The rise of the 'regulatory state' (Majone, 1994; Loughlin and Scott, 1997; Moran, 2001) has not been limited to regulation of the privatised sector, or even of the private sector more generally. There is now a considerable 'regulatory state within the state' (Hood et al, 1999), and it seems to be growing. The literature on regulation of government has so far concentrated on the bureaucracy. At times, however, the regulatory environment that applies to government (as documented by Hood et al) can extend to political decisions. Ombudsmen, including the Local Government Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner, have not shied away from criticising decisions taken by political actors where these amount to maladministration
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