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Statement of Intent of the Clean Energy Regulator

This Statement of Intent has been prepared in response to the Australian Government's Statement of Expectations of 13 September 2012 and has been endorsed by the Members of the Clean Energy Regulator for presentation to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Honourable Greg Combet AM MP. The Statement of Intent addresses each section within the Statement of Expectations and culminates by discussing the five specific responsibilities of the Clean Energy Regulator. These five elements form the foundation of the Clean Energy Regulator's corporate plan, which will be finalised and presented before 1 April 2013.

The role and responsibilities of the Clean Energy Regulator

The Clean Energy Regulator undertakes a broad range of functions to facilitate participation in and ensure the integrity of:

  • Australia's carbon pricing mechanism, which came into effect on 1 July 2012, and
  • previously established mechanisms for monitoring and strengthening Australia's response to climate change, namely the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units, the Carbon Farming Initiative, and the Renewable Energy Target.

The Clean Energy Regulator's roles include educating clients, determining entitlements and liabilities, accrediting auditors, managing access to registries and publishing information. The Clean Energy Regulator works in partnership with other agencies, particularly when exercising compliance and enforcement functions.

The Clean Energy Regulator will continue to be responsive to the Government and to the Parliament. Systems and processes have been developed and implemented to ensure that, in fulfilling its statutory functions, the Clean Energy Regulator continues to meet its obligations as a Commonwealth entity under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (the FMA Act).

The Clean Energy Regulator is part of the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio. To play its part effectively, the Clean Energy Regulator will continue to work co-operatively with the portfolio Department and the offices of the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary as well as other agencies that are contributing to the Government's plan for a clean energy future.

The Clean Energy Regulator has adopted a continuous improvement approach to its operations. As a new Agency, the Clean Energy Regulator continues to implement fit for purpose governance and performance systems and frameworks that support its roles and functions. The Clean Energy Regulator embraces the values and code of conduct of the Australian Public Service through its performance management approach and the culture of performance that it fosters.

Providing information and education on the carbon pricing mechanism, Renewable Energy Target, National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and Carbon Farming Initiative is one of the central roles and responsibilities of the Clean Energy Regulator. Considerable effort and resources are directed into engagement with clients (namely, participants in the schemes which we administer) and other stakeholders, to seek their input as new systems and processes are developed. The Clean Energy Regulator is working closely with clients to put into practice the principles that the Regulator:

  • provides on-time service
  • takes a whole of client approach
  • is professional
  • is knowledgeable and decisive
  • communicates proactively, and
  • delivers continuous improvement.

The Clean Energy Regulator works with other international and national regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. The Clean Energy Regulator has developed memoranda of understanding with relevant state and territory government and Australian Government agencies, in relation to information exchange, to assist the agencies to meet their regulatory responsibilities in line with the requirements of the relevant legislation.

Relationships between the Clean Energy Regulator and the Government

The Clean Energy Regulator is an independent statutory decision maker but is nevertheless accountable to the Government and to the Parliament for its use of resources in the performance of its functions, and the way in which it performs those functions.

The Clean Energy Regulator will report regularly to enable the Government to assess the Agency's performance against agreed performance indicators. This includes providing to the Minister annual reports under section 40 of the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011 and under section 105 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 for tabling in the Parliament. The Clean Energy Regulator's annual report will be prepared in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports for Departments, Executive Agencies and FMA Act Bodies approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.

Consistent with section 39 of the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011, the Clean Energy Regulator will also submit to the Minister a Corporate Plan which covers a three year period. The Chief Executive Officer will report against the corporate plan and inform the Minister of any changes to the plan or significant matters that may impact on the achievement of the objectives contained within.

The effective performance of the Clean Energy Regulator will be underpinned by the establishment of collaborative relationships across government. The Clean Energy Regulator works closely with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (the Department), which is the principal advisor to the Government on climate change policy. This is done through a formal executive-level co-ordination committee as well as frequent meetings and information exchange at all levels on current and emerging issues.

In particular, the Clean Energy Regulator will provide advice and input into any further policy development relevant to the legislation which it administers. The Clean Energy Regulator will work collaboratively with the Department to ensure a shared understanding and appropriate level of awareness of the Agency's operations and priorities. The Clean Energy Regulator also relies on the Department for the provision of certain corporate services through a shared services agreement.

The Clean Energy Regulator will inform the Portfolio Secretary of significant briefings, reports, media releases and correspondence, and ensure that this information is provided in parallel with information submitted to the Minister. In addition, the Clean Energy Regulator will contribute to the development of formal government submissions relating to its activities and resources, which will be submitted and coordinated by the Department.

The Clean Energy Regulator will work closely with the Department to draw on practical experience and expertise to inform the development of clean energy policy. Advice and support will also be provided to the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary, to assist the administration of both clean energy policy and programs.

The Clean Energy Regulator has a specific responsibility to provide timely and accurate advice to support the annual setting of the Small-scale Technology Percentage and Renewable Power Percentage. The Small-scale Technology Percentage sets the rate of liability for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and will be set annually to reflect demand for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). Section 40B of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 requires the Regulator to publish the non-binding Small-scale Technology Percentage estimate for the next two years before 31 March each year. The Small-scale Technology Percentage will be set annually after considering estimated STCs that will be created in a year along with the estimated amount of electricity acquired by liable entities and any shortfall or excess of STCs created in previous years. Setting a correct Small-scale Technology Percentage helps liquidity in the STC market by ensuring STCs created in the year are surrendered and removed from the market.

Operational issues

The Clean Energy Regulator is a critical element in the implementation and administration of a major economic reform and is responsible for the credible regulation of the primary carbon market, including the establishment and security of a new class of property rights. This means that regulatory, business and assurance models must be of the highest standards.

Corporate governance

The Clean Energy Regulator governance framework sets out the relationships, structure, systems and processes that underpin the operations of the Agency. As part of a performance culture, the Clean Energy Regulator promotes accountability in which officers act with integrity, trust and respect. The governance arrangements are reflected in the business planning framework, audit and assurance activities, risk management, fraud prevention and control, the Chief Executive's Instructions, policies and guidelines and in the performance management approach. The Clean Energy Regulator will continue to review and progress its governance arrangements to ensure that it maintains its currency, reflecting the Government's policies and priorities and contemporary best practice.

The Clean Energy Regulator will report its performance to the Minister through a number of mechanisms, including the annual report which outlines performance against the key performance indicators published in the portfolio budget statement, the corporate plan and monthly performance reporting.

Financial management

The Clean Energy Regulator will continue developing its capabilities and procedures to manage its financial affairs in accordance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, along with other relevant legislation and financial policies. The Clean Energy Regulator acknowledges the requirement to manage Commonwealth resources in an efficient, effective, ethical and economical manner, ensuring cost effective outcomes and the financial sustainability of the Agency.

Access to information

In line with the principles of accountability and transparency, the Clean Energy Regulator will make available significant corporate documents, including the Statement of Expectations, Statement of Intent and annual reports, on our website. Other material published on the website includes technical guidance and advice, news and updates, contact details and scheme data such as the Liable Entities Public Information Database and the non-binding estimates of the Renewable Power Percentage and the Small-scale Technology Percentage for forward years.

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