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Accountability in an Independent Regulatory Setting: The Use of Impact Assessment in the Regulation of Financial Reporting in the UK.

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    • Abstract:
      The growing reliance on non-governmental independent regulators in many social and economic domains, including corporate financial reporting, has brought to the fore concerns over their regulatory accountability. This study looks at one aspect of the regulatory due process-regulatory impact assessment (IA). Drawing on the analytical framework developed by Bovens (Public accountability: a framework for the analysis and assessment of accountability arrangements in the public domain. CONNEX papers, Research Group 2, Democracy and Accountability in the EU, 2006, Eur Law J 13(4): 447–468, 2007), we evaluate the contribution of IA as an instrument for enhancing regulatory accountability in the context of the Financial Reporting Council, an independent regulator for the accountancy profession in the UK. The study's findings suggest that, despite an increasing level of sophistication in the manner in which IA is used within FRC, the contribution of IA to regulatory accountability remains limited. Specifically, there are concerns as to whether IA is used to achieve a transparent and fair regulatory process or simply to maintain an image of good governance and justify policy decisions that would have been made even in the absence of IA. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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