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Institutional Design and Decision-Making in the Competition and Markets Authority

 |  September 9, 2014

Alex Chisholm, David Currie, Tim Jarvis, Sep 11, 2014

In this article, we set out how the reforms to the U.K. competition regime and the creation of the CMA will enable us to deliver “marked improvements” and meet the expectations on us to enhance the rigor of decision-making and to make more decisions, more quickly, with no attendant drop in quality. We look at institutional design and the governance structures within which decisions are made in the new agency. We describe how they build on what existed before and accommodate the pre-existing features of the U.K. system which have been carried forward into the new agency; and how we have taken the opportunity to enhance the rigor and transparency of decision-making, further developing reforms started under the previous regime. We examine the different types of decisions that will be made by the CMA and how the decision-making processes have been designed to ensure that robust, transparent, and timely decisions become synonymous with the new U.K. system. In doing so, we also touch on issues that, while not new, are nevertheless crystallized in the process of institutional reform: What is meant by independence of decision-making? How is the relationship between the agency and its government sponsors managed?