MEDIA STATEMENT: QPC releases findings of competitive neutrality complaint

The Queensland Productivity Commission has released the findings from its investigation into a competitive neutrality complaint against CITEC Confirm, a Queensland Government-owned business unit that provides information brokerage.

Under section 23 of the Queensland Productivity Act 2015, the Commission can investigate whether a government agency carrying on a significant business activity enjoys a competitive advantage on the basis of government taxes, debt guarantee fees, procedural or regulatory requirements.

In this complaint raised by a private sector competitor InfoTrack—the first to be considered by the Commission—the Commission found CITEC Confirm’s activities did not breach the principle of competitive neutrality as defined by the Act.

Commissioner Kim Wood said his team’s investigation had been thorough and rigorous.

“Competitive neutrality says there should be a level playing field—that a government business or agency should not have a competitive advantage (or disadvantage) over the private sector solely due to their government ownership,” he said.

“As this was the first major competitive neutrality complaint we’d received since formation, our team investigated the matter over 18 months.

“The Commission found no government directive, policy, legislation or standards pertaining to information brokerage that would give CITEC Confirm an advantage over its private sector competitors.”

The Commission submitted the investigation report to the Treasurer on 27 February 2017, received the Treasurer’s written response to it on 10 April 2017, and released the report today on its website.

The competitive neutrality investigation report and the Treasurer’s response to the report can be found on the Commission’s website.

The Queensland Productivity Commission provides independent advice on complex economic and regulatory issues. It proposes policy reforms to drive economic growth, lift productivity and improve living standards across Queensland.

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