Independent regulatory agencies: possibilities to identify the peculiarities of their activity and their position in the system of Lithuanian public administration bodies

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Over the past twenty years regulation has gained an unprecedented place in European countries. In effect, the rise of regulation has been accompanied by the rise of a new type of institutions, namely independent regulatory agencies. Western scholars use a lot of terms in defining this type of institutions, i. e. QUANGO (quasi-autonomous non governmental organization), NDPB (non-departmental public body), EGO (extra-governmental organization), NGO (non-governmental organization), QAO (quasi-autonomous organizations), SAO (semi-autonomous organization). But the most frequent term is IRA (independent regulatory agency). They define this type of institutions as public organization with regulatory powers that are neither elected by the people, nor directly managed by elected officials. M. Thatcher reveals certain requirements for inclusion as an IRA. First, the agency has its own powers and responsibilities given under public law; second, it is organizationally separated from the institutions of executive power; and finally, it is neither directly elected nor managed by elected officials. Additionally, they implement quasi-legislative and quasijudicial functions. There are such institutions in Lithuania, too. For example, the Competition Council, the Communications Regulatory Authority, the Securities Commission of the Republic of Lithuania, the National Health Board, etc. Scientists, politicians, and public servants entitle them as institutions accountable to the Parliament or President. The authors of this article try to answer to some questions. First, what is regulation and what is an independent regulatory agency? Second, why regulatory agencies must be insulated from political influence? Third, how is it possible to define the organizational form of such institutions in Lithuania? Fourth, what is the exact place of such institutions in the system of public administration bodies of Lithuania?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-349
JournalSocialinių mokslų studijos: mokslo darbai
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • Regulatory agencies
  • Public administration institutions

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