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Communications and Digital Committee publishes its follow-up report on digital regulation

13 December 2021

The Communications and Digital Committee publishes its report Digital Regulation: joined-up and accountable. 

Main findings  

Regulators, government and Parliament must do more to ensure joined-up and effective regulation of the rapidly changing digital world, the new Communications and Digital Committee report says.  

Systems are not rigorous or accountable enough to address regulatory gaps and overlaps, according to the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee which says that better processes as well as regulators, industry and experts working more closely together are needed to deal with emerging challenges such as artificial intelligence advances. 

A new Digital Regulation Co-operation Forum (DRCF) is “a small step” but a lack of overarching coordination and oversight of regulatory objectives remains, the committee says in a report published today (13 December). 

While welcoming the DRCF’s collaborative work so far, the committee is concerned that it lacks robust systems to coordinate objectives and to sort out potential conflicts between different regulators as the workload expands. More measures are needed to boost the DRCF’s long-term effectiveness and accountability, the committee believes.  

The committee recommends that an independent chair of the DRCF be appointed to resolve conflicts between regulators and to be accountable to Parliament.  

The committee wants to see a new committee of MPs and peers set up to oversee digital regulation.  

Lord Gilbert, committee Chair, added: 

“Given the pace of technological change and its impact across society and the economy, there is a notable gap in Parliamentary oversight.” 

Further information