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Response to PLSA Statement of Expectations 2020-22

The Authority's response to its Ministerial Statement of Expectations 2020-22.

Tim Pallas MP
Minister for Industrial Relations
1 Treasury Place
Melbourne VIC 3002

Dear Minister,

RE: STATEMENT OF EXPECTATIONS FOR THE PORTABLE LONG SERVICE AUTHORITY

Thank-you for your letter to me dated 7 July 2020 providing your Statement of Expectations (your Statement) for the Portable Long Service Benefits Authority (PLSA) for the 2020-22 financial years. I have read your expectations for the PLSA and as the Authority’s Accountable Officer, I will ensure that the PLSA will endeavour to meet these expectations wherever possible and more generally, as a Regulator, to contribute to the Government’s program to reduce red tape and promote greater efficiency and effectiveness in the administration and enforcement of regulation.

In order to achieve this, we will undertake appropriate projects and activities to achieve the identified outcomes set out in your Statement. Specifically, these include the following responses to the initiatives that you have identified:

Timeliness

The PLSA will continue to explore ways to ensure that all processes are timely, efficient and effective through:

  • ensuring forms are completed, simple and accessible
  • being transparent on the timing of regulatory processes
  • accounting for information requests on a timely basis
  • simplifying systems to enable businesses to submit online data and check on the status of applications easily

To achieve this expectation, the PLSA will:

  • enhance existing technology
  • explore options to optimise online presence, useability and back office efficiency
  • ensure information and technology portals for the public are accessible with user friendly online processes and forms
  • ensure information and technology portals clearly reflect employer registration statuses
  • provide high quality services that are consistently delivered within prescribed timeframes
  • maintain processes to ensure investigation and resolution of complaints are timely
  • provide stakeholders with key information that is accurate and on a timely basis

Risk-based strategies

The PLSA will employ risk-based approaches to regulatory operations including:

  • measuring and evaluating outcomes based on data
  • bringing risk maturity to PLSA’s overall risk assessment
  • requesting data from relevant third or related parties taking into consideration PLSA’s risk appetite
  • adopting better practice risk-based approaches to ensuring compliance and enforcement

To achieve this expectation, the PLSA will:

  • implement effective corporate planning processes, performance management and financial management frameworks to ensure public accountability and transparency of the Authority’s performance
  • ensure appropriate governance oversight by the Authority’s Audit and Risk Committee
  • develop a risk culture where all staff have a role to play in risk management
  • consider risk management as part of the strategic decision-making process
  • facilitate an effective internal control and riskbased internal audit program
  • ensure data requested from employers is justified to support effective regulation
  • ensure that all key compliance decisions adequately consider relevant risk-based factors

The PLSA will provide easy-to-understand, effective and accessible compliance information through:

  • ensuring advice is accessible, user friendly, accurate and comprehensive
  • ensuring advice is timely, regularly reviewed and updated
  • monitoring stakeholder awareness and understanding of compliance processes
  • ensuring administration and enforcement is accompanied by relevant support evidence
  • providing clarity about the status and objectives of compliance-related advice

To achieve this expectation, the PLSA will:

  • undertake regular and pro-active educational activities and outreach programs
  • produce easy-to-use resources and factsheets that are accessible for businesses
  • ensure stakeholders are updated with new information and developments
  • implement targeted advertising aimed at the covered industries
  • ensure website information complies with accessibility requirements

Accountability and transparency

The PLSA will be accountable and transparent in its operations through:

  • operating transparent approaches to administering and enforcing regulations
  • collecting and publishing data to measure operational performance
  • ensuring that government priorities are addressed as part of PLSA’s performance reporting

To achieve this expectation, the PLSA will:

  • apply public sector innovation to drive compliance behaviour
  • ensure data is published, openly available and transparent
  • ensure transparency of registration processes, investigations and other decision-making processes
  • implement internal audit programs to detect control weaknesses and recommend improvements

Clear and consistent regulatory activities

The PLSA will ensure that regulatory activities are clear and consistent through:

  • demonstrating that all information is collected for a clear purpose
  • demonstrating empathy to stakeholders
  • responsiveness to lessons learned
  • undertaking appropriate forward planning and demonstrating an appropriate understanding of future resourcing needs

To achieve this expectation, the PLSA will:

  • ensure transparency of compliance activities and that escalation processes are assessible publicly
  • consistently reviewing regulatory processes and ensuring continuous improvement
  • seek user feedback to inform future process improvements
  • ensure adequate resourcing for compliance activities

In implementing these measures, we will consult with relevant stakeholders as appropriate. We will also report our progress against performance targets in our Corporate Plan and Annual Financial Reports. This will include the current baseline levels of performance as measured against the relevant target as well as the activities undertaken to reach each performance target. Results will also be published on the PLSA’s website.

Finally, consistent with the Victorian Government’s commitment to an ongoing reduction in the administrative burden of regulation, notwithstanding what we have already set out in this letter, the Authority will continue to strive to identify and implement further burden reduction initiatives where possible.

I look forward to continuing to work with your office as the Authority strives towards its vision of delivering a quality Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme to protect the benefits of all those who are entitled to them.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Yours Sincerely,

Joseph Yeung
Registrar
Portable Long Service Benefits Authority

Date 03 / 08 / 2020

Reviewed 18 August 2020

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