Thursday, September 24, 2020
Elizabeth Hicks (University of Melbourne), Private Actors & Crisis: Scrutinising the National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board, SSRN:
The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an expansion of executive power in many states. Executive expansion may produce additional challenges for democracies when it collides with longer-standing problems of regulatory capture and clientelism: the tendency of regulatory agencies – or governments – to become dominated by the interests of a particular industry or group of private actors. In this regard, the National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board (NCC) warrants scrutiny. The NCC presents a case study of the particular risks that executive power allied with vested interests poses during times of crisis. This brief provides an overview of the NCC as well as specific problems entailed by its appointment process, composition, lack of transparency and lack of legislative underpinning.