Last week, Helani Galpaya and I were in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of the Union of Myanmar. We were in charge of the first day of a three day program. Here is what we did.
The introductory unit will be taught by Professor Rohan Samarajiva (RS). It will introduce the course and place regulation in the context of market liberalization and the separation of the policy and regulatory functions of government. The relationship between effective regulation and investment will be highlighted.
This unit will be taught by RS who will lay out the necessary and sufficient conditions for an effective regulatory agency. This will include a discussion of the necessary legal powers and the sufficient actions that will give the regulatory agency the needed legitimacy. The sources of legitimacy, including expertise, procedural fairness, showing results and effective communication of the above will be discussed with concrete examples from the region.
This unit will be taught by Helani Galpaya (HG). She will discuss the importance of information and consultation in the conduct of effective regulation. She will cover measures to ensure timely, accurate and comparable information and the ways in which the quality of information can be improved. The design of a good system for information collection that is not unduly burdensome yet which is adequate for policy and regulatory purposes will be discussed.
This unit will be taught by RS. Regulation as practised by government ministries relied heavily on technical regulation and command and control. After reform, the key difference is that entry barriers have been lifted; private investment has been permitted and it is no longer possible to order private operators to do all sorts of arbitrary things. In the new order, discretion of regulators is bounded by what is permitted by law and by regulatory procedures. Differences in regulatory approaches will be discussed, along with alternative regulatory practices that seek to minimize adversarial relations.