Business Impact Upon Regulatory Agencies

by Robert Katz



The article focuses on the impact of business upon regulatory agencies. A discussion of "ways in which independent regulatory agencies may become the repository of the public interest" assumes two things, that such agencies have not or are not serving as guardians of the public interest, and that "public interest" can be defined. A limited lifetime for agencies and the burden for justifying their renewal could eliminate commission and special interest entrenchment, which can continue long after the need for the agency has expired. Insuring that commissions are not used to effect anticompetitive actions would insure that the public interest is represented and would prevent commissions from bogging down in matters that Congress never intended them to adjudicate. Finally, regular full and open disclosure of staff activities would be not only enlightening to the commissioners themselves in some cases, but also a means of insuring that the public interest had the same opportunity for representation to the staff as the special interest. If the foregoing measures are pursued, it is possible that the regulatory agency will again speak for the public interest.

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