards, and impose sanctions, not as a statutory authority but in the form of a company wholly owned by the Secretary of State: the Oil and Gas Authority.  This article critically examines this and other uses in the UK of government‐owned or ‐ controlled companies to discharge public regulatory functions, against the background of current government practice regarding arm's length public bodies in general and government companies in particular. It assesses the acceptability of the company form by reference to criteria of democratic control, independence and accountability of regulatory institutions.

Suggested Citation

Daintith, Terence, Government Companies as Regulators (May 2019). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 82, Issue 3, pp. 397-424, 2019, Available at SSRN: or

Terence Daintith (Contact Author)

University of London - School of Advanced Studies ( email )

London, WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

The University of Western Australia Law School

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley WA 6009

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