Rainbow

Rainbow

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NEB: Independence of the Regulator - The Canadian Story

In a speech to the World Forum on Energy Regulation, Gaetan Caron, Chair and CEO of the National Energy Board (NEB) had this to about the independence of the NEB from industry:

The easiest topic to cover in my presentation is that of independence from the industry we regulate. The Board and its staff must not only be free from bias, but also the perception of bias.  This aspect of independence is governed by an explicit array of conflict of interest requirements, the Codes of Conduct for NEB employees, and specific prohibitions for Board members and staff to invest in or hold shares of energy companies. We also have clear guidelines on meetings with external parties, requirements to prepare and make available meeting minutes, a requirement that decisions are based on materials on the public record, and other methods of preserving independence.

Another important way to promote independence and guard against perception of industry bias is
the recruitment process for Board members. [...]
Choosing people with the right background, experience, and attitudes in relation to the public interest and natural justice is one effective tool in creating and maintaining an independent regulatory tribunal. 

The same can be said about the recruitment of staff.

Mr. Caron's speech did not appear to address the historical flow of Board and staff members back and forth between the NEB and industry.

See the full presentation with speaking notes at: May 14, 2012.