Many times, regulatory agencies have been set up with a mandate stating they are protecting the poor, setting rates, protecting consumers as well as setting licence and compliance criteria by which organisations must legally operate.

Many times, regulatory agencies have been set up with a mandate stating they are protecting the poor, setting rates, protecting consumers as well as setting licence and compliance criteria by which organisations must legally operate. But oftentimes, they are not set up in the interest of the ‘small man’. – Jamaica Gleaner
“We [also] need good regulation to meet the challenges ahead. This summer we have experienced the highest ever temperature, the worst drought since the 1970’s and the driest ever July in the south east of the country. Our natural eco-systems and biodiversity are under increasing pressure and threat. We need to be ready for more of these conditions as our climate changes.. . .” (Nettleton, 2022).”
Regarding the bad gas, “an earlier Gleaner report cited the fact that the Bureau of Standards is ill-equipped to police the industry, and that a lot of the testing is left to Petrojam. The report says there may be a conflict of interests in this regard. The report also points to the uselessness of some agencies including the National Environmental Planning Agency (NEPA)…”- Jamaica Gleaner
Instruction
The quotes above reflect several issues and challenges around the topic of the government and their regulatory functions – whether around the environment and climate change or generally the capacity of state agencies to fulfil their intended functions.
In examining the above quotes, students should critically assess the role and effectiveness of state regulations and regulatory bodies. Students can choose any of the below angles/approaches:
1. Climate change and the environment
2. Night watchman state – should the state’s role be just limited to regulatory functions?
3. Examining the effectiveness of regulatory bodies generally
4. Issues of conflict of interest, whether board appointments, where a ministry or portfolio is placed, etc

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