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Regulatory Coherence: The Case of Australia

Peter Carrol, Gregory Bounds and Rex Deighton-Smith

Chapter 2 in The Development of Regulatory Management Systems in East Asia: Country Studies, pp 23-76 from Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)

Abstract: This part of the chapter provides a brief overview of the major features of Australia’s legal and political system in relation to regulatory capacity, an outline of Australia’s current social and economic development and a brief summary of the development of its regulatory management system (RMS), and recent assessments of regulatory quality in Australia. Australia has been ranked among the highest performing nations for both quality of government and regulatory quality in successive World Bank Governance Indicator (WBGI) series. In 2012, its percentile rank, for example, was 94.26 for Government Effectiveness (compared with 91.71 in 2002), and 97.13 for Regulatory Quality (compared with 91.67 in 2002) (World Bank, 2014). However, while of interest, the WBGI do not provide an in-depth indication of country RMSs, nor is there clear evidence linking RMS performance over time to the WBGI series indicators. This is largely because of the very limited information available, particularly quantitative, regarding RMS performance in any country. As can be seen in the sections below, while the available, limited information does indicate that Australia’s RMS, notably its regulatory impact assessment (RIA) systems, have improved their performance over time, that performance has been variable and shows room for improvement. Successive governments have been aware of these limitations and have undertaken a variety of changes over time to reduce them.

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