25 May 2016

Implementation of the Common Reporting Standard

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of the Treasury

On 3 December 2015 the Treasurer introduced legislation to require certain financial institutions in Australia to report information to the Commissioner of Taxation about financial accounts held by foreign tax residents.

In order to identify relevant accounts, financial institutions will need to carry out the due diligence procedures outlined in the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, commonly known as the Common Reporting Standard.

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

The RIS estimates the implementation of the Standard will increase regulatory costs by $67.2 million per annum. The regulatory costs and offsets were agreed with the OBPR.


25 May 2016

Central Clearing of Prescribed Interest Rate Derivatives

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of the Treasury

On 8 September 2015, the Government amended the Corporations Regulations 2001 to implement a central clearing mandate for OTC interest rate derivatives denominated in Australian dollars and four global currencies (US dollars, euros, Japanese yen and British pounds), limited to transactions between internationally active dealers. The Government’s reforms form part of a coordinated effort by G20 jurisdictions to improve transparency and risk management in these markets.

In the absence of Australian regulation, Australian banks and businesses participating in these markets could otherwise be required to comply with central clearing mandates imposed by other jurisdictions, such as the US and the EU. Through an approach known as substituted compliance, foreign regulators may grant relief from their own regulatory requirements if a foreign entity is subject to equivalent requirements in their home jurisdiction.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared by the Department of the Treasury and 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 $6.73 million per annum. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory saving.


24 May 2016

Regulation Impact Statement certification authority delegated

Australian Taxation Office

On 18 May 2016, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) wrote to the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) advising that the authority to certify Regulation Impact Statements (RISs) will be delegated to Deputy Commissioner-level officers in the ATO and to the Assistant Commissioner, Revenue Analysis Branch.

This is consistent with recent changes to improve flexibility in the RIS process by allowing agencies to delegate the certification authority to any Senior Executive Services (SES) level officers.

To ensure transparency, the ATO’s certification to delegate authority has been published on the OBPR website, and can be found below.


23 May 2016

Release of the 1800 MHz band in remote areas

Regulation Impact Statement – Australian Communications and Media Authority

On 2 December 2015, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) announced changes to the spectrum allocation in the 1800 MHz band in remote areas. The changes are intended to facilitate mobile services in remote areas for the use of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, including 4G.

Previously, the 1800 MHz band was allocated for fixed towers services. Increasingly the 1800 MHz band is being internationally recognised as a mobile band and this means that there is the opportunity for Australia to benefit from economies of scale in LTE equipment able to be used in the band.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared and certified by ACMA under the Australian Government best practice regulation requirements, and has been assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

The process followed by ACMA and the level of analysis contained in the RIS was consistent with best practice.

The RIS estimates the average annual regulatory cost saving at $8,000 per annum. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost saving.


23 May 2016

Export Fodder Levy

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

On 3 May 2016, as part of revenue measures announced in the Australian Government’s 2016-17 Budget, the Government announced changes to regulations to introduce a new mandatory export fodder levy.

The changes commencing on 1 July 2016 will introduce a statutory levy (as a charge of $0.50 per tonne) on all hay and straw exported. The aim of the levy, which was proposed by the export fodder industry, is to secure ongoing funding to support export fodder research, development and extension. This levy replaces a voluntary levy arrangement.

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 $2000 per annum. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory burden estimate.


19 May 2016

Establishment of the NBN and Government Response to the NBN Implementation Study

Post-implementation Review – Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

In April 2009, the then Government announced the establishment of the National Broadband Network (NBN). In December 2010, the then Government announced its response to the NBN Implementation Study. Both announcements were exempted by the then Prime Minister from the Government’s RIS requirements, on the basis of exceptional circumstances. As a result, under the Government’s best practice requirements, the then Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy was required to complete a post-implementation review (PIR).

Three separate reviews have been collectively used to meet the PIR requirements. These reviews included:

  • The review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission under section 151DC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, (CCA) of the policies and procedures relating to the identification of listed points of interconnection;
  • The review, under section 151DD of the CCA, of the operation of Division 16 of Part XIB of that Act which relates to the promotion of structural reform in the telecommunications industry and the promotion of uniform national wholesale pricing;
  • The review, under section 152EOA of the CCA, of Part XIC of that Act and particular parts of the National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011 relating to the supply of eligible services.

The first and second statutory reviews (see below) were completed and tabled in the Parliament in December 2013 and the third was completed and tabled, as part of an independent cost-benefit analysis of broadband policy and review of regulation in July 2014. The overall NBN model was also the subject of the Strategic Review of NBN Co. and the Independent Cost-Benefit Analysis (August 2014) of broadband and review of regulation (the Vertigan Panel review).

The combination of reviews undertaken was assessed by the OBPR as compliant. The Department of Communications and the Arts estimated the change in regulatory burden associated with regulatory decisions in relation to the establishment of the NBN at $34.15 million per annum. The OBPR has agreed to these estimates.


19 May 2016

Choice of Superannuation Fund

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of the Treasury

On 17 March 2016, the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer introduced the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Choice of Fund) Bill 2016. The bill allows employees under enterprise agreements and workplace determinations to choose the fund into which their compulsory employer superannuation payments are made.

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

The RIS estimates the proposal will increase regulatory burden by $3.97 million per annum. The OBPR agreed to the regulatory costs and offsets.


19 May 2016

Changes to Farm Management Deposits

Department of the Treasury

On 10 February 2016 the Commonwealth Treasurer introduced the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016. The bill amends the farm management deposit provisions in the income tax law to:

  • increase the cap on farm management deposits from $400,000 to $800,000;
  • reintroduce early access provisions for farmers experiencing severe financial difficulty; and
  • allow the use of farm management deposits to offset business loans.

The Department of the Treasury was assessed as compliant with the Government’s RIS requirements and consistent with best practice by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

The proposals are expected to increase regulatory costs by $854,000 per annum. The costs and offsets were agreed with the OBPR.


13 May 2016

Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Defence

On 26 February 2015, the Minister for Defence introduced the Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015.

The Bill amends the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 to streamline export controls and reduce the burden of regulation on the defence industries, the dual-use industries and universities and research institutions while maintaining national security and complying with Australia’s international obligations.

Dual use equipment and technologies are those developed to meet legitimate commercial business needs that can also be used either as military components or for the development or production of military systems or weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared and certified by the Department of Defence 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 estimates that the measure will reduce regulatory costs by $35.4 million per annum. The OBPR has agreed to the estimated regulatory savings.


12 May 2016

Toxic Chemicals Of Security Concern

COAG Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Council of Australian Governments

On 2 May 2016, the Australian Government added four toxic chemicals to a revised voluntary National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern.

The voluntary National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern promotes effective chemical security management practices. Businesses are encouraged to consider their specific context and integrate the Code into existing practices, policies and procedures. The Code provides advice for workplaces that handle 15 high-risk chemicals. It contains practical security tips including:

  • how to make sure the people in your workplace can be trusted with chemicals of security concern
  • how to keep your chemicals physically secure
  • how to detect and report suspicious behaviour to the National Security Hotline
  • where to go for more information.

The Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department coordinated the development of a Regulation Impact Statement that was provided to the Australian Government’s Attorney-General and relevant state and territory ministers for a decision.  The RIS was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation under the Council of Australian Government’s RIS requirements.