We want our clients to be informed, capable and willing to comply. To be effective, we need to attract and retain clients that meet the requirements of our voluntary schemes and can benefit from our schemes' incentives. We also need to encourage compliance by assisting clients that have mandatory obligations under the schemes.
Strategies to achieve this objective:
Over the life of this plan, the energy market is expected to continue to rapidly change with a renewed focus on balancing energy security, affordability and carbon emissions reductions. Key milestones will be passed in 2020 for Australia's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and for the Renewable Energy Target. The Emissions Reduction Fund and the safeguard mechanism will continue to deliver carbon abatement.
To provide clients and investors with assurance and certainty throughout these periods of change, we will continue to be considered, consistent and transparent in our dealings with them. In line with this approach, we published our compliance priorities in 2017 to increase our transparency and accountability to our clients and the public. The publication of the
Compliance Priorities 2017 details our commitment to simplifying how our clients can comply with their regulatory obligations to achieve higher levels of voluntary compliance which contributes to the success of our schemes, the integrity of the market and creates more sustainable economic outcomes. As our clients and schemes morph and evolve over the coming years, we also expect to be responsive in shifting our areas of focus and our approach to compliance to remain proactive and effective in detecting and addressing non-compliance. We are prepared to anticipate, identify, analyse and respond to potential non-compliance and use the range of engagement, education, compliance and enforcement tools at our disposal.
In 2016-17, the agency was able to successfully work with its clients to maintain a high compliance rate across its schemes despite challenges derived from market forces and client behaviour during the course of the year. Our approach is to ensure continual engagement with our clients on matters as they emerge. This is only possible due to the strong, trusted relationships we have previously established with our clients.
Our priorities over the life of the plan are to:
We want our clients to be more self-reliant in engaging with us and our schemes. To do this we need to provide the tools, information and data that will equip our clients to competently and successfully participate in and comply with our schemes. This approach will benefit both us and our clients as they will increasingly be able to access and use online tools with prepopulated information, a more consistent online experience across all our schemes and a streamlined report submission and data validation process while allowing us to be more proactive in the way we manage risk. Over time, our approach is to move away from resource-intensive, manual processes to realise the benefits of undertaking smarter, more automated business processing-namely more targeted, efficient compliance management and agency operations.
To evaluate our approach to client engagement and our service standards we actively seek feedback from our clients. This informs the strategy we take in enhancing the capability of our staff. We have a number of ongoing sources of feedback including our client survey which provides our client perceptions about our staff performance and communications channels. We continue to invest in our workforce to ensure that we are in the best position to meet the needs of our clients and to deliver our functions as a regulator. We will continue to build on our culture, focusing on embedding the behaviours that are needed to perform our regulatory role, as we identify and build the workforce capabilities we will require to meet the future needs of the agency.
Our 2017 compliance priorities set a clear compliance direction for the agency. We are implementing a whole-of-agency approach to compliance through the introduction of a strategic compliance facilitation role. The role will look across the end-to-end processes within and across schemes to identify opportunities for improvements. This includes being more consistent in managing the effectiveness of scheme controls, voluntary compliance, deterrence, and analysing potential trends of non-compliance. We will also look to better harness the data we have about our clients, with a focus on comparing data across our schemes, to identify and address non-compliance early. Moving forward using advanced data analytical techniques will uncover patterns and anomalies in the reported data and allow for the correction of reporting errors.
To measure our performance against this objective we will consider our client engagement and registration and accreditation functions to report annually against the following key performance indicators.
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