"New governance arrangements for Australia’s major regulators announced today should ensure they focus on achieving their objectives at the lowest possible cost for businesses and their customers," BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
"The Statements of Expectations by the federal government, and the Statements of Intent in reply from the major regulators, appropriately require that the government’s policies to reduce the regulatory burden on business are taken into account when discharging their duties.
“This development revives a practice that served Australia well until 2007 and should improve the performance and accountability of regulators, and reduce business costs.
"In our submission to the Competition Policy Review the BCA recommended that the government reinstate the practice of setting out clear expectations of regulators to not add to the regulatory burden on business, and to report annually on their performance.
"The government’s move will help promote public accountability, assist in setting the focus of regulators and provide a base against which the regulator's performance can be assessed.
“Our regulators play an important role in implementing Australian laws and should be allowed to perform that role independently and objectively, but they should avoid unnecessarily adding to the cost of doing business.
"It is important that the major regulators stand-by the commitments they have made and look for opportunities to reduce compliance costs, enhance Regulatory Impact Analysis requirements, act in accordance with regulatory best practice and maintain a constructive relationship with the businesses and companies they supervise.
"The government should now also look to establish a rigorous measurement and reporting framework to ensure these commitments translate into a real reduction in unnecessary red tape and compliance costs.
"Along with the progress on their red tape reduction program, these new governance arrangements show the government is following through on its commitments to reduce the regulatory compliance burden and red tape costs for businesses, large and small," Ms Westacott said.
For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2603 | Mobile 0403 241 128