GEMS Regulator Performance Framework Metrics

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1 GEMS Regulator Performance Framework Metrics AIIA response June 2015 Ground Suite B 7-11 Barry Drive Turner ACT 2612 GPO Box 573 Canberra ACT 2601 T E W

2 About AIIA The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is the peak national body representing Australia s information communications and technology (ICT) industry. Since establishing 35 years ago, the AIIA has pursued activities aimed to stimulate and grow the ICT industry, to create a favourable business environment for our members and to contribute to the economic imperatives of our nation. Our goal is to create a world class information, communications and technology industry delivering productivity, innovation and leadership for Australia. We represent over 400 member organisations nationally including hardware, software, telecommunications, ICT service and professional services companies. Our membership includes global brands such as Apple, EMC, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, PWC, Deloitte, EY and Oracle; international companies including Telstra, Optus; national companies including Data#3, SMS Management and Technology, TechnologyOne and Oakton Limited; and a large number of ICT SME s. 2 of 5 11 June 2015

3 Comments AIIA appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the Government s GEMS Regulator Performance Framework. As the peak industry body representing the views and opinions of the ICT industry, AIIA has compiled this response to provide input to this important process. The overarching concern from industry is that the performance measures outlined in the framework do not adequately incorporate demonstrated consideration of stakeholder feedback. Overall industry finds the GEMS regulator relatively good at seeking feedback however there is lack of evidence that the feedback is taken into account for decision making. The metric could also be improved by making reference to actual reports of business satisfaction, in addition to appropriate government procedures. We provide specific feedback on each KPI below. KPI 1 Regulators do not unnecessarily impede the efficient operation of regulated entities The first metric under this KPI merely requires the regulator to inform suppliers of their obligations and the example of good practice is formal biannual meetings with the E3 committee. However the Commonwealth s example of good practice under this KPI includes documented responsiveness to feedback and this should be a requirement by the GEMS regulator. Industry is frequently consulted on issues however there is no evidence that their feedback is taken into account and no explanation is provided when it is not. For example, industry provided compelling reasons why standby power should not be under consideration for improved energy efficiency measures. However, standby power is the first listed in the regulator s recent work program with no explanation why the feedback was not take into account. Another important issue for industry is the high administrative burden for registration of products. Currently the metric only requires registrations occurs in accordance with the timeframes as set out in the Statement of Service. It is important that the regulator s performance against the Statement of Service is accessed and the results published. Although some improvements have been made in line with the Statement of Service, there are still a number of outstanding issues. For example: Slow response time to enquiries a member cited waiting over a month and four follow up s before a response was provided. The metric should include measuring and publishing response time turn around. Website for registration does not accept AMEX - the metric should include stakeholder feedback on ease of use of the regulator s website. Direct support is limited - currently only contact is available. The metric should require the regulator to communicate through a variety of different mediums that is accessible to stakeholders. The regulator could consider setting up a hotline or live chat to improve support. More generally, the metric could also be improved by requiring: Demonstrated engagement with relevant international organisations to learn from peer experiences and share better practices Ongoing training to staff to improve advice and guidance services Monitoring the consistency of advice provided, and take action to avoid inconsistencies 3 of 5 11 June 2015

4 KPI 2 Communication with regulated entities is clear, targeted and effective The metric and examples under this KPI are a good starting point. It lists a variety of engagement methods. However, as with the above KPI, an important missing element is documented responsiveness to feedback. The metric could be improved by including the number of policy/standards changes which are preceded by comprehensive engagement with stakeholders. For example, most recently, industry has raised concerns that labelling of ICT products does not provide valuable consumer information especially in relation to labelling of external power supply (EPS). The primary purpose for energy rating labels is to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Although there are requirements for energy efficiency registrations for EPS, customers can t actively review or compare these items when shopping because they are not visible. This also means there is no benefit provided to suppliers who must register the EPS and meet legislated requirements. This is in contrast to visible labels on major products such as white goods where consumers can compare products based on labels and purchase from the most efficient supplier. KPI 3 Actions undertaken by regulators are proportionate to the regulatory risks being managed An important measure that is missing under this KPI is that the regulator engages with business on options to reduce costs such as deemed to comply and industry self-regulation. The recent PC report on the Regulator Audit Framework also found that an indicator for good regulatory practice is encouraging self-regulation where appropriate. This issue is particularly important for ICT products regulated under GEMS. International standards are the main drivers of innovation for energy efficient products and in most cases are more stringent or advanced than Australian requirements. These Standards are mostly self-regulated and have been found to be effective. The ICT industry already complies with international standards. Accordingly, consumers receive benefits of energy efficient products regardless of local energy efficiency laws. Ideally, it would be best to allow mutual recognition of international certification to avoid administrative duplication. Short of that, harmonisation with international standards should be the priority, including a move towards self-regulation. KPI 4 Compliance and monitoring approaches are streamlined and coordinated A significant issue for industry under this KPI is that they are not given enough time to comply with new requirements. For example, AIIA notes problems with the implementation of GEMS. Members describe having to scramble for registration and labelling as there was not sufficient lead time. If new standards are introduced, industry recommends at least a year lead time to comply with new standards. This is consistent with international standards of comparable ICT products. Significantly, this KPI also omits the need for regulated entities to be consulted on whether the regulators measurement of and response to risk is appropriate. Currently the metric only requires engagement with industry on planned monitoring activities. Industry would also like to see evidence of collected information being acted upon, stored and reused. They describe being asked to comment on the same issue a number of times without seeing follow through action. An example is comments on administrative processes, which has translated to little improvements on the ground to date. In addition to collaborative engagement on planned monitoring activities, it would also be beneficial to get businesses perspectives on how well they think the regulator performs under this KPI. Their opinions matter as they are the regulated entity. Some indicators might include: 4 of 5 11 June 2015

5 Businesses report that the range of sanctions that apply for noncompliance are proportionate to the risks of noncompliance. Businesses report that sanctions are applied fairly and consistently by the regulator. The regulator has, and makes use of, a sufficient suite of regulatory tools in order to proportionately respond to compliance breaches (carrots and sticks). KPI 5 Regulators are open and transparent in their dealings with regulated entities The metric and examples under this KPI are sensible. However, industry feels there is a lack of results sharing from the regulator. Industry describe providing significant input into reviews, often in tight time frames, and getting little in return. The metric could be improved by requiring the regulator to report and share aggregated information on industry performance under each product group. Information currently provided in the annual report is not considered very useful for this purpose. KPI 6 Regulators actively contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory framework The metric and examples under this KPI are sensible. Specific suggestions for improvements are outlined in the above sections. 5 of 5 11 June 2015

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