Statement of Intent
This statement sets out my intentions as the Chairperson of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) of how the SRCC will meet the expectations outlined by the former Attorney General (the Minister at the time) under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) in the Ministerial Statement of Expectations of 21 October 2021.
A PDF of the original Ministerial Statement of Expectations and the responding Statement of Intent from the SRCC are available for download.
The SRCC is a statutory body that administers the regulatory functions of the SRC Act not attributed to Comcare, and has a range of functions under those Acts. The SRCC plays an important role in the continued improvement of prevention, rehabilitation and workers' compensation performance outcomes in the Commonwealth jurisdiction.
The SRC Act allows certain Commonwealth authorities and eligible corporations to apply to the SRCC for a licence to self-insure their workers' compensation liabilities. As the regulator of self-insurance licences, the SRCC monitors compliance and sets performance standards and measures for the injury prevention, claims management and rehabilitation functions of licensees.
The SRCC does not have any staff of its own. Comcare provides secretariat and administrative support and resources required for the SRCC to undertake its functions.
The SRCC will exercise its functions and powers in good faith, to the best of its ability and consistent with the Government’s approach to regulation and the deregulation agenda.
Principles of regulator best practice
The SRCC has imbedded the principles of regulator best practice, as set out in the Regulator Performance Guide 2021, within its regulatory framework: the Licence Compliance and Performance Model (LCPM).
Continuous improvement and building trust
The SRCC is committed to continuous improvement and building and maintaining trust with all stakeholders. To achieve this the SRCC has committed to:
- Accountability – explaining decisions and providing avenues for feedback, complaints or appeals which are responded to in a timely fashion.
- Flexibility – encouraging flexibility to achieve outcomes, including an integrated approach to work health and safety, rehabilitation and claims management.
- Consistency and proportionality - ensuring that decision making is consistent and proportionate considering the particular circumstances.
- Lawfulness - requiring compliance with relevant laws.
- Transparency - ensuring that regulatory decisions demonstrate balance, impartiality and integrity.
Risk-based and data driven
The SRCC recognises the importance of regulation being risk-based and data driven. The SRCC has committed to the following to achieve this:
- A systems-based approach to regulation - applying a flexible systems-based approach directed to the attainment of desired outcomes, rather than meeting specified process requirements.
- Data driven – using available data to monitor performance and support regulatory decision making.
Collaboration and engagement
The SRCC acknowledges that regulators need to be transparent and responsive, implementing regulation in a modern and collaborative way. To achieve this, the SRCC will be:
- Contemporary - reviewing, monitoring and updating policies and practices, including clearly defined corporate governance arrangements, to ensure the regulatory framework remains contemporary and relevant.
- Consultative - encouraging effective consultation and collaboration with, and participation by, all stakeholders which includes workers and their representatives.
The SRCC is committed to transparency in regulatory decisions which demonstrate balance, impartiality and integrity. To achieve transparency in regulatory decision making, the SRCC meets annually with licensees and employee representatives to understand the risks and challenges that they face in a changing environment.
The SRCC will continue to seek opportunities to engage and consult genuinely with the Government, Comcare, licensees and workers and their representatives.
Innovation and regulatory change
In support of the Government’s objective of continual improvement, the SRCC monitors its LCPM to ensure that it remains contemporary and does not impose unnecessary regulatory burden on licensees.
The SRCC seeks high levels of compliance against the LCPM by ensuring regulatory requirements are as uncomplicated as possible and readily understood, as well as ensuring that the direct and indirect transaction costs of compliance are as low as practicable. These are factors that can lead to non-compliance, which defeats the purpose of regulation and compromises business growth and innovation.
Regular reviews of the LCPM will be carried out to ensure that licensees and the SRCC can respond to the changing social, technological and commercial context in which they operate, while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
The Government’s policy priorities and objectives
The SRCC supports the Government’s commitment to reducing compliance costs for business and the community. The SRCC will continue to look for opportunities to reduce red tape and minimise costs while ensuring that regulation is fit-for-purpose, relevant and is delivered in the most effective and efficient manner.
To do this, the SRCC will:
- continue to review its regulatory framework to seek opportunities to improve its effectiveness, streamline processes and create efficiencies;
- act in accordance with regulator best practice in its decision making, policies, processes and communication, to maximise transparency and minimise compliance costs; and
- apply the Regulator Performance Guide 2021 to its regulatory functions to assess and improve performance, and engage with stakeholders.
The SRCC will report on its regulatory performance through its Annual Report.
Relationship with Minister and portfolio
I acknowledge the role the SRCC has in assisting yourself, as the responsible Minister, and the Government to respond promptly to issues that may arise in relation to the relevant functions of the SRCC under the SRC Act. I undertake to provide you with accurate and timely advice on any significant issues that may arise.
The SRCC acknowledges the role of the Attorney-General’s Department (Department) as the primary source of advice on policy development and the performance of the portfolio’s regulatory systems. The SRCC will continue to work collaboratively with the Department in developing work within the SRCC’s functions that may have a bearing on the Government and the Department’s priorities.