Summary: Regulation is in the headlines of the papers every day. The global financial crisis is likely to raise questions about the future architecture of regulatory institutions. Doing regulation well is in fact a day-in, day-out task of governments. But citizens and business know that poor regulation affects the cost of business, the quality of public services and of the environment, and contributes to cynicism about politics, and corruption. The OECD has been helping countries to improve their regulatory management systems since the mid-1990s, and increasingly this body of evidence about what works and what doesn't is being applied to large, dynamic, middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. And increasingly, the benefits of regulatory reform are being applied to fields such as higher education and the environment, in addition to more familiar terrain related to network utilities, energy and product markets. As head of the Regulatory Policy Division of the OECD, Dr Konvitz will present an overview of the scope of OECD work, together with insights into how civil society and governments learn from each others experience to shape both domestic and international agendas in this field.
Profile: Josef Konvitz is Head of Division, Regulatory Policy, in the Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development at the OECD. The division carries out studies on risk and regulation, regulatory management indicators, administrative simplification, multi-level regulatory coherence, and public service delivery. He has directed country reviews of regulatory reform of Russia, France, Sweden and Switzerland, and monitoring exercises in Japan, Mexico and Korea. He oversaw for the updating of OECD recommendations on regulatory reform, now the 2005 Guiding Principles for Regulatory Quality and Performance, and the preparation of the APEC-OECD Integrated Checklist for Regulatory Reform. His work on urban policy includes reviews of Metropolitan Melbourne and Athens, as well as the Urban Renaissance Reviews (Belfast in 1999, Krakow in 2000, Canberra and Glasgow in 2001, Berlin and Kitakyushu in 2002). He directed a study on urban indicators, the Ecological City project, and a major report on Distressed Urban Areas; he organised the OECD-Australia Conference on Cities and the New Global Economy; and he supervised reviews of Japan, Mexico and Germany related to urban policy and infrastructure.