Engaging with Stakeholders
The Australian Government engages with stakeholders, including the States and Territories, on the priorities important to our economy, on the tools to assess and prioritise change, and on the schedule of reform.
Stakeholders have a number of opportunities to engage on the Australian Government’s regulatory policy including through ad hoc contact and periodic mechanisms such as Ministerial Advisory Councils, industry-led policy reform groups and online mechanisms. The Australian Government Guide to Regulation places significant emphasis on stakeholder consultation.
Commonwealth regulators are expected to engage with their stakeholders as per the Regulator Performance Framework, which advises regulators to communicate clearly and engage with industry groups and stakeholder representatives prior to changing policies, practices or service standards.
The Australian Government reports regularly on implementation of regulatory reforms and administration of regulatory impact analysis. These reports are publicly available. Each Australian Government portfolio Regulatory Reform Unit is also required to report on their portfolio’s progress in implementing the Government’s regulatory policy and governance priorities.
Consultation on Regulation Impact Statements and through Post-Implementation Reviews
Regulation Impact Statements should also involve, as appropriate, early consultation with industry and stakeholders, and public consultations on a range of genuine and viable alternative policy options. Options put forward by stakeholders should be assessed equally against original options, with rationale provided if not adopted.
Post-Implementation review processes should also incorporate consultation with relevant stakeholders on the impacts of regulation, and the level of consultation should be commensurate with the significance of the measure under review. During the preparation of a post-implementation review, consultation needs to take place either through a Ministerial Advisory Council, or consultation arrangements with the same effect.
Stakeholders can also engage via consultation by Commonwealth regulators as per the Regulator Performance Framework, which advises regulators to communicate clearly and engage with industry groups and stakeholder representatives prior to changing policies, practices or service standards.
Increasing online engagement
Online engagement by the Australian Government is becoming more common, with a number of Australian Government portfolios hosting engagement ‘hubs’ on their websites as a means of engaging the wider public in specific consultation processes. This reflects the Australian Government’s approach to transparency and stakeholder engagement as reflected in Australia's membership of the international Open Government Partnership.