Execution and Leadership: Fulfilling Conflicting Responsibilities in Utility Regulation
Utility regulators serve in two potentially conflicting roles: An implementer of policies established by others and someone providing leadership to effect change. The regulator’s success will depend upon his or her ability to properly perform these roles at the appropriate times, to manage the pressures that these roles bring to the regulatory system, and to limit how the roles sometimes work at cross purposes.
Leadership and the Independent Regulator
Being a utility regulator has perils because the independence of the regulator necessarily removes power from politicians, operators, and others. Furthermore, regulators are sometimes scapegoats for unpopular policies and unavoidably become involved in shaping the policies that they are supposed to implement. As a result of such frictions, regulators are sometimes removed from office or marginalized in some way. How can regulators not only survive in such an environment, but also thrive?