Regulation plays an important role in our community. It is the vehicle through which collectively, as a society, we can reduce the likelihood of harm, protect the vulnerable or reduce perverse market outcomes such as monopoly power or overuse of scarce resources. It also plays a vital role in supporting markets to deliver goods and services by setting the rules of the game, or parameters in which we operate.
There are a number of examples, however, where regulation can produce its own unintended consequences. It can push up the price of doing business by adding administrative cost or complexity, which can flow into higher prices for consumers. It can also impede growth and innovation as it can restrain the ability for business to take risk, develop new business models or deliver innovative products or services. The imposition of the rule itself, poor design or poor implementation can also offset the benefits or reason why the rule was created in the first place. This is where regulatory oversight plays an important role. Oversight is important to ensure the regulation is required (i.e. where there is no alternative), it is risk-based (proportional to the potential harm caused if no rule was put in place), the costs to business and community are considered prior to implementing the rule, and if the regulation isn't working, enable a review and adjustment or removal.
The NSW Government is committed to continuous improvement of the framework for developing and managing regulation in New South Wales. In 2017, the Hon. Nick Greiner AM led a review of the framework in New South Wales. The Commissioner is now responsible for developing and implementing a new framework (links to the Review Report below), and will be engaging with NSW Government agencies, businesses and the community in how to take it forward over the coming year.
The new framework will build upon the Government’s existing better regulation policies and initiatives (below), and the recommendations of the Regulatory Policy Framework (Greiner) Review.
Current regulatory policy guidance
- Guide to Better Regulation - guidance on best practice, light touch regulation
- Regulatory Impact Assessment Checklist - guidance on how to conduct a regulatory impact assessment in NSW
- Assessment Against the Competition Test - guidance on how to ensure policy and regulation does not unduly restrict competition
- Guidance for Regulators to Implement Outcomes-based Regulation - guidance on developing regulation for the best possible outcome
- Consultation Policy - guidance on best practice consultation during regulatory development
- Measuring the Cost of Regulation - guidance on how to quantity costs and benefits of regulation
- Published Regulatory Impact Assessments - examples of NSW Government regulatory impact assessments/statements
- Subordinate Legislation Act NSW 1989 - legal basis for requirement to conduct regulatory impact statements/assessments in NSW