Regulatory review

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) supports agencies to apply effective and rigorous regulatory impact analysis (RIA) and consultation to inform policy development.

 

The Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation (August 2016) (Guidelines), is an administrative policy approved by the Treasurer, to assist agencies in developing regulation that is necessary, effective and efficient and has clear benefits for Queensland.

Exclusions are categories of proposals where further regulatory analysis is unlikely to be beneficial as the regulatory changes are:

  • very minor
  • sufficient analysis has already been undertaken
  • swift action is required to protect property or prevent injury to persons.

There is two types of exclusions under the Guidelines.

Agency-assessed exclusion categories

Agencies are accountable for ensuring proposals they determine are excluded from regulatory impact analysis (RIA) meet the specific criteria for the exclusion category identified in TABLE 1 of the Guidelines.

OBPR-assessed exclusion categories.

If agencies consider the regulatory proposal belongs to one of the OBPR-assessed exclusion categories identified in TABLE 2 of the Guidelines, the agency should provide their justification for the exclusion to the OBPR for assessment.

To assist agencies, a word document OBPR template is available for completion by the agency and lodgement with OBPR for assessment.

PIA is a tool to help agencies (and OBPR) determine the likely impacts of a regulatory proposal. This includes assessment if whether any potential impact of the proposal will be adverse and significant.

The PIA template is available for completion by the agency and lodgement with OBPR for assessment.

If OBPR considers the proposal is not likely to result in significant adverse impacts, a Consultation RIS is not required. For proposals proceeding to Cabinet, the findings of the PIA should be clearly summarised within the Cabinet Submission.

If significant and adverse impacts are identified, further regulatory analysis will be required. A Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (Consultation RIS) is the recommended way to explore a regulatory proposal’s impacts.

If the agency (and OBPR) determines the proposal is likely to result in significant adverse impacts, a RIS should be prepared.

The purpose of a RIS is to identify the case for government intervention and provide decision makers with the information they need to make an assessment of the benefits and costs of regulatory intervention on the affected stakeholders including business, community, employment, environment and the economy.

Agencies are strongly encouraged to consult with OBPR at the earliest opportunity for advice on the preparation of a RIS.

The adequacy of a RIS should first be assessed by OBPR, in accordance with the criteria (see Box 4 of Guidelines).

The release of a RIS occurs following appropriate consultation between the portfolio agency and central agencies, the portfolio Minister should seek the approval of Cabinet prior to releasing a RIS.

The RIS and OBPR’s final letter of advice are published on the Commission’s website and Queensland Government’s Get involved website.

A minimum period of 28 calendar days should be allowed for public consultation.

Once the agency has completed public consultation on the RIS, it should prepare a Decision RIS to reflect the outcomes of the consultation.

The Decision RIS is a stand-alone document that builds on the RIS. A summary of the key messages/issues raised in the submissions should be incorporated in the most appropriate section of the Decision RIS. The agency’s response to the stakeholder feedback should also be included in the document.

A brief list of the submissions received by the agency should be provided as an attachment to the Decision RIS.

A Decision RIS should be finalised prior to seeking Cabinet’s approval, either to commence drafting of a Bill or to forward significant subordinate legislation to Executive Council.

OBPR’s final letter of advice on the adequacy of the Decision RIS should be submitted to the decision maker, along with the Decision RIS.

 

OBPR will endeavour to provide an initial assessment within 10 working days of receiving the RIS, Decision RIS or Post-Implementation Review.

Various iterations of a draft RIS may be necessary before a RIS is finalised and OBPR issues a letter of adequacy.

The process however, is depended upon the content in the RIS and the complexity of the subject matter.

The agency may request OBPR’s advise on the adequacy of a RIS at any point during its development.

Once the release of a RIS, Decision RIS or Post-Implementation Review has been approved by the relevant portfolio Minister or Cabinet, OBPR must publish the RIS (or review) and its final letter of adequacy on its website. The list of RISs and reviews are provided here.

If there are exceptional circumstances where a Minister considers an exemption from preparing a RIS is appropriate, Cabinet may exempt the proposal from requiring a RIS.

Such circumstances may include the need to urgently implement government policy priorities or situations where public consultation on a proposal would not be appropriate and may compromise the public interest.

This would include matters that are commercial-in-confidence or where advance notice of the proposal through public consultation would undermine the objectives of the regulation. In granting an exemption, Cabinet may attach conditions on the approval, including requiring either a Decision RIS or Post Implementation Review (PIR).

The Queensland Productivity Commission (the Commission) has released its regulatory advice report on the Red Tape Reduction Advisory Council Recommendations. The report, which was prepared in response to a request from the Treasurer, is available here.

In providing advice to the Queensland Government, the Commission recommended a revised Government regulatory model that:

  • ensures a strong focus on effective review of regulation
  • promotes regulation that is proportionate to the risk and increases transparency
  • promotes industry engagement when designing and reviewing regulation.

Other recommendations include:

  • development of a regulatory performance framework based on regulatory best practice principles
  •  provision of training programs to improve the capabilities of staff working in regulatory agencies.

This report was provided to the Treasurer on 28 February 2017.

The report has subsequently been used by the Queensland Government to inform its response to the recommendations of the ‘Red Tape Reduction Advisory Council Report 2016.’ The Queensland Government’s first six-monthly report was released on 24 July 2017 and is available here.