5 February 2016

Regulation Impact Statement Policy Options guidance note

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has updated a range of guidance material associated with the Australian Government Guide to Regulation to reflect changes made by the Government in late 2015.

When preparing a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS), Australian Government agencies need to consider a range of viable policy options. The RIS should consider all practical policy alternatives that can be implemented to achieve the policy objective and address the identified problem. A RIS needs to include at least three options unless the agency certifies in the RIS that the policy problem and circumstances are such that fewer than three options are feasible for consideration.

This new guidance note is designed to assist agencies to understand when consideration of fewer than three options may be appropriate in a RIS.


5 February 2016

Post-implementation reviews guidance note

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has updated a range of guidance material associated with the Australian Government Guide to Regulation to reflect changes made by the Government in late 2015.

Australian Government agencies need to undertake a post-implementation review (PIR) for all regulatory changes that have a substantial or widespread impact on the economy.

PIRs also need to be prepared when regulation has been introduced, removed, or significantly changed without a regulation impact statement.

This revised guidance note provides information on the following additions to the PIR requirements.

A PIR must now also be prepared where the Assistant Minister for Productivity, assisted by the advice of OBPR and in agreement with the relevant portfolio Minister, has assessed a Standard or Long Form RIS as sufficiently diverging from best practice. In this case a PIR needs to commence within two years of the regulations being implemented.

A new process has also been introduced for setting aside a PIR requirement for regulation that is no longer in force or no longer government policy.


5 February 2016

Independent reviews, RIS-like processes and the Regulation Impact Statement requirements

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has updated a range of guidance material associated with the Australian Government Guide to Regulation to reflect changes made by the Government in late 2015.

The Guide to Regulation describes a case in which a RIS is not required for a regulatory proposal if an independent review or a RIS-like document has undertaken a process and analysis equivalent to a RIS. In such a case, the independent review or RIS-like document can substitute for the RIS. This approach aims to remove duplication between comprehensive review processes and RISs. This guidance note provides information on when an independent review or RIS-like process can be considered equivalent to a RIS.

This revised guidance note provides additional information about what certain processes and documents made by an agency can already be exempted from requiring a RIS.


5 February 2016

Short Form and Interim Regulation Impact Statements guidance note

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has updated a range of guidance material associated with the Australian Government Guide to Regulation to reflect changes made by the Government in late 2015.

The Australian Government Guide to Regulation provides high-level principles for policy makers and outlines a process for developing a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS). There are four types of RISs: Long Form, Standard Form, Short Form and Interim.

This revised guidance note describes the circumstances when a Short Form or Interim RIS might be appropriate for a policy proposal.


5 February 2016

Individuals guidance note

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has updated a range of guidance material associated with the Australian Government Guide to Regulation to reflect changes made by the Government in late 2015.

The trigger for preparing a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) includes impacts on individuals, reflecting the significant regulatory burden experienced by individuals.

The purpose of this guidance note is to assist policy makers to interpret the Guide to Regulation by providing guidance on when a RIS may be required for proposals that affect individuals and on how to quantify the regulatory costs on individuals.

This revised guidance note clarifies the treatment of mutual obligation activities when using the Regulatory Burden Measurement framework. It provides additional information on what enforcement and compliance costs need to be quantified under the Regulatory Burden Measurement framework.


5 February 2016

Regulatory Burden Measurement framework guidance note

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has updated a range of guidance material associated with the Australian Government Guide to Regulation to reflect changes made by the Government in late 2015.

All regulatory costs, whether arising from new regulations or changes to existing regulation, need to be quantified using the Regulatory Burden Measurement framework. The framework also needs to be used for quantifying offsetting regulatory savings, where applicable. This guidance note provides advice on how to calculate regulatory costs using the Regulatory Burden Measurement framework.

This revised guidance note details changes to the regulatory cost offsetting process, the introduction of materiality thresholds for regulatory costings and a net present approach to quantifying delay costs in a limited range of circumstances. The note also clarifies what enforcement and compliance costs need to be quantified under the Regulatory Burden Measurement framework.


5 February 2016

User Guide to the Australian Government Guide to Regulation

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has updated a range of guidance material associated with the Australian Government Guide to Regulation to reflect changes made by the Government in late 2015.

This User Guide is designed to be read alongside the Guide to Regulation. It provides detail on the specifics of developing your Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) and having it assessed by the OBPR.

Among other things, this guide will help you decide what type of RIS to undertake and provide helpful step-by-step advice.

This revised guidance note incorporates changes made to the number of policy options to be required in a RIS, regulatory cost offsetting processes, and post-implementation review arrangements, as well as the introduction of an Interim RIS. Further details on these processes can be found in the relevant guidance note.

The User Guide also refers to a One page RIS executive summary template file which is downloadable at http://www.dpmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/user_guide_one_page_ris_summary_template.dotm


29 January 2016

Government’s Response to the Competition Policy Review

Independent Review – The Treasury

On 24 November 2015, the Government released its response to the Competition Policy Review.

The Government asked Professor Ian Harper and an expert panel to undertake an independent ‘root and branch’ review of competition policy.  The Competition Policy Review Report made 56 recommendations for reforms across three key themes: competition policy, laws and institutions. The Government will implement the majority of the Competition Policy Review’s recommendations.

The Competition Policy Review Report was certified by the Treasury as meeting the requirements of a Regulation Impact Statement. The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) does not assess independent reviews. The Treasury has estimated the average annual regulatory cost saving at $4.7 million from the recommendations that will be implemented. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost saving.


27 January 2016

Regulations for Sweet Potato Marketing Levy

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

On 15 December 2015, as part of revenue measures announced in the Australian Government’s 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the government announced changes to regulations in order to introduce a new sweet potato levy and export charge.

The changes commencing on 1 January 2016 will introduce a statutory marketing levy and export charge of one per cent on the sale price of all sweet potatoes.

The aim of the marketing levy, which has been requested by the peak industry body, the Australian Sweet potato Growers’ Association, is to secure funding for long-term marketing needs and priorities of the industry, including premium positioning and increasing overall consumption.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) prepared by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has been assessed as compliant and consistent with best practice by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

The RIS estimates the average annual regulatory cost at about $400 per annum. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory burden estimate and associated offset.


27 January 2016

Managing risks associated with lead in the workplace: blood lead levels and exposure standards

COAG Consultation Regulation Impact Statement – Safe Work Australia

On 21 December 2015, Safe Work Australia released a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on managing risks associated with lead in the workplace: blood lead levels and exposure standards.

Lead has a wide range of biological effects on people, including on the developing foetus, which are directly related to the concentration of lead in the affected organ systems.

Safe Work Australia is seeking comments on the best way to reduce the potential for adverse health outcomes caused by exposure to lead in the workplace.

The COAG RIS for consultation prepared by Safe Work Australia has been approved by the OBPR.

Safe Work Australia will accept submissions on the Consultation RIS until 26 February 2016.