Statement of Expectations
In September 2021, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation issued a Statement of Expectations (SOE) to CAV and the Business Licensing Authority for 2021–23.
This SOE set out two-year governance and performance objectives aimed at improving CAV’s administration and enforcement of regulation to reduce its impact on businesses and the community. The SOE is available on our website
The performance objectives identified in the SOE cover four broad goals:
- support economic and social recovery
- improved timeliness
- risk-based strategies
- compliance related assistance and advice.
More information about our performance against these goals is set out below.
In June 2023, the Minister for Consumer Affairs issued CAV with a new SOE for 2023-24.
Support economic and social recovery
The 2021–23 SOE directed us to prioritise regulatory reforms necessary to address the areas of greatest potential consumer harm in a recovering economy, while ensuring businesses have the tools they need to expand and adapt in a changing marketplace.
We committed to deliver digital improvements for users of our online licensing and registration systems. These will support economic recovery and save time and effort for Victorian businesses and community groups, while addressing consumer harms. We delivered digital improvements including:
- online lodgement of compliance certificates by rooming house operators (delivered January 2022)
- online notifications to operate under automatic mutual recognition (delivered February 2022)
- online licensing and registration systems for motor car traders and second-hand dealers (delivered May 2023).
The SOE directed us to promote and advance national harmonisation of regulation to reduce business costs and increase community understanding of their consumer rights and responsibilities. Another directive was to implement ongoing digital improvements to make licensing and registration interactions quicker and easier for businesses, professionals, and community groups.
To help Victorians businesses save time and effort, we delivered digital improvements for users of our online licensing and registration systems. We improved online identity verification capabilities for professional engineers in January 2022 and for transactions by estate agents, rooming house operators, conveyancers and owners corporation managers in May 2022. We extended these capabilities to motor car traders and second-hand dealers in early May 2023, as part of their migration to online licensing and registration systems. In 2022–23, 5536 applications were processed from users who had verified their identity using Service Victoria’s online identity system.
Improvements to our online licensing and registration systems allow interstate licensees to lodge notifications under automatic mutual recognition (AMR). AMR operators also appear on the appropriate online public registers. In 2022–23, 306 AMR notifications were received across all schemes. This system continues to expand as more states and territories enter the scheme.
Another priority was to put consumers at the centre of the design and enforcement of regulation, with a focus on:
- consumer wellbeing
- engagement with diverse communities
- minimising the risk of consumer harm
- supporting consumers’ confident participation in the market.
We recognised the great potential harm than can come from rooming houses and supported the development and implementation of the Residential Tenancies (Rooming House Standards) Regulations 2023. These became law on 26 February 2023. The new minimum standards include significant safety requirements, which we check as part of our active monitoring of the rooming house sector across Victoria.
We continue to monitor rooming houses through our standard processes, and take immediate action for serious or urgent issues. Our broader stakeholder engagement program in the sector, particularly with local councils and Victoria Police, complements our own monitoring.
We continued to develop our community engagement, with the establishment of a team dedicated to consumer and community engagement. Recognising that Aboriginal Victorians face significantly higher risk in multiple consumer activities, we began to develop a deeper Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategic engagement plan in 2022–23.
As part of our risk-based, intelligence-led and outcomes-focused regulatory approach, we updated our regulatory priorities for 2023–24. This will help us better target the greatest risks facing the community in general and Victorians at great risk of vulnerability and disadvantage in particular.
Compliance related assistance and advice
The SOE directed us to help businesses meet their regulatory obligations effectively and efficiently, while ensuring they do not undertake poor trading or predatory practices.
Expansion of the Professional Engineers Registration Scheme was an important part of implementing this directive in 2022–23. Over the year, CAV monitored registration operations and reviewed and maintained online content to support professional engineers’ compliance with the scheme and ensure appropriate protections were in place for consumers of engineering services throughout the two-and-a-half year phase-in period.
We also focused on compliance within the real estate industry, conducting comprehensive annual trust account audits. In 2022–23, infringements were down more than 15 per cent from the previous year. This reflects our successful efforts to increase trust account compliance.
Having successfully acquitted our 2021–23 SOE, in June 2023 CAV received a new Statement of Expectations for 2023–24.