Regulatory bodies can’t compete with Ofcom on salaries, Commons Trade and Industry Committee reports

Government regulators are struggling to find top quality recruits because all the best candidates are being taken by the communications watchdog Ofcom, MPs have warned.

A Trade and Industry Committee report said that the communications regulator is able to offer more lucrative deals to staff because it is funded by employers.

The committee, reporting specifically on the recruitment problems faced by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), called for a government inquiry into Ofcom’s market domination.

“There is a clear disparity between the rewards Ofcom offers to its employees and the rewards that other regulatory bodies are able to offer,” said the report.

“We share the concerns of OFT management over the lack of flexibility available to it in rewards packages.

“As the UK’s principal competition authority, the OFT needs to employ talented individuals to do its job. We recommend that the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform undertakes a review of the effect that the greater market power of Ofcom in attracting staff could be having.”

Ofcom is currently advertising for a consumer panel chairman, to work six days a month for £30,000 per year.

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