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About Better Regulation Victoria

Providing independent advice to the Government on improving Victoria’s regulatory performance.

What we do

Better Regulation Victoria (BRV) works with the Victorian Government and community to support the analysis, design and implementation of best-practice regulation.

We support Anna Cronin in her dual roles as Commissioner for Better Regulation and Red Tape Commissioner, to:

  • The Commissioner and BRV work closely with Departments and agencies which are undertaking impact assessments, including Regulatory Impact Statements (RISs) and Legislative Impact Assessments (LIAs).

    We engage with the relevant organisation at the beginning of the assessment and offer support throughout the process. This helps to ensure that advice to the Government is clear, comprehensive, logical, draws on relevant evidence, is transparent about any assumptions made, and proportionate to the expected impacts.

    These assessments are based on the requirements of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994External Link and the Victorian Guide to Regulation.

  • BRV provides regular training courses on the preparation of impact assessments for departmental and agency staff (including problem definition, option development and assessment techniques).

    BRV also runs workshops on specific impact assessments for relevant staff to support them as they consider particular complex issues. We provide support and advice on specific issues at the request of Departments and regulators.

  • We liaise with the business community and not-for-profit organisations across Victoria to identify ways to reduce regulatory burden or overlap, and to identify possible improvements.

  • The Commissioner chairs and convenes the Regulators' Forum - a regular meeting which brings together the leaders of Victoria’s largest regulators and relevant departmental staff.

    The Forum is an important vehicle through which best practice can be shared. Guest speakers of interest to regulators are regularly invited to attend.

  • The Victorian Government supports competitive neutrality between government-owned and private enterprises providing the same service. BRV’s role is to undertake competitive neutrality investigations under the oversight and direction of the Commissioner.

    Where a complaint is made, the Commissioner decides whether an investigation is necessary. If it is, the Commissioner completes the investigation and advises the government-owned business of any actions needed to ensure compliance with the Competitive Neutrality Policy.

  • From time to time, the Treasurer or Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance request specific advice from the Commissioner on regulatory issues or other matters.

More detail about the Commissioner's responsibilities is available in the Commissioner's instrument of appointment, made under Section 88 of the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic)External Link .

How we work with you

As public servants, we are committed to the Victorian Public Service values of responsiveness, integrity, impartiality, accountability, respect, leadership and human rights.

In undertaking our role we:

  • We support Victoria’s regulators to be stewards of an effective and efficient regulatory system.

    Through our work, we encourage analysis, design and implementation that follows best-practice regulatory principles. We support departments and agencies to deliver continuous improvements to underpin a modern and effective regulatory system for Victoria.

  • We will respond effectively and efficiently to issues raised by citizens, businesses and the not-for-profit sector regarding the application of regulation in Victoria.

  • We explain the reasons for our actions and advice, and follow through on our commitments.

    Our information and advice are clear and accessible, and we speak and write “plain English”.

  • On the basis of the Government’s policy objectives, we provide impartial and evidence-based advice about feasible options to address your issues.

  • We work with you to help deliver your goals, and respect the way you want to work with us.

    We are flecible and can adapt our approach to meet your needs. We provide feedback in the most useful way for you.

  • We want our work, underpinned by our engagement with you, to get better over time.

    We encourage your feedback on what went well and what could have been done better.

    We will use this to continuously review and update our processes and these commitments.

Regulatory Scrutiny - How we work with Victoria's regulators

Under the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994External Link and the Cabinet Handbook, the Commissioner for Better Regulation independently reviews the Regulatory Impact Statements (RISs) and Legislative Impact Assessments (LIAs) prepared to support regulatory and legislative proposals to determine whether they are "adequate".

An “adequate” RIS or LIA is one prepared in accordance with the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994External Link and its Guidelines, as well as the Victorian Guide to Regulation. It should be logical, draw on relevant evidence, be transparent about any assumptions made, and be proportionate to a proposal’s expected effects.

BRV is your help desk to support you to prepare best-practice RISs and LIAs, as well as other impact assessments. We’re always happy to discuss the appropriate approach for your project, but we find these work best when:

  • Early engagement with BRV makes a big difference to the success and value of the RIS and LIA processes, by integrating it into your policy development.

    We encourage you to contact us when you think a RIS or LIA may be required. We can help determine whether a RIS or LIA is necessary, explain the impact assessment framework and how you might apply it to your regulatory or legislative proposal.

  • We will discuss and agree on key issues early in the process, including indicative timelines for key milestones (we will advise you whether we think these are feasible).

    We will also discuss the appropriate structure and methodology for your impact assessment, and agree on the way in which feedback is provided.

  • Regular engagement helps make the process of preparing an impact assessment more effective and efficient, so that “adequacy” issues can be identified and addressed early. This works best when both our teams work iteratively and maintain close engagement throughout your impact assessment.

    We encourage you to provide us with early (and partial) drafts of your impact assessment.

  • We review your impact assessment for “adequacy” as described in the Victorian Guide to Regulation, while respecting your ownership of your document.

    We will provide consistent advice, in “plain English”, and this advice will be proportionate to the issues and the proposal’s impacts.

  • We understand that projects don't go exactly to plan.

    By following the steps above and developing a shared understanding of your RIS or LIA project, we will be able to adapt quickly when you advise us of changes.

Meet the Commissioner

Anna Cronin is Victoria's first Commissioner for Better Regulation, appointed by the Victorian Government in 2015. She was given the additional role of Red Tape Commissioner in 2018. Anna has worked in economist, executive and leadership roles in Commonwealth and State governments.

Anna graduated from the Australian National University with an economics degree and started her career as an economist in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and (what is now) the Productivity Commission. She has been closely involved in policy development for 25 years from diverse perspectives, including as CEO of the National Farmers’ Federation, as a senior bureaucrat in the Western Australian Government's State Development Department and as Chief of Staff in the Victorian Government.

Anna has considerable experience in regulatory issues across many policy areas, including in agricultural and mining regulatory and approvals frameworks. She has also held a number of board positions in the government and not for profit sectors. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne. She was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for services to rural leadership.

Meet the Director

Don Parker

Don Parker has had extensive policy experience including in the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Northern Territory Government in executive roles in both central agencies and line departments and as Principal Economic Adviser to an NT Chief Minister, before joining the Department of Treasury and Finance in Melbourne in 2006.

Since then, Don has been involved in advising on economic policy, macroeconomic forecasting, and regulation of the state’s public financial enterprises. Don has been applying his broad policy nous and judgment in BRV since early-2017.

Meet the Team

BRV comprises the Regulatory Scrutiny Team and Red Tape Unit. Staff include:

Regulatory Scrutiny Team

Dominic Crowley

Dominic Crowley
Senior Economist

Max Keldoulis

Max Keldoulis
Senior Economist

Red Tape Unit

Jason Knight

Jason Knight
Manager

Reviewed 14 November 2022

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