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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, development of capabilities and measurement of our performance against each of our objectives.

Our understanding of our internal and external operating context also sets the direction of the agency more broadly by informing our regulatory approach, agency culture, governance arrangements, risk appetite and evaluation of our performance.

We are transparent and consistent in our regulatory approach

Our Compliance, Education and Enforcement Policy and Compliance Priorities 2018—19, along with other published regulatory postures, set out the approach we adopt towards the clients that we regulate. They establish the stance we take in our decision-making, how we arrive at that stance, and how we do so while demonstrating consistency.

Responsibility for complying with relevant requirements under legislation administered by the agency (including ensuring the accuracy of all information provided) rests with the individual person or organisation to whom the legislation applies. We always aim to make it easy for our clients to comply with their regulatory obligations and to 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 understanding of, and approach to, managing compliance is summarised by:

  • getting the settings right in policy and legislation
  • providing clients and stakeholders with guidance, instructions and tools to comply voluntarily, and working with them to develop these products
  • communicating our compliance expectations, such as those set annually and published in our compliance priorities
  • dealing with non-compliance appropriately, and
  • where possible, ensuring a return to compliance or scheme exit.

A vibrant agency culture that supports, develops and empowers staff underpins our performance

Our objectives speak to those things which are critical to the Clean Energy Regulator maintaining its reputation among its clients and across government as an effective and efficient regulator.

Internally we want to continue to ensure that the culture embodies a supportive, collaborative, developmental approach that delivers staff wellbeing and strong performance. In addition to upholding the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, we are committed to the following:

  • Delivering outcomes—our people care about delivering agency objectives because our purpose matters.
  • Trust and accountability—our people trust each other because we are all accountable for our actions.
  • Role clarity—our people know who does what because role clarity is vital for productive collaboration.
  • Active development—our people actively develop themselves and others because lifting capability makes a difference.

Robust governance arrangements ensure that our decisions and actions are upheld when subjected to external scrutiny

The agency’s governance framework describes the legislative and policy obligations for which we are accountable, and how we work within the agency and with others to ensure that these accountabilities are met. In addition, governance and oversight is supported in the agency through mechanisms such as delegations, policies and standard operating procedures.

Internal management assurance in relation to governance and internal control settings is supplemented through the independent assurance provided by the agency’s Audit Committee. The internal audit program is aligned to the agency’s strategic risks.

As a non-corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, we are subject to external scrutiny through the conduct of external audits by the Australian National Audit Office, appeals made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the provision of regular reporting to Parliament and the Minister for the Environment and Energy, and other external reviews.

Our approach to risk is integral to effectively administering legislation within available resources

The agency applies a risk-based approach to decision-making. 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 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 our risk appetite and risk management framework. The framework articulates a matrix calibrated to the agency’s operating environment. In addition to the matrix, a range of risk education and training programs support all staff in understanding how their daily work contributes to our agency’s ability to mitigate risk and maximise opportunities.

Our aim is to maximise the return on investment against our purpose, by managing material risks and leveraging agency knowledge and evidence to inform decisions, processes and client engagement. Increasingly we are working collaboratively with other agencies to expand our understanding of risk and build compliance capability, as well has having plans and activities that reduce the level of residual risks.

To further support our risk-based culture, the agency’s Chief Risk Officer provides assurance on risk management within the agency. We anticipate that improved understanding of agency risks and the effectiveness of controls in changing behaviour will improve over time. External subject matter experts will also be engaged to validate the quality of risk information and data.

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

  • we are not an effective regulator
  • we cannot free resources, or lack critical capability, to meet changing demands
  • uncertainty impedes us from achieving our purpose, and
  • our role is misunderstood with substantial consequences.

We systematically monitor, assess and report our performance to understand our effectiveness in achieving our purpose

We are committed to being transparent and accountable for the regulatory functions that we undertake on behalf of the Government. Agency performance in achieving our purpose is measured holistically through the agency’s Key Performance Indicator Framework. The framework provides a structure around which we can monitor and report on performance against each of our objectives through the core functions we undertake.

In reporting on our Key Performance Indicators, a mix of quantitative and qualitative information is gathered from a range of sources as a means of telling a more complete performance story. For example, transactional activities, such as delivery of abatement, are measured in terms of quantitative data, while client experience is measured through qualitative feedback from annual client surveys.

We actively monitor and document our performance throughout the year, providing assurance to the Regulator, Executive and the Audit Committee. Results against the Key Performance Indicators are formally reported through annual performance statements in our annual reports.

The Key Performance Indicator Framework is reviewed and updated with each planning cycle to ensure that our performance indicators can best capture agency performance based on improvements to our reporting maturity and changes in the agency’s operational environment. The Key Performance Indicators for 2018—19 are provided against each of the objectives in this Corporate Plan.

In addition to measuring our performance in achieving our purpose, we undertake an annual self-assessment under the Regulator Performance Framework. The Regulator Performance Framework enables Commonwealth regulators to assess their performance 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.

In the interests of continuous improvement we welcome your feedback on this plan and its contents

Please provide any questions or comments to:
Manager—Planning, Performance and Parliamentary
Clean Energy Regulator
GPO Box 621
Canberra ACT 2601

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