Principles for Internal Regulation

Five principles for internal regulation

The primary recommendation of the Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation (The Review) is to develop all regulation, within and across entities, against five Principles for Internal Regulation.

These require regulation to be:

  • the minimum needed to achieve whole-of-government or entity outcomes
  • proportional to the risks to be managed and supportive of a risk-based approach
  • coherent across government and not duplicative
  • designed in consultation with stakeholders for clarity and simplicity in application, and
  • reviewed periodically to test relevance and impact.

The main themes of the Review’s 134 recommendations are:

  • over regulation
  • inefficient regulation
  • unclear and inaccessible regulations and guidance
  • a culture of risk aversion, and
  • considering impacts on smaller entities

The Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation (Belcher Red Tape Review)

The independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation was released on 5 November 2015.

The review was independently conducted by Ms Barbara Belcher and presented to the Secretaries Committee on Transformation and Secretaries Board in September and October 2015. The Secretaries endorsed the report, noting that some recommendations required consideration by Government. While the review’s recommendations are directed predominantly at Finance, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Australian Public Service Commission, and the Attorney-General’s Department, there are recommendations for all regulators and entities to consider.

The recommendations are to:

  • identify regulations that can be ceased or modified
  • access the need for, and impact of, regulations against a set of common principles
  • recommend minimum levels of regulation required for entities to meet the needs of government and the public, and
  • assess the culture of departments and selected entities with regards to the creation and removal of self-imposed requirements; identify characteristics and examples of good culture and practice, and make recommendations for structural and cultural improvements.