Best Practice Regulation Report 2015-16
The 2015-16 Best Practice Regulation Report is the independent assessment of compliance with Australian Government and Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) best practice regulation requirements. Essentially, it considers whether a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared for each significant decision and whether it was published. It also includes information about Australian Government post-implementation reviews.
The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) administers the Australian Government and Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) best practice regulation requirements. It has a dual role of assisting departments and agencies to meet the requirements and improve the quality of Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) prepared for decision makers, and of monitoring and reporting on compliance with the requirements.
RIA is an analytical framework that helps to deliver efficient and effective regulation by ensuring decision makers are informed of the effects of policy options through rigorous analysis and consultation. A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is a document which summarises the RIA process.
In monitoring RISs, the OBPR assists departments and agencies to ensure regulatory decisions are supported by an appropriate level of impact analysis. Compliance on individual proposals is reported on the OBPR website (ris.pmc.gov.au) as soon as practicable after regulatory decisions are publicly announced. Year-to-date and financial year summaries of compliance are also published online for both Australian Government and COAG proposals.
Regulatory activity triggering the RIS requirements was higher in 2015-16, compared to both 2014-15 and 2013-14, for Australian Government proposals (Table 2.1). There were also more COAG RISs prepared in 2015-16 than in 2014-15 (Table 2.5). Although there were no instances of non‑compliance with the Australian Government RIS requirements in 2015-16, there were four instances of non‑compliance with the COAG RIS requirements in 2015-16 compared to none in 2014-15.
In addition to assessing Australian Government and COAG RISs, the OBPR monitors compliance with the Australian Government’s Post-implementation Review (PIR) requirements. During 2015-16, 25 PIRs were finalised and published by agencies, compared to 17 in 2014-15.
One of the core functions of the OBPR is to assist Departments and agencies to improve the quality of RISs and meet RIS requirements. It provides training to policy officers on RIA and outposts OBPR officers to Departments and agencies to assist with the development of RISs.
In 2015-16, training in RIA was provided to 125 Commonwealth, state and territory officers across departments and agencies. Of these, 110 officers also received training in cost-benefit analysis and the use of the regulatory burden measurement framework. There were also seven outpostings provided throughout the year to various departments, including Agriculture and Water Resources, Industry, Innovation and Science, and Environment and Energy.
In December 2015, the OBPR released a Massive Open Online Course on RIA which allows anyone to access on demand training materials and learning resources.