Most water utilities worldwide are government-owned but they are regulated in a great variety of ways. At one end of the spectrum are unitary approaches in which the utility is part of a government department and managed directly by public officials – management, policy and economic regulation functions are the responsibility of a single body. At the other end of the spectrum is a model in which utilities are fully corporatized and are regulated at arms length by an independent regulatory agency, sometimes alongside privately-owned utilities.
Governments choose governance structures and regulatory approaches for government-owned utilities (GOUs) to meet multiple policy objectives given resource constraints and political-economic challenges.
Can governments regulate themselves? How can they do so effectively? This workshop brings together academics from Asia, Australia and Europe to discuss theoretical and empirical approaches to the topic of regulating government-owned utilities.