21 July 2015

Proposed changes to the personally controlled electronic health record system

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Health

On 10 May 2015, the Minister for Health announced developments to the personally controlled electronic health record system for patients and healthcare providers that will trial an opt-out model and introduce new governance arrangements.

The electronic health records system enables doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers across the country to have instant access to the information needed to treat patients safely and efficiently.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has assessed that the process followed by the Department of Health and the level of analysis contained in the Regulation Impact Statement is consistent with best practice. The average annual regulatory cost is estimated to be $0.4 million. The cost and the offset identified have been agreed with the OBPR.


21 July 2015

Tuition Protection Service

Post-implementation Review – Department of Education and Training

On 23 September 2011 the then Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations announced a decision to introduce a new Tuition Protection Service and other related measures under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.

The Tuition Protection Service is a single mechanism to place students when an education provider closes, or as a last resort, to provide refunds of unspent course fees. A number of complementary initiatives were also introduced, including limits on the amount of pre-paid course fees that may be collected by providers; requirements for some providers to keep initial pre-paid fees in a separate account until a student commences study; strengthened record keeping obligations; and the establishment of a national registration system which would allow the registration of providers who operate across jurisdictions.

The proposal was assessed as likely to have a measurable impact on the economy, but a compliant Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was not prepared before the decision was made. The June 2010 RIS requirements applied at that time.

The proposal was implemented in July 2012.

A post-implementation review (PIR) was completed by the Department of Education and Training in January 2015 and was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. The PIR found that stakeholders mostly supported the changes and considered the changes were effectively meeting their goals. However, the PIR also identified some scope to reduce administrative burden.


21 July 2015

Response to the Review of the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and the Australian Government Building and Construction Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Employment

On 22 October 2014, the Australian Government announced changes to safety accreditation arrangements for builders working on Commonwealth-funded construction projects.

The changes to the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme (Scheme) responded to a review of the Scheme undertaken by the Department of Employment. The review was informed by an expert advisory panel of key stakeholders.

Changes to the Scheme included adopting measures as recommended in the review to modernise the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and the Scheme, including amending the scope of the Scheme to exclude coverage of single dwelling domestic housing, and increasing the current maximum re-accreditation period from three to up to six years.

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

The RIS estimates the average annual regulatory saving at about $9.7 million per annum. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory estimate.


13 July 2015

Improved Protection of Vehicle Occupants in Side Impact Crashes

Regulation Impact Statement for consultation – Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

On 19 June 2015, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development released a draft Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for consultation which considers the case for regulating improved protection of vehicle occupants in side impact crashes.

Side impact crashes are one of the largest causes of road crash trauma in Australia. Side impact crashes with narrow objects such as poles and trees (referred to as pole side impacts) can be particularly dangerous because the point of impact is often very close to the vehicle occupant(s).

The proposal aims to improve the safety of vehicle occupants by regulating the pole side impact performance of light passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles through the Australian Design Rules (the national standards which apply to all new vehicles).

The proposal has been assessed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) as likely to have a measurable but contained impact on the economy.

Comments on the proposal should be sent to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development submissions inbox prior to 31 July 2015.

The RIS has been certified by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and was subject to an early assessment by the OBPR.


13 July 2015

Child Care Assistance Package

Regulation Impact Statement for consultation – Department of Social Services

On 29 June 2015, the Department of Social Services (DSS) released a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for consultation on the Government’s proposed Child Care Assistance Package. The package proposes new child care subsidy and assistance arrangements. The package includes the introduction of smart technology to ensure better monitoring of the system, more efficient payment processes, and reduced red tape for both families and service providers.

The proposal has been assessed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) as likely to have a substantial or widespread impact on the economy.

Consultations on this RIS are now open and will close on 31 July 2015. If you wish to provide feedback on the analysis within the RIS, please see the Early Childhood Australia website.

The RIS has been certified by the DSS and was subject to an early assessment by the OBPR following publication for consultation.


6 July 2015

Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms

Regulation Impact Statement – Attorney-General’s Department

On 26 June 2015, the Attorney-General and the Minister for Communications released an exposure draft of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The bill proposes to amend the Telecommunications Act 1997 to provide for a more effective regulatory framework for managing national security risks to Australia’s telecommunication networks.

Australia’s governments, businesses and the broader community are increasingly storing and communicating large amounts of information across telecommunications networks and facilities. The framework addresses the need for these networks and facilities to be protected from increasingly sophisticated national security risks. In particular, from the vulnerabilities arising from the global supply chain for telecommunications equipment and services, or the outsourcing of sensitive network management functions.

The proposed legislation will require telecommunication carriers, carriage service providers and carriage service intermediaries (C/CSPs) to protect their networks from unauthorised access and interference. It will also provide government with new regulatory powers to request information and to issue directions to help promote compliance. It will formalise and enhance existing information sharing and relationships between Government and C/CSPs to ensure greater consistency, transparency and accountability for managing national security risks across all parts of the telecommunications sector.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared by the Attorney-General’s Department and assessed as compliant and consistent with best practice by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR). The RIS estimates the average annual additional regulatory cost to be $220,000 a year and identifies offsets. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost and offset estimates.


6 July 2015

Telecommunications Infrastructure in New Developments

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Communications

On 27 May 2015, the Minister for Communications released the Government’s policy on the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in new developments. The new policy was effective from 1 March 2015.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared and certified by the Department of Communications under the Australian Government’s best practice regulation requirements, and has been assessed as compliant and consistent with best practice by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

The RIS identifies the problem as one of competitive neutrality. NBN Co did not previously charge property developers upfront to build fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) telecommunications infrastructure in new developments. In contrast, smaller alternative infrastructure providers competing with NBN Co. needed to charge developers upfront to recover their costs. As a result, there was an incentive for developers to use NBN Co rather than alternative providers, undermining business opportunities for those alternative providers.

The RIS considers options to encourage sustainable competition and efficiency in the sector. It considers the interests of developers and consumers as well as the Government, NBN Co. and alternative infrastructure providers in evaluating the different policy options.

The RIS concludes that the best option is for NBN Co to charge developers for the provision of FTTP infrastructure on a partial upfront cost recovery basis. It is expected partial charging will allow alternative providers to compete on a more level playing field with NBN Co, thereby improving efficiency and innovation in the servicing of new developments, while still delivering acceptable outcomes for consumers and developers.

The Department of Communications intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the new policy within three years of implementation.

The proposal is expected to have average annual regulatory saving of $61.3 million. The OBPR has agreed to this regulatory cost saving.


26 June 2015

Ban on the disposal of capital dredge spoil material

Regulation Impact Statement – Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

On 28 May 2015, the Minister for the Environment announced a ban on the disposal of capital dredge spoil material in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Marine Park).

Water quality is a key risk to the health of the Great Barrier Reef. A range of factors reduce water quality in the Marine Park, including weather events, river flows, anchoring, dredging and disposal of dredge material. This proposal aims to improve water quality in the Marine Park by addressing one of these factors. The proposal bans the disposal of materials such as gravel, sands, silts and clays in the Marine Park that are displaced during major capital dredging projects, usually relating to port developments.

The proposal has been assessed as likely to have a measurable but contained impact on the economy.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared and certified by the Authority and has been assessed as compliant but not best practice by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. The RIS and associated process departed from best practice in relation to the problem definition, consultation and timing of preparing the RIS.

The RIS estimates the average annual regulatory cost of the proposal at $4.2m per annum, and identifies offsets. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost and offset estimates.


17 June 2015

Telecommunications Labelling (Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Notice 2001

Remaking of sunsetting instrument without amendments – Australian Communications and Media Authority

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) remade the Telecommunications Labelling (Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Notice 2001 and associated standards on 17 February 2015. The regulations seek to manage both consumer (health and safety, and access to the emergency call service) and industry (network integrity) risks by requiring:

  • customer equipment and customer cabling to comply with applicable ACMA standards;
  • customer equipment and customer cabling to bear the appropriate compliance label prior to supply to the market; and
  • suppliers of customer equipment and customer cabling to meet certain record-keeping obligations on the compliance of the equipment or cabling with applicable ACMA standards.

In line with the Australian Government best practice regulation requirements for sunsetting legislative instruments, the ACMA has assessed the operation of the instrument and associated standards in consultation with affected stakeholders and has certified that the instrument and standards are operating efficiently and effectively.

Therefore the Office of Best Practice Regulation notes that a Regulation Impact Statement is not required for these regulations to be remade.

The remaking of the instruments did not result in compliance cost changes.


17 June 2015

Telecommunications Disability Standard (Requirements for Customer Equipment for use with Standard Telephone Service – features for special needs of persons with disabilities – AS/ACIF S040 2002

Remaking of sunsetting instrument without amendments – Australian Communications and Media Authority

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) remade the Telecommunications Disability Standard (Requirements for Customer Equipment for use with Standard Telephone Service – features for special needs of persons with disabilities – AS/ACIF S040 2002 on 17 February 2015. The Standard applies to equipment for use with the Standard Telephone Service that have features designed to cater to the special needs of people with disabilities.

The Standard prescribes requirements, and where appropriate recommends design features, which remove barriers to access for people with disabilities.

In line with the Australian Government best practice regulation requirements for sunsetting legislative instruments, the ACMA has assessed the operation of the instrument in consultation with affected stakeholders and has certified that the instrument is operating efficiently and effectively.

Therefore the Office of Best Practice Regulation notes that a Regulation Impact Statement is not required for the regulation to be remade.

As the instrument was remade without amendments there are no compliance cost changes.