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Efficient and effective administration

​As an agency operating for the public good we have an obligation to be efficient and effective. In response to the government’s regulatory reform agenda, we continuously look for ways of doing things more efficiently for us and our clients.

Strategies to achieve this objective:

  • Use risk-based and continuous improvement approaches to deploy agency resources to best effect.
  • Maintain and enhance the skills and expertise of our people and encourage innovation.

Operating environment

The Australian Government is undertaking several climate change policy related reviews. The outcomes of these reviews are focused on ensuring Australia’s 2030 target and Paris Agreement commitments are met. The outcomes of these reviews are expected to impact our operating environment and the schemes we administer over the life of this plan and beyond.

The Department of the Environment and Energy is leading the 2017 Review of Australia’s climate change policies and the Climate Change Authority is undertaking two legislated reviews that are specific to our schemes—the Emissions Reduction Fund and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme. We are supporting the Department and the Climate Change Authority through the provision of data, information and insights from the operation of our schemes.

Our contribution to these reviews includes:

  • active involvement in discussions, providing expertise on regulatory systems that is evidenced by data and based on experience
  • supporting development of forward policies to ensure they are robust and workable, and
  • continuing to assess our own capability and refine our in-house processes and regulatory postures, to ensure our systems remain flexible and well-prepared for the future.

We recognise the need to continue to realise efficiencies to enable us to effectively administer our existing schemes while remaining prepared to respond to the needs of the government that may result from these reviews.

In a broader context, our approach to scheme administration and interaction with our clients is influenced by the government’s regulatory reform agenda. Our philosophy has been to achieve high levels of voluntary compliance in the schemes we administer by making it easy for our clients to work with us to access their incentives or meet their obligations. Since 2015-16, the Regulator Performance Framework has required us to report on how we are performing when interacting with scheme participants, the community and individuals whilst carrying out our functions. We continue to strive to reduce red tape by improving our tools and enhancing our understanding of our clients. These initiatives complement our ability to monitor and manage compliance within our schemes.

In administering our schemes efficiently and effectively, our approach includes working collaboratively across government and with industry to improve the flow of information and data. A range of formal agreements, lawful disclosure arrangements and staff secondments underpin our partnerships and allow us to share expertise, gather intelligence, refer enforcement matters and reduce duplication.

In addition to continuing to streamline and improve our current operating processes to reduce the compliance burden on our clients, changes are also aimed at delivering efficiencies for the agency. This means being agile and responsive to new ways of doing things, being innovative and staying in touch with emerging technologies, business models and markets in a complex and evolving landscape.

Priorities

Our priorities over the life of the plan are to:

2017-2018

  • enhance data governance and management
  • actively contribute to the reviews undertaken by government ensuring proposed scheme changes are workable, and
  • realise efficiencies from scheme refinements, risk-based controls and process improvements.

2018-2019

  • refine processes and regulatory posture to reflect any changes to scheme or policy settings, and
  • continue to digitise business processes to reduce client burden and deliver operational efficiencies.

2019-2021

  • anticipate our approach to potential changes to national and international obligations that impact on our schemes.

Capability

We are always exploring ways to realise efficiencies and deploy our resources to best effect. We aim to optimise our workforce capability and capacity to ensure that we are agile in how we deploy our resources and are able to have the right staff in the right place at the right time with the right skill set. In an effort to reinvigorate the commitment of agency resources to our strategic priorities and purpose, we have established a Finance and Investment Committee to:

  • drive the long-term financial sustainability of the agency through identifying, understanding, considering and managing emerging external and internal challenges and opportunities
  • provide guidance and direction for the agency in relation to strategies for enabling proactive delivery of its strategic priorities within our financial means
  • oversee our 10 year capital management plan to enable an affordable, forward looking strategy which meets capital asset investment within a sustainable budgeting and planning framework
  • consider proposed savings initiatives to improve financial efficiency, and
  • oversee implementation, governance and monitoring of programs delivered through the ICT Strategy.

Our ICT Strategy 2017-19 has been developed to inform investment and guide the development of system and business process capability to support the agency in achieving its purpose. The ICT Strategy outlines a roadmap for ICT capability underpinning the delivery of our priorities over the coming years. Realising efficiency gains underpin the ICT Strategy to enable business processes and decision making to be streamlined and automated allowing agency resources to focus on higher value tasks.

We will also continue to enhance our data analytics capability through the development of tools and the expertise of staff to carry out analytics and to investigate and better understand clients, client behaviour and business processes. Increasing the use of external data from partner agencies will provide us with the opportunity to automate high volume and/or lower risk decisions and business processes to free up resources to manage the increasing scheme administrative workload, to reduce regulatory burden on our clients and to direct more resources to areas of higher risk. Automation tools and techniques provide the agency with the opportunity to significantly increase the efficiency and reliability of its business processes. In addition to realising resource efficiencies, benefits to be gained from the work include reducing manual data entry and hence the potential for human error, increasing the integrity of our data and assisting in managing the increasing data volumes.

Our ability to efficiently and effectively operate our schemes largely depends upon our success in detecting and responding to non-compliance. As outlined in our Compliance, Education and Enforcement Policy and Compliance Priorities 2017, we have a large suite of audit, monitoring and enforcement powers to identify and address non-compliance. In addition to developing our data analytics capabilities to enhance our ability to detect non-compliance, we are also supporting our staff to be better able to undertake their regulatory roles. Staff have undertaken our Regulatory Officer Development Program to provide them with the skills and tools to make sound decisions consistently within the broader context of the agency’s regulatory environment. We are continuing to invest in training programs to ensure our staff have the technical and regulatory expertise needed to undertake their roles.

Performance

To measure our performance against this objective we will consider our business operations, people services, investigations and enforcement activities and report annually against the following key performance indicators.

Effectiveness measures2017-182018-192019-21
Proportion of successful civil penalty proceedingsyesyesyes
Proportion of enforceable undertakings materially complied withyesyesyes
Positive assessments of the agency’s performance under the Regulator Performance Frameworkyesyesyes
Level of client satisfaction with staff interactionsyesnoyes
Efficiency and quality measures2017-182018-192019-21
Proportion of briefs accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutionsyesyesyes
No significant breaches of government administrative, legal and policy requirementsyesyesyes
Proportion of clients paid within agreed payment termsyesyesyes
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