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Our approach

The previous section outlined how the opportunities and challenges presented by our operating environment will be addressed to achieve our purpose-through the expression of our priorities, the development of capabilities and the measurement of our performance against each of our objectives. Our understanding of the operating context also sets the direction of the agency more broadly informing our regulatory posture, risk appetite, performance reporting, investment decisions and resource allocation.

Our workforce

The investment we make in the capabilities and skills of our staff and in embedding the desired agency culture ensures that we are able to deliver regulatory oversight that reflects our approach rather than mechanically administering our schemes. We are conscious of the need to be able to deploy staff and knowledge flexibly across the agency as needed. We increasingly adopt the use of virtual teams that draw together the required expertise for specific tasks, to address emerging risks and to test thinking on particular design choices.

As we continue to build our workforce for the future we will draw on our strengths from our existing reputation. Our approach to developing our workforce will ensure that it addresses the long-term business needs and capabilities of the agency and consider the areas of service delivery, management capability, workforce capability and the health and wellbeing our staff and their workplace.

Our compliance approach

Our Compliance, Education and Enforcement Policy and our 2017 Compliance Priorities publicly outline our stance on non-compliance with our schemes.

Responsibility for complying with relevant requirements under the legislation rests with the individual person or organisation that participates in our schemes. We always aim to make it easy for our clients to comply with their regulatory obligations and work in partnership with us. A holistic approach to compliance management in the agency enables the early detection of scheme fraud and allows us to effectively address non-compliance.

We target activities in areas of high risk to the agency, but also aim to increase voluntary compliance through early intervention and education. We are willing to use all of the powers that are available to us to identify and respond to non-compliance. Our response is proportionate to the risks posed by non-compliance and takes into account the behaviour and motivation of the relevant party.

We publish details of enforcement actions taken when clients do not comply with their obligations, demonstrating to our clients that we will take enforcement action in appropriate circumstances and providing an added incentive for our clients to voluntarily comply.

Our risk oversight

The agency applies a risk-based approach to decision-making. As a regulator our approach to risk is integral to effectively administering legislation within the available resources. Our risk appetite articulates the level of risk we are willing to accept to achieve agency objectives and meet statutory obligations.

Identifying and managing risks to our objectives enables us to:

  • streamline regulatory processes across and within the schemes we administer
  • target resources towards areas of highest risk, and
  • deliver the specific objectives of relevant legislation effectively and efficiently.

The agency has a risk-based culture that is underpinned by a risk management framework. The framework articulates a matrix calibrated to the agency's operating environment. In addition to the matrix, there is a range of risk education and training programs that supports all staff in understanding how their daily work contributes to our agency's ability to mitigate risk and maximise opportunities. The aim is to maximise the return on investment against our purpose, by managing material risks, leveraging agency knowledge and evidence to inform decisions, processes and client engagement. Increasingly we are working collaboratively with other portfolio agencies to expand our understanding of risk and build compliance capability.

To further support the risk-based culture, the agency appointed a Chief Risk Officer to provide assurance on risk management within the agency. Over time we anticipate an improved understanding of agency risks and the effectiveness of controls in changing behaviour. External subject matter experts will also be engaged to validate the quality of risk information and data.

Our strategic risks

Our strategic risks articulate the high level risks to achieving our objectives and are:

  • We cannot free resources or lack critical capability to meet core objectives.
  • Uncertainty impedes us from achieving our purpose.
  • Our role is misunderstood or changes with substantial consequences.
  • We are not an effective regulator.

Our strategic risks are informed from environmental scanning of our operating environment. These strategic risks were updated by the Regulator in 2017. The risks, their ratings and the delivery of treatments are reviewed quarterly by agency executive staff through our internal performance reporting process.

Strategic risksCurrent Risk RatingTarget Risk Rating
We cannot free resources, or lack critical capability to meet core objectivesMediumLow
Uncertainty impedes us from achieving our purposeMediumMedium
Our role is misunderstood or changes with substantial consequencesMediumMedium
We are not an effective regulatorMediumlow

Our performance

As a regulator we are committed to being transparent and accountable for the regulatory functions we undertake on behalf of government. We have developed a Key Performance Indicator Framework to measure our achievements against our objectives and in achieving our purpose. We have continued to develop our Key Performance Indicator Framework with each planning cycle ensuring our performance indicators are embedded in all levels of the agency's strategic and operational planning process.

The Key Performance Indicator Framework has been designed to reflect the agency's core functions as a regulator and is used to assess our effectiveness and the efficiency and quality of these functions. Individually, the key performance indicators demonstrate how discrete functions of the agency have performed; collectively, they demonstrate how the agency has met its objectives and achieved its purpose.

In measuring our performance we use a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures, for example, we seek feedback from our clients through a range of feedback channels, including a biennial client survey. Performance against the key performance indicators will be reported annually over the life of the Corporate Plan through our annual performance statements in annual reports. Throughout the year we actively monitor our performance as part of our performance reporting framework, providing assurance to the Regulator, Executive staff and the Clean Energy Regulator Audit Committee on a regular basis.

In addition to measuring agency performance in achieving our purpose, we also undertake an annual assessment to report on our performance under the Regulator Performance Framework. The Regulator Performance Framework has been established to assess the performance of Commonwealth regulators when interacting with business, the community and individuals and to evaluate how well they have reduced regulatory burden and increased transparency in their operations. The agency's self-assessment report against the framework's six performance criteria is made available on our website by 31 December each year.

Our Key Performance Indicators showing Planning and Reporting.

Conclusion

The publication of the Corporate Plan is the culmination of the agency's strategic and operational business planning process. The process entails strategic planning discussions among Regulator members and Executive staff as well as subsequent discussions across the agency to refine and understand how the agency's purpose, objectives and priorities are operationalised and embedded into the day-to-day work of the agency. As our central planning document, the Corporate Plan informs the development of other operational frameworks and strategies in the agency, such as our ICT Strategy, Data and Reporting Strategy, Key Performance Indicator Framework, Governance Framework and Workforce Plan as well as decisions related to resourcing, risk and investment.

I would like thank those who contributed to the development of this Corporate Plan. We welcome feedback on the Corporate Plan to continue to develop our strategic planning approach.

Feedback can be provided to: enquiries@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au.

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