Managing Regulator Performance in the Health Portfolio

Tabled: 18 March 2015

Regulation is a key instrument used by government to achieve its social, economic and environmental goals. To be effective, regulation requires a well-targeted and evidence-based approach which efficiently achieves government’s intended outcomes while minimising the burden placed on businesses.

Recent reviews have identified the absence of an effective risk-based approach to regulation as a significant weakness in the current system.

This audit assessed how well four selected regulators, the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) in its portfolio oversight role, and the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) in its whole-of-government role, have contributed to improved regulatory performance in the health portfolio.

We found that regulatory practices within the health portfolio are at a low level of maturity because:

  • regulators have not taken a systematic, risk-based approach and do not fully understand the impact of their regulatory activities
  • DHHS has not effectively overseen and supported health regulators
  • DTF has not applied government's Statement of Expectations policy in a way that has helped address these gaps and weaknesses.

DHHS has committed to developing and implementing a regulatory reform strategy, and it is important that this work proceeds because, if done well, it will help improve performance in the medium to long term.

We recommend that health portfolio regulators address the specific weaknesses identified in this audit, that DHHS develop and implement a strategy for the effective oversight of portfolio regulators and that DTF improves how it develops, supports and evaluates regulatory reform programs.









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Audit team

Ray Winn & Kate Kuring

Engagement leaders

Nerillee Miller
Team Leader

Louise Gelling

Ronan McCabe

Celinda Estallo

Engagement Quality Control Reviewer

Andrew Evans




Last updated on 31/08/2016