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Regulating public bodies: the case of direct service organizations in British local government

Ashworth, Rachel Elizabeth ORCID:, Boyne, George Alexander, McGarvey, Neil and Walker, Richard Mark 2002. Regulating public bodies: the case of direct service organizations in British local government. Environment and Planning C. Government and Policy 20 (3) , pp. 455-470. 10.1068/c15m

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In recent years regulatory mechanisms and arrangements for public service organisations have become increasingly complex. In this paper we develop a theoretical framework that emphasises the potential importance of the following regulatory problems: regulatee resistance, ritualistic compliance, regulatory capture, performance ambiguity, and absence of performance data. This framework is applied to arrangements for the regulation of direct labour and direct service organisations in Scotland and Wales prior to the 'Best Value' regime. The results support the practical relevance of the analytical framework. Furthermore, whereas conventional perspectives suggest that the source of regulatory problems is the behaviour of regulatees, our evidence shows that the behaviour of regulators can also lead to regulatory failure; for example, through ritualistic compliance with procedures. The evidence also reveals a previously unidentified problem concerning a 'fear of regulation' on the part of regulators.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Additional Information: Rachel Ashworth, George A Boyne, Neil McGarvey, Richard M Walker, year]. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning C, 20, 3, 455-470, 2002, 10.1068/c15m
Publisher: Pion
ISSN: 0263-774X
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2023 12:02

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