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Acceptable decision processes and acceptable risks in public sector regulations

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1 Author(s)
Pate, M.E. ; Dept. of Industrial Engng., Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA, USA

Risk analysis and risk-benefit analysis are more and more widely used for regulatory purpose. Instead of searching for an acceptable risk, it is proposed here to study some characteristics of acceptable decision processes in which risk analysis results constitute part of the information but can in no way be used as decision criteria. It is argued that consistency of standards relies on consistency of government principles, of laws, of information used, and finally of the safety levels that are achieved. The characteristics of each specific risk may justify different levels of acceptance of risks and costs. An acceptable decision process is one in which these differences correspond to actual preferences, therefore, one in which complete information and value judgments of affected individuals are explicitly considered.

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:SMC-13 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

March-April 1983

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