This Memorandum advises Ministers and Directors General of the implementation of the Government’s election commitments to impose a ‘one on, two off’ requirement for new legislation and introduce a target to reduce regulatory costs for business and the community by 20 per cent by June 2015.
‘One on, two off’ policy
Under the ‘one on, two off’ policy, each calendar year the Government will aim to ensure that:
- the number of principal legislative instruments (i.e. principal Acts and principal Regulations) repealed is at least twice the number of new principal legislative instruments introduced (a ‘numeric test’); and
- the regulatory burden imposed by new principal legislative instruments within each portfolio is less than the regulatory burden removed by the repeal of principal legislative instruments from the same portfolio (a ‘regulatory burden constraint’).
All proposals for new principal legislation submitted to Cabinet or the Executive Council will be required to comply with the policy at a portfolio level. For each new piece of principal legislation proposed, Ministers must demonstrate that at least two other pieces of principal legislation have been repealed or are proposed to be repealed.
New principal legislation should be offset by repealed principal legislation from the same portfolio where possible. If this is not possible, offsets from another portfolio within the same departmental cluster may be submitted with agreement from the relevant Minister. In the event such agreement cannot be reached, the Better Regulation Office has the power to transfer regulatory repeals between portfolios within a cluster.
Ministers are encouraged to introduce repeals early. These can be ‘banked’ and used to offset future legislative proposals.
Where legislative changes are urgently required, Ministers are able to seek approval from the Premier to introduce new principal legislation and make a commitment to find suitable offsetting repeals.
Unless the Premier approves otherwise, all proposed new principal legislation that may result in a change in regulatory burden must include a quantification of any increases (costs) or reductions (benefits) before such proposals can be considered by Cabinet or the Executive Council. The costs and benefits of repealed principal legislation should also be fully quantified. Legislation relating to criminal enforcement is exempt from these quantification requirements.
Re-makes of existing principal legislation that do not include significant changes are exempt from the requirements of the ‘one on, two off’ policy. Exemptions also apply for appropriation Acts and for legislation required as a result of the introduction of national regulatory reforms.
The ‘one on, two off’ policy commenced on 4 April 2011.
Red tape reduction target
The Government is committed to reducing regulatory costs for business and the community by 20 per cent by 30 June 2015, which has been estimated as requiring reductions in regulatory burden of $750 million in annual terms by June 2015. The target took effect on 1 September 2011.
The target is a measure of savings from implemented and announced red tape reduction initiatives. Both regulatory and non-regulatory (administrative) reforms will be counted towards the target.
To ensure delivery of the target, all Directors General will be required to meet individual red tape reduction targets set by the Premier. Director General performance contracts will be revised to include meeting and reporting on the targets.
All red tape reduction reforms that are submitted to Cabinet or the Executive Council must be fully quantified.
Directors General are required to report in writing annually to the Better Regulation Office on compliance with the ‘one on, two off’ policy and progress against the red tape reduction target. The report covering the period to 31 December of each year will need to identify:
- the number of, and quantification of the associated regulatory burden imposed by, principal legislative instruments made and repealed in the calendar year;
- red tape reduction initiatives announced or implemented within their departmental cluster in the calendar year, including quantification of the dollar value savings to business and the community; and
- plans to cut red tape over the next 12 months, including estimates of expected cost savings of reforms.
The reports must be submitted to the Better Regulation Office by 15 February of the following year, starting in 2012. Claimed red tape reductions will be subject to independent verification and will be published in the Better Regulation Office’s Annual Update.
Directors General should ensure that officers responsible for policy development within their cluster are familiar with these requirements.
These obligations complement the better regulation requirements outlined in the Guide to Better Regulation. Departments and agencies must continue to demonstrate that new and amending regulatory proposals submitted for consideration by Cabinet or the Executive Council meet the seven better regulation principles, consistent with Premier’s Memorandum 2009-20.
The Better Regulation Office can be contacted directly for assistance. It is recommended that departments contact the Better Regulation Office early in the process of developing regulatory proposals. Consultation with the Better Regulation Office will help ensure that proposals are not delayed before they can proceed to Cabinet or the Executive Council.
The Better Regulation Office’s contact details are:
Barry O’Farrell MP
Issued: Better Regulation Office, Department of Premier and Cabinet
Contact: Loris Strappazzon, Director
Telephone no: 9228 5414 Facsimile: 9228 4408
Date: 1 February 2012
This Memorandum supersedes Premier’s Memorandum 2010-02.