Mr Phil D’Adamo
Consumer Affairs Victoria
121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Dear Mr D’Adamo,
STATEMENT OF EXPECTATIONS - REDUCING RED TAPE
I am pleased to provide you with this Statement of Expectations for Consumer Affairs Victoria. This Statement sets out my expectations of Consumer Affairs Victoria’s contribution to the Government's economic strategy, Securing Victoria's Economy. Planning, Building, Delivering to implement best practice performance standards and ensure timely, efficient, proportionate and appropriately risk-based regulatory enforcement.
As Minister for Consumer Affairs, I am responsible for administering over thirty Acts regulating consumer markets that affect Victorian consumers, businesses, licensees, incorporated associations, renters and landlords, and many other consumer and licensed sectors.
This Statement is important to discharge my Ministerial portfolio responsibilities. It sets out my priorities for Consumer Affairs Victoria to reduce the cost of high impact or high volume compliance and administrative activities by reducing red tape and streamlining processes.
This Statement should be read within the context of the objectives of the relevant legislation. The red tape reduction measures should be pursued without comprising those objectives or the obligations and functions set out in the legislation.
I acknowledge that Consumer Affairs Victoria has made and continues to make significant red tape reductions including reforms and continuous improvement projects that focus on service delivery such as:
- modernising the Consumer Affairs statute book including the recent reforms to:
- the Private Agents Act 1966 which saw the repeal of registration requirements for private agents (debt collectors); and Introductions Agents Act 1997 which introduced a negative licensing system reducing red tape by an estimated $2.92 million per year;
- uncollected goods laws to provide certainty for small businesses around the disposal method for goods left for repair or cleaning and then not collected by the owner; and
- the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 providing red tape savings of an estimated $6 million per year by simplifying financial reporting and contractual responsibilities of incorporated associations; and
- contributing to the implementation of the national business names register, replacing eight individual registers previously operated by states and territories;
- promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and conciliation, to fix problems quickly and at the frontline wherever possible;
- making available and using multiple communication channels including face-to-face, social media, and mobile offices to engage consumers and businesses, making services more accessible across the state; and
- developing good practice protocols and dispute resolution guidelines for retirement villages to reduce disputes.
Priority activities and sectors for red tape reduction
I expect that Consumer Affairs Victoria will contribute to the Government’s 25 per cent red tape reduction target by 1 July 2014 (against baseline levels at 1 January 2011 or appropriate alternate date). In doing so, I expect Consumer Affairs Victoria to focus its efforts to deliver against four broad objectives:
- Continue to modernise and simplify legislation to reduce red tape;
- Reduce the costs associated with compliance for businesses;
- Reduce the costs of licensing and registration for businesses and not for profit organisations; and
- Reduce dispute management costs for businesses and landlords.
Specific measures should be implemented consistent with the above objectives, and these should include the following initiatives:
1. Continue to modernise and simplify legislation to reduce red tape
- Remove licence and travel compensation fund requirements for travel agents
- Implement harmonised national co-operative law
2. Reduce the costs associated with compliance for businesses
- Reduce time for small businesses in understanding their key regulatory obligations by up to 15 - 25% through compliance assistance initiatives
- Reduce time costs of compliance inspections for individual traders subject to cross jurisdictional compliance monitoring by 25% through conducting integrated compliance and joint inspections with other regulators (Victorian, state and national) in co-regulated areas where appropriate
3. Reduce the costs of licensing and registration for businesses and not for profit organisations
- Reduce the time licensees and registrants take to complete annual statement by 15% for up to 80% of licensees or registrants through online renewals processes
- Reduce approval time for less complex or low risk occupational licence applications administered by CAV by 15%
4. Reduce dispute management costs for businesses and landlords
- Reduce costs associated with disputes for small businesses participating in CAV’s dispute resolution service by 15%
- Reduce the cost of non-urgent repair tenancy inspections and VCAT attendance for landlords (including by property managers or estate agents) by 15%.
In developing actions to achieve these red tape reduction measures, Consumer Affairs Victoria is expected to consult with businesses, consumers and the broader community as appropriate.
Consumer Affairs Victoria is also encouraged to identify other areas that may impose considerable burden on the community and work towards reducing these costs where appropriate.
Transparency and accountability
I value transparency and accountability. I expect that this Statement be made available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website.
I also expect that Consumer Affairs Victoria incorporate the above activities in the corporate plan and to report on progress in Consumer Affairs Victoria’s annual financial year report.
I look forward to receiving Consumer Affairs Victoria’s response to this Statement in the next three months, setting out how it intends to implement the above initiatives and achieve the red tape reduction targets.
I commend Consumer Affairs Victoria’s achievements to date in refocusing on service delivery and I look forward to seeing continuous progress in providing efficient regulatory services to consumers, businesses and the community.
HON. HEIDI VICTORIA MP
Minister for Consumer Affairs