We encourage voluntary compliance with legislative requirements by assisting liable entities to understand their obligations and rights.
The climate change laws that we administer provide us with powers to investigate and enforce the legislation where necessary.
Liable entities have general obligations to keep records about their liability and their compliance with the clean energy legislation.
We have powers to obtain information, including your records, to ensure compliance with the carbon pricing mechanism. These include powers, which can be used where necessary, to:
- require production of information and documents, and
- inspect premises.
Our inspection powers may only be used with the consent of the occupier or under a warrant issued by a magistrate.
Enforcement powers and civil and criminal sanctions
Enforcement powers range from administrative penalties and infringement notices to substantial civil penalties and criminal sanctions for dishonest or fraudulent behaviour. They are:
- late payment penalties
- court orders to relinquish carbon units
- enforceable undertakings
- infringement notices
- court imposed civil penalties and criminal sanctions
- provisions concerning liability of executive officers of bodies corporate, and
- anti-avoidance provisions.
National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) audit powers
The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act) provides for greenhouse and energy audits of people who must report under the NGER Act.
The purpose of greenhouse and energy audits is to determine the extent to which reporters have, or have not, complied with the requirements of the NGER Act and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008.
Sections 73 and 74 of the NGER Act define when we may initiate a greenhouse and energy audit and allow for the appointment of registered greenhouse and energy auditors to undertake the audits.
Under s74AA of the NGER Act, it is mandatory for liable entities with emissions numbers above 125 000 need to also submit a reasonable assurance audit report.