Unethical practices of regulatory inspectors

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Corruption in monitoring agencies
Corruption in regulatory agencies
Corruption of official inspectors
Illegal activities of regulatory organizations
Unfair regulation
Abuse of regulatory powers
Intimidation in connection with monitoring functions
Connivance between regulatory inspectors and violators of regulations

Inspectors appointed to detect and report on violations of regulations may be persuaded by those responsible to "turn a blind eye" to certain abuses.


Initially inspectors may simply act in order to avoid submitting reports on trivial violations. As a relationship develops with those inspected, in the course of periodic visits, other pressures may be brought to bear in the form of token gifts or typically bribes, which may be substantial. Although individual violations may be of relatively little significance, the pattern of such violations and the corresponding "arrangements" with the inspectors can totally undermine and negate the value of any regulations. This is especially important in connection with factories violating regulations governing environmental pollution or conditions of employment. In the former case it results in long-term emissions of toxic materials above accepted thresholds. In the latter case it results in dangerous working conditions and, in a significant number of countries, in toleration of child labour even though it may be prohibited by regulations.

In the UK in 1993 a report on regulation of the utilities privatized by government found the process to be confused, unaccountable, secretive and ruled by personality cults.

Broader Problems:
Unethical practices
Related Problems:
Complex government regulations
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
14.10.2020 – 16:11 CEST