The Government has decided to merge the Commission on Aviation Regulation and the regulatory functions of the Irish Aviation Authority, together with taxi regulation, into the planned National Transport Authority, according to a statement on economic regulation from the Department of the Taoiseach.

The changes are part of a new set of policy initiatives designed to improve scrutiny and streamline oversight of various economic sectors.

The government will also establish an annual regulatory forum at which the Taoiseach and relevant ministers will meet to measure the performance and effectiveness of regulators and set new priorities if necessary. The group will meet in the first quarter of each year, beginning in 2010.

Regulators will be asked to establish a "regulators network" by the end of this year for sharing information and resources, and establishing common approaches.

According to the statement, changes to regulation will be subject to five-year reviews to provide options on changing mandates. The government is also considering extending competition powers to regulators besides ComReg and the Competition Authority.

Work is already underway to merge the National Consumer Agency (NCA) and the Competition Authority, while financial regulation is undergoing significant change with the establishment of a new unitary regulator, the Central Bank of Ireland Commission, which will see the consumer side of the Financial Regulator move to the NCA.