Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 3
Purpose of this paper .......................................................................................................................... 3
How to lodge a submission ................................................................................................................. 4
Access Canberra Accountability Commitment ....................................................................................... 5
Approach to service delivery .............................................................................................................. 5
Question 1 ....................................................................................................................................... 5
Question 2 ....................................................................................................................................... 5
Complaints and feedback process ...................................................................................................... 6
Question 3 ....................................................................................................................................... 6
Approach to regulatory decisions and actions ................................................................................... 6
Sector-specific Compliance Frameworks ................................................................................................ 7
Question 4 ....................................................................................................................................... 7
Question 5 ....................................................................................................................................... 8
Question 6 ....................................................................................................................................... 8
Community Engagement ........................................................................................................................ 9
Question 7 ....................................................................................................................................... 9
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Introduction
On 16 December 2014 the ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr MLA, announced the creation of a single
agency, Access Canberra, to bring together shopfront and regulatory functions across the ACT
Government. Access Canberra is seen by the Chief Minister as the ACT Government agency to
deliver better services and regulatory reform.
Access Canberra is an operational agency, without policy responsibility, operating within the Chief
Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD). The objective of the Access
Canberra initiative is to create a single point for businesses, community organisations and individuals
to engage and access ACT Government services. To achieve this, Access Canberra will join up
services and functions, better utilise technology and focus regulatory activities on those areas
representing the biggest potential harms and risks to the community.
Access Canberra is unique within Australia. No other government jurisdiction (Federal, state or
territory) has sought to seamlessly integrate its front end customer service arm with a range of
regulatory arms to create a single agency holding responsibility for providing a one-stop-shop for
both customer and regulatory services. In undertaking this responsibility, Access Canberra will
consider how best to engage with and serve the community and industry and apply a risk-based
approach towards dealing with harm to the community, the environment, individuals or the
government.
To guide Access Canberra in achieving this objective an Accountability Commitment has been
drafted. The Accountability Commitment defines the proposed approach to be applied by Access
Canberra in service delivery, complaint handling, regulatory action and management of risk and
harm to the community. The Accountability Commitment is supported by a number of sectorspecific compliance frameworks which provide a more targeted explanation of the factors and
considerations applicable in the management of specific types of risk.
Purpose of this paper
This discussion paper sets out the context within which the Access Canberra Accountability
Commitment and sector-specific compliance frameworks have been drafted.
This paper has been released to seek feedback from the ACT community, and more specifically from
community and industry peak bodies, about the approach proposed for service delivery and
regulation and the identification of risks that are to be addressed through regulatory action.
Furthermore, Access Canberra is interested to understand where the balance should be struck
between regulating those activities that pose a risk to the community and supporting the
development of a strong and sustainable economic environment that encourages and nurtures
innovation.
Comments and feedback from the community and industry will direct the development of the final
Access Canberra Accountability Commitment and sector-specific compliance framework documents.
This consultation is the start of a process to become a best-practice, risk-based regulator. Your
views will contribute to the evidence gathered by Access Canberra, and with time, the sector-specific
compliance frameworks will evolve to ensure resources are targeted to the greatest risks and harms.
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How to lodge a submission
The development of the Access Canberra Accountability Commitment and sector-specific
compliance frameworks is an inclusive process. We would like to hear from you.
You can provide a written response to this Discussion Paper by 28 September 2015, either by post or
online submission.
Online Submission:
Response to Access Canberra Discussion Paper
We would recommend that you keep handy a copy of this discussion paper, the Access Canberra
Accountability Commitment and any of the sector-specific compliance framework documents in
which you are interested while submitting your response online to the questions presented in this
paper.
Postal Address:
Project Officer
Access Canberra Accountability Commitment
ACT Government
GPO Box 158 CANBERRA ACT 2601
An Access Canberra staff member may get in touch with you, using contact details you have
provided in your submission, to confirm details or seek clarification against any points raised. If you
do not want to be contacted by Access Canberra about your submission please note this in your
response.
Unless a submission received through this consultation process is clearly marked “In confidence”, it
will be treated as a public document and may be made available on the Access Canberra website.
Following a review of the feedback received from the community, the Access Canberra
Accountability Commitment and sector-specific compliance framework documentation will be
updated and published to the Access Canberra website at www.act.gov.au/accessCBR. Where you
have indicated an interest in the outcome of the consultation and provided an email address with
your submission, you will receive notification by email when the finalised documents have been
published.
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Access Canberra Accountability Commitment
The Accountability Commitment establishes the approach, philosophy and standards of conduct to
which Access Canberra may be held accountable in undertaking customer service and regulatory
activities.
The Access Canberra Accountability Commitment outlines:
1.
2.
3.
4.
The role of Access Canberra
The principles for service design and delivery
The mechanisms for feedback
The process for making complaints about:
 Access Canberra’s service
 Access Canberra’s conduct
 the individuals, businesses or industries that Access Canberra regulates
 Access Canberra’s regulatory decisions.
5. The approach Access Canberra applies to undertaking regulatory decisions and actions.
Approach to service delivery
The service design principles presented in the Accountability Commitment have been adopted by
Access Canberra from a whole of government strategy developed by Service ACT. These principles
guide Access Canberra when considering the design of new services or the re-design of existing
services.
The service design principles are intended to provide a framework that will assist Access Canberra to
balance the ongoing drive for efficiency with the requirement to apply a customer-centric approach
to service delivery.
QUESTION 1
The Accountability Commitment outlines the principles guiding the delivery of services in Access
Canberra. What other (if any) factors should Access Canberra consider in the design of services
provided to the community?
QUESTION 2
From your perspective, or the perspective of your industry, where should Access Canberra focus its
effort/resources to make the greatest improvements to service delivery (noting Access Canberra is
not responsible for policy)?
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Complaints and feedback process
Access Canberra is committed to meeting the needs of the community and will utilise feedback,
including complaints, to identify where opportunities exist to improve processes or services
provided. Access Canberra has established processes for receiving and responding to feedback and
complaints relating to:




The way in which Access Canberra operates
The way in which Access Canberra staff conduct themselves in the delivery of services to the
community
The policies or legislation that Access Canberra has a responsibility to follow, uphold or
enforce
The conduct of individuals, businesses or industries that are regulated by Access Canberra.
QUESTION 3
Does the proposed complaints and feedback policy give the community sufficient avenues for being
heard?
Approach to regulatory decisions and actions
The development of an overarching Access Canberra compliance and enforcement framework, now
embedded in the Access Canberra Accountability Commitment document, was identified as a key
requirement flowing from the amalgamation of regulatory agencies in the creation of Access
Canberra. The Accountability Commitment outlines the guiding principles that inform the way in
which Access Canberra will regulate; explaining how Access Canberra will approach its role as a
regulator, apply its powers to regulate and describes the high-level factors that will be considered
when conducting action to address identified non-compliance or harm.
Significant to note is that Access Canberra proposes the application of a risk-based approach in
undertaking its regulatory role. A risk-based approach means that Access Canberra will focus
resources to where the risks of harm, unsafe practices or misconduct are the greatest.
While the Accountability Commitment provides a holistic regulatory philosophy for Access Canberra,
it has been recognised that the harms and treatments applied in different sectors are varied and
required tailored compliance frameworks .The criterion for the creation or preservation of sectorspecific frameworks is that the community and/or industry may need information as to how or why
Access Canberra regulates a particular industry or law.
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Sector-specific Compliance Frameworks
Sector-specific compliance framework documents have been developed against those areas
identified as requiring a greater focus for regulatory activities. These documents provide a set of
guiding principles and set out:


the approach Access Canberra will take to the regulation of specific types of activities and
the application of legislated powers
the factors that Access Canberra will consider when responding to any identified noncompliance or harm.
It should be noted however, that the sector-specific frameworks do not:



identify all possible risks and weight them accordingly
quantify the extent/likelihood of the risk/harm
cover the entire range of the legislation that Access Canberra holds responsibility for
regulating.
With many industries operating in a rapidly evolving environment, there is an ongoing need to
understand, identify and assess existing and emerging risks factors that fall within the scope of
Access Canberra’s regulatory responsibility. For those activities identified as warranting a specific
regulatory focus there are a variety of ‘risk’ characteristics to be considered:





behaviours (e.g. reducing incidences of underage smoking)
demographics (e.g. Females aged 45-54 were impacted the most financially by dating and
romance scams in 20141)
the task being undertaken (e.g. management of safety in workplaces with the highest
occupation incident rates recorded by labourers and related workers2)
a product (e.g. perishable food groups such as seafood)
historical conduct (e.g. criminal history is relevant to the Working with Vulnerable People
background checking scheme).
QUESTION 4
Within your industry/area of interest, what are the key risks or harms Access Canberra should be
aware of and prioritise for proactive compliance management?
1
Centre for Internet Safety- Scams Report- January 2015 – University of Canberra
2
Safework Australia – Key work health & safety statistics, Australia - published 2014
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QUESTION 5
How would the community assess whether Access Canberra’s management of this/these risk(s) or
harm(s) has been successful?
The sector-specific compliance frameworks have been structured in a manner that clearly sets out
the:





legislative frameworks involved for the sector
objectives of regulatory enforcement activities for the sector
regulatory approach and enforcement actions that may be applied
location of supporting information resources relevant to the sector
channels through which changes to any of the above the arrangements will be
communicated to the community.
The creation of sector-specific compliance frameworks is an acknowledgment by Access Canberra of
the community’s interest in upholding identified standards and the need for prioritised and
proactive management of specific risks of harm. It is noted that these frameworks are a reflection of
how Access Canberra regulators addressed risk, prior to being brought together as a single entity,
and therefore do not seek to address harms in a holistic fashion (i.e. across all regulated sectors).
With your feedback, and data collected by Access Canberra over time, the frameworks will be
revised to truly reflect a risk-based approach to regulation.
Sector-specific compliance framework documents have been drafted for each of the following
contexts:








Working with vulnerable people
Liquor
Work safety
Construction industry
Environment protection
Australian consumer law
Food safety
Gaming and Racing.
QUESTION 6
If you are a member of an industry that is covered by one or more of Access Canberra’s sectorspecific compliance frameworks, how does this impact on your operations and what burden does
the approach identified represent for you and your industry?
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Community Engagement
A key aspect of Access Canberra’s approach strategy is to encourage voluntary compliance by
focussing attention towards providing relevant and useful advice, information or assistance to meet
obligations associated with those activities regulated by Access Canberra.
QUESTION 7
How might Access Canberra improve the way in which information is provided to the community
and industry about:
 changes to existing licensing, permit or application processes?
 changes to services provided?
 current focuses for regulatory activities?
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Access Canberra Accountability Commitment - Time to Talk