Follow up of Regulating Gambling and Liquor

Tabled: 28 November 2019

4 Measuring performance and collaborative enforcement

The 2017 audit found that VCGLR's publicly reported performance information provided limited insight into its effectiveness in meeting legislative objectives relating to harm minimisation. VCGLR largely measured and publicly reported on activity rather than its effectiveness or impact. Its annual report included only limited information on actions relating to its effectiveness. VCGLR's prior emphasis on counting activities, such as the number of compliance inspections, encouraged operational behaviour that focused on matters with little relevance to, or impact on, harm minimisation.

4.1 Publicly reported performance information

Publicly reported performance measures are a transparent way to show how well an organisation meets its obligations.

Recommendation 12

We recommend that VCGLR work with the Department of Justice and Regulation to improve the quality of its publicly reported performance measures to focus on the outcomes and impact of its work.

Key points underpinning past audit recommendation

  • VCGLR's publicly reported performance information focused on measuring activities, with little direct relevance to, or impact on, harm minimisation.
  • The weaknesses in VCGLR's data meant that it could not be confident about the accuracy of its publicly reported information.
  • VCGLR counted activity rather than measuring impact. VCGLR's performance measures focused almost exclusively on counting the number of activities performed.



VCGLR has implemented this recommendation (Figure 4A).

Since the 2017 audit, VCGLR and the Department of Justice and Community Safety have reviewed and improved the quality of VCGLR's BP3 performance measures.

For example, VCGLR introduced a new performance measure from 2016–17 on the number of operations with co-regulators to identify licensees supplying alcohol to minors or people who are intoxicated. This measure aims to provide information on compliance actions that focus on harm minimisation.

Figure 4A
VCGLR progress implementing recommendation 12

VCGLR and the Department of Justice and Community Safety have:

  • revised the BP3 performance measures. This includes new or refined measures on:
    • audits of casino operations
    • court and regulatory actions
    • disaggregation of liquor and gambling inspections by area (metropolitan/regional) and high-risk times.

VCGLR has:

  • implemented a new reporting system and developed specific reports to track progress against BP3 performance measures (see Section 2.6). The specific reports include:
    • breach to enforcement ratios
    • percentage of inspections done at high-risk times in comparison to the target percentage
    • breakdowns of inspections by type (liquor, gambling), location (metro, regional, in casino) and category and type of breach
    • more detailed reports that allow management to interrogate the data for operational purposes and improved decision-making.

Source: VAGO.

4.2 Collaborative enforcement strategy

Both VCGLR and Victoria Police are responsible for supervising licensed venues. While VCGLR is the primary regulatory body, Victoria Police also has powers to enforce liquor and gambling legislation. The 2017 audit found that while there was clear evidence of collaboration between VCGLR and Victoria Police, including regular communication on enforcement issues, joint operations and other liquor licensing issues that may arise, the agencies had not developed and formally adopted a joint enforcement strategy for alcohol-related compliance activities.

Recommendation 13

We recommend that VCGLR and Victoria Police develop a comprehensive collaborative enforcement strategy to more efficiently and effectively target harms associated with licensed premises.

Key points underpinning past audit recommendation

  • The need for a comprehensive enforcement strategy between VCGLR and Victoria Police was previously identified in 2012 and again in the 2017 audit.



VCGLR has implemented this recommendation (Figure 4B).


Figure 4B
VCGLR progress implementing recommendation 13

VCGLR and Victoria Police have:

  • developed and released a joint enforcement strategy in November 2018. The strategy provides a high-level framework for a unified approach to enforcing compliance with the LCR Act for those involved in the liquor industry. The strategy contains details on:
    • roles, functions and mutual enforcement obligations
    • goals and values
    • operational approach
    • strategies
    • implementation and monitoring.
    • established a joint agency committee comprising three senior members from each organisation to oversee implementation of the strategy. The committee meets regularly.

VCGLR and Victoria Police are:

  • developing performance measures to track progress in implementing the framework.

Source: VAGO.

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