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.


12 May 2016

Reducing Emissions from Small Engines

COAG Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Meeting of Environment Ministers

On 15 December 2015, the Meeting of Environment Ministers announced the introduction of emission standards for small engines, such as lawn mowers and boat motors.

The standards will set limits on emissions such as particulate matter, which is associated with causing breathing problems.

The standards are expected to impact on the availability of two stroke motors for small equipment as well as increase the price of other small engines in order to meet the standards.

A Decision Regulation Impact Statement was prepared for this announcement, which the Office of Best Practice Regulation assessed as meeting the Council of Australian Governments’ best practice regulation requirements.

The RIS estimates that the decision will increase regulatory burden by $46.8 million per annum, $42.1 million of which is attributed to the Commonwealth Government. The OBPR agreed to the estimates.


6 May 2016

Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty with the United States

Post-implementation Review – Defence

On 16 May 2013, the Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty entered into force. The treaty removes administrative delays associated with existing Australian and US export licensing systems while ensuring that sensitive defence technology is appropriately protected.

A Regulation Impact Statement was required at the time the decision to enter into the treaty was made, but was not prepared. Consequently a post-implementation review (PIR) was required.

A PIR was completed by the Department of Defence and was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. The PIR found that since the legislation and regulation came into effect in mid-2013, the uptake of Australian Community membership among defence industry has been steadily increasing. While the number of transactions undertaken has been modest, recent indications are that they are also steadily increasing. The PIR also found that the changes reduced regulatory burden by $633,000 per annum. The reduction was agreed with the OBPR.


6 May 2016

Remaking of sunsetting instrument without significant amendments

Department of Employment

The Department of Employment remade the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme) regulations without significant amendments on 10 March 2016. The Fair Work (Building Industry—Accreditation Scheme) Regulation 2016 has been remade for a period of ten years until 2026.

The regulations directly facilitate the operation of the Scheme and grant the appropriate authority to the Federal Safety Commissioner in ensuring that this Scheme is complied with.

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

Therefore the Office of Best Practice Regulation notes that a Regulation Impact Statement is not required for this instrument to be remade. As the instrument was remade without significant amendments, any costings will be self-assessed by the Department of Employment.


28 April 2016

Abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

Independent Review – Department of Employment

On 18 April 2016, the Government introduced a bill to repeal the Road Safety Remuneration Act 2012 and thereby abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. The changes also allow the Minister to make Rules dealing with transitional matters.

The Government’s decision was informed by an independent report, which reviewed the road safety remuneration system. The review was certified by the Department of Employment as meeting the requirements of a Regulation Impact Statement. Under the Australian Government Guide to Regulation, the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) does not assess independent reviews.

The Department has estimated average regulatory savings of $444.5 million per annum, which were agreed with the OBPR.


26 April 2016

Regulation Impact Statement certification authority delegated

Department of Communication and the Arts

On 12 April 2016, the Department of Communication and the Arts (DoCA) wrote to the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR), advising the authority to certify Regulation Impact Statements (RISs) will be delegated to Assistant Secretary-level and above officers in the DoCA.

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 Service (SES) level officers.

To ensure transparency, a decision to depart from the default RIS certification authority (Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or Chief Executive) is published on the OBPR website.


26 April 2016

Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – Disclosures on Transfers of Financial Assets

Post-implementation Review – AASB

In October 2010, the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) introduced AASB 2010-6 to help users of financial statements evaluate the risk exposures relating to transferred financial assets and the effect of those risks on an entity’s financial position; and to promote transparency in the reporting of transfer transactions, particularly those that involve securitisation of financial assets.

A Regulation Impact Statement was required at the time the decision to introduce AASB 2010-6 was made, but was not prepared. Consequently a post-implementation review (PIR) was required.

A PIR was completed by the AASB and was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR). The PIR found the amendments have helped to ensure that disclosures about financial asset transfers are more informative and comparable across entities and, therefore, more useful to users of financial statements of different entities. The PIR also found the changes increased regulatory burden by $43,000 per annum. The change in regulatory burden was agreed with the OBPR.


22 April 2016

Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 – Determination under subsection 19A(3)

Department of Health

The Department of Health will remake without amendment the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 – Determination under subsection 19A(3).

The Determination contains a list of 9 countries. The Secretary is able to approve the importing or supply of an unapproved medicine (in the event of a shortage or lack of supply of a medicine that has been registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration) if, amongst other things the unapproved medicine has been approved for general marketing in one of those countries.

In line with the Australian Government best practice regulation requirements for sunsetting legislative instruments, the Department of Health has assessed the operation of this 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 Regulations to be remade.

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


22 April 2016

Country of Origin Labelling for Food

COAG Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs

On 31 March 2016, Consumer Affairs Ministers agreed on changes to the country of origin labelling system for food.

As a result of the decision, many foods such as fresh produce and processed food products will be required to include a kangaroo logo to indicate the food is made, produced or grown in Australia, and a bar chart indicating the proportion of Australian ingredients with a supporting text statement. In addition, it was decided that producers wishing to use a safe harbour defence under consumer law in relation to country of origin claims would no longer be required to pass a ‘production cost’ test.

A Regulation Impact Statement was prepared under the Council of Australian Governments’ RIS requirements to support the decision. The RIS found that that the decision would increase costs for many food importers, manufacturers and retailers, but would benefit consumers looking for more detailed information on the origin of their food. In addition, the removal of the production cost test is likely to result in reduced compliance costs for businesses in all sectors that make country of origin claims about their products.

The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science prepared the decision RIS. The RIS was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.