Regulatory approaches’ influence on environmental agencies internal quality
Abstract: The increasing public concern regarding the government’s priorities in spending public resources puts pressure on public organisations to address quality issues in their practice. In United Kingdom both BRTF (Better Regulation Task Force) (BIS, 2005b) and the Hampton report (BIS, 2005a) highlighted management and quality problems in public organisations in UK. These reports revealed obstacles within institutions’ intent to offer recommendations and appropriate solutions for agencies working with legal enforcement and control. The reports expressed expectations of both higher quality and cost reduction assuming increased efficiency and effectiveness would be enhanced with help by a risk-based approach in the regulatory process and legal enforcement. This study examines to what extent internal quality theories are applicable and useful for environmental regulators in United Kingdom. The study is also concerned with the regulatory approach, in other words, how the choice of legal system to promote legal compliance influence the perceived internal quality by the regulators. Quality management in a management system (such as ISO) is based on Deming’s theory (SIS, 2001) and the Shewhart cycle (SIS, 2001), in which continuous improvements are made in relation to objectives that are set up (and revised). These theories serve as a general quality foundation, while the C-SQ-P (Mukherjee et al., 2003) theory contributes to more specific understanding of an internal public-service environment. The review of the existing approaches and the recommended alternative law-system (risk-based decision-making) confirm how the chosen approach could affect the internal quality management. The literature contributes with wide and deep sources applicable to internal quality within public-service organisations. However, the context differs a lot for an environmental regulator who is affected by the chosen regulatory approach which they secure compliance by.
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