This paper was presented as part of the Beyond best in practice: meeting the challenge workshop held on August 8, 2016.
When I first joined the Trade Practices Commission (today the ACCC) in 1985 as a part-time Commissioner, I was shocked at how unresponsive to risk it was. When I left a decade later, what had impressed me most about the ACCC was that it was so effectively responsive to opportunities. Responsiveness to opportunities may be more important to regulatory excellence than responsiveness to risk. One reason is that regulators can miss opportunities to create public value by defining narrowly the risks that are their particular responsibility. Failures of the FBI to prevent the Global Financial Crisis and the September 11 attack are used to illustrate.