9 June 2016

Enhanced Register of Financial Advisers

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of the Treasury

On 16 February 2015 the Government registered the Corporations Amendment (Register of Relevant Providers) Regulation 2015. The regulation establishes a public register of all people providing personal advice on more complex financial products to retail clients.

The Government announced it would establish a register of financial advisers on 17 July 2014 and announced details of the content of the register on 24 October 2014. The Government requested the Treasury to prepare a post-decision Regulation Impact Statement for the proposed register after consulting with stakeholders on the likely regulatory costs.

The Treasury submitted a post-decision Regulation Impact Statement for final assessment and was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

The RIS estimates the average regulatory cost at $2.05 million per annum, and identifies offsets. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost and offset estimates.


3 June 2016

Review of the Terrorism Insurance Scheme

Independent Review – Department of the Treasury

On 15 December 2015, the Treasury released the latest statutory review on Australia’s terrorism insurance scheme. The scheme provides terrorism reinsurance, generally for commercial property, associated business interruption and public liability classes of insurance.

Consistent with best practice requirements, the Treasury certified the review has undertaken a process and analysis equivalent to a RIS. The review estimates the regulatory cost at about $5,200 per annum and identifies offsets. Under the Government’s best practice regulation requirements, the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) does not assess independent reviews. Regulatory costs and offset estimates have been agreed with the OBPR.


1 June 2016

Registered Organisations

Final Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Employment

On 18 April 2016, the Australian Government re-tabled legislation changing the regulation of registered organisations. It was previously tabled on 19 March 2015.

Registered organisations are those employer and employee associations that are registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (RO Act) to allow them to represent the interests of their members in certain workplace matters.

Under the RO Act, registered organisations must comply with detailed regulations in relation to registration, rules, financial reporting, elections, conduct of officers and other matters. The main changes in the legislation are:

  • increasing civil penalties and introducing criminal offences for serious breaches of officers’ duties;
  • amending the requirements surrounding officers’ disclosure of material personal interests, and changes to grounds for disqualification and ineligibility for office; and
  • strengthening financial accounting and disclosure obligations under the RO Act.

The Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) estimates the additional compliance costs for registered organisations at $137,942 a year across all organisations. These costs have been agreed with the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

The RIS was prepared and certified by the Department of Employment, and has been assessed as compliant with the Government’s RIS requirements and consistent with best practice by the OBPR.


1 June 2016

Problem Gambling

Post-implementation Review no longer required – Department of Social Services

On 21 January 2012 the then Government announced plans to tackle problem gambling. The measures included:

  • introducing a $250 daily withdrawal limit from ATMs in gaming venues (excluding casinos) by 1 February 2013.

A Regulation Impact Statement was required before the announcement of the measure but was not submitted to the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) for assessment. Consequently, the OBPR assessed the measures as being non-compliant with the Australian Government’s best practice regulation requirements. A Post-implementation Review was therefore required within two years from the implementation.

An exemption from the PIR requirements can be obtained for regulation which has previously been implemented and is no longer in force or no longer government policy. This change to the Australian Government’s best practice regulation requirements came into effect in December 2015. Approval for this exemption needs to be obtained in writing from the Prime Minister.

The measure was in place between 1 February 2014 and 31 March 2014, at which time the relevant legislation was amended, effectively reversing the decision. As such, the measure no longer reflected Government policy. The Assistant Cabinet Secretary, on behalf of the Prime Minister, had agreed to remove the requirement for a PIR to be undertaken on the measure on 3 February 2016.


1 June 2016

Combating multinational tax avoidance

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of the Treasury

On 16 September 2015, the then Treasurer introduced legislation to reduce the opportunities and incentives for multinational tax avoidance. The legislation allows the Commissioner of Taxation to ignore, for the purposes of determining taxable Australian income, artificial or contrived structures used by multinationals to avoid having a taxable presence in Australia. It also implements the OECD’s Country‑by-Country reporting regime and increases the administrative penalties for tax avoidance faced by multinationals.

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 proposals will increase regulatory burden by $23.25 million per annum. The OBPR agreed to the regulatory costs and offsets.


1 June 2016

Remedial power for the Commissioner of Taxation

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of the Treasury

On 17 March 2016, the Treasurer introduced legislation to provide the Commissioner of Taxation with a power to remedy the tax law to apply as intended in more circumstances.

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 creation of the remedial power will not change the current regulatory burden. The OBPR agreed to this estimate.


1 June 2016

Temporary Work (Skilled) Migration (Subclass 457) Programme Legislative amendments

Post Implementation Review – Department of Immigration and Border Protection

In 2013, the Australian Government implemented several changes to the Temporary Work (Skilled) Migration (Subclass 457) Programme. In July 2013 the Government introduced measures to tighten foreign temporary skilled work visa obligations through changes to the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Act 2013. The changes included:

  • an obligation for sponsors to keep records of training and to honour their commitment to contribute towards training Australians;
  • a genuineness test to assess the position’s validity to the nominated occupation; and
  • changes to the occupation based exemptions to the English language provisions.

Further changes were implemented in November 2013 to introduce Labour Market Testing (LMT) to better ensure due consideration was given to the Australian labour market.

Regulation Impact Statements (RISs) were required for the above decisions in accordance with the Government’s regulation requirements at that time. However, the RISs were not prepared, triggering the requirement to undertake post-implementation reviews (PIRs).

A PIR which incorporated an assessment of all the above measures prepared by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

The PIR assessed the measures imposed regulatory costs of $10.42 million per annum. The OBPR agreed to the estimate.


31 May 2016

Removal of impediments to margining

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of the Treasury

On 16 March 2016, the Government introduced the Financial System Legislation Amendment (Resilience and Collateral Protection) Bill 2016. The bill amends the Payment Systems and Netting Act 1998 to enable financial institutions in Australia to comply with internationally-agreed margining requirements when dealing in over-the-counter derivatives. The bill also provides legal certainty about the operation of Australian law in relation to termination rights (close out rights) under certain financial market transactions and approved Real Time Gross Settlement systems, approved netting arrangements and netting markets (netting market contracts) in all market conditions.

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

The RIS estimates the measures will reduce regulatory costs by $3.9 million per annum. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost estimate.


27 May 2016

Australia’s Post-2020 Emissions Reduction Target

Independent Review – Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

On 11 August 2015, the Government announced that Australia’s post-2020 emissions reduction target is a 26-28 per cent reduction below 2005 levels by 2030.

The Government intends to achieve the target through the Emissions Reduction Fund, supported by a range of other policies including the National Energy Productivity Plan and other policies to be reviewed in detail in 2017-2018.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Taskforce Review Report was developed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet which certified the review as following a similar process to that required for a Regulation Impact Statement and adequately addressing all seven RIS questions. Under the Australian Government Guide to Regulation, the OBPR does not assess independent reviews.

The Prime Minister agreed that regulatory costs (and offsets) would not be required for the consideration of the post-2020 emissions target, but that costs and offsets will be prepared for individual measures that will impact on the target as they are brought forward for decision. The process undertaken by the Department is consistent with best practice.


27 May 2016

Authorised Conduct - amending Division 16 of Part XIB and Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Communications and the Arts

On 2 December 2015 the Government introduced the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Access Regime and NBN Companies) Bill 2015. One element of the bill considers changes to authorisations to NBN Co. to engage in three specific forms of conduct for competition law purposes:

  • restricting interconnection to the NBN to listed points of interconnection;
  • bundling designated access services; and
  • other conduct.

A Regulation Impact Analysis (RIS) was prepared and certified by the Department of Communications and the Arts, and has been assessed as compliant and best practice by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

The RIS concludes that the first two authorisations should be retained until the rollout of the NBN is completed, but that the third broad authorisation should be repealed. The RIS notes retaining the two authorisations would not impose additional compliance costs. The OBPR agreed with this assessment.