Regulatory reform

By removing unnecessary regulation and only imposing new regulation where it is absolutely necessary, the portfolio is helping the Government to reach its target of reducing red tape by at least $1 billion a year.

In total, the portfolio delivered $9.8 million in deregulatory savings in 2015.

Annual Red Tape Reduction Report

In March 2016, the Government released the Annual Red Tape Reduction Report 2015. The report outlines the Government’s regulatory reform efforts to reduce costs and regulatory burden imposed by unnecessary red tape. Annex B.9 [PDF 128 KB] outlines the portfolio highlights for Foreign Affairs and Trade including a summary of key deregulatory savings.

Regulator performance

The Regulator Performance Framework [PDF 275 KB] commenced on 1 July 2015 and forms an important part of the Government’s commitment to reduce unnecessary and inefficient regulation. The Framework encourages regulators to minimise the regulatory burden created through their administration of regulation.

The Framework establishes a common set of six outcomes-based key performance indicators (KPIs) that will allow for the comprehensive assessment of regulator performance and their engagement with stakeholders, specifically:

  1. Regulators do not unnecessarily impede the efficient operation of regulated entities
  2. Communication with regulated entities is clear, targeted and effective
  3. Action undertaken by regulators are proportionate to the regulatory risk being managed
  4. Compliance and monitoring approaches are streamlined and coordinated
  5. Regulators are open and transparent in their dealings with regulated entities, and
  6. Regulators actively contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks.

Regulators must establish metrics to support assessment against the KPIs.

In consultation with key stakeholders, DFAT has developed performance metrics for the Australian Passport Office, Australia’s Sanctions Regulator and the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office.

The metrics will be used by these three regulators in annual self-assessments of their performance.

2016-17 regulator self-assessments:

Further information on the Framework and regulatory reform more generally is available at

International Standards

The Government released its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda on 14 October 2014. A major component of this policy announcement was that the Government will adopt the principle that if a system, service or product has been approved under a trusted international standard or risk assessment, then our regulators should not impose any additional requirements for approval in Australia, unless it can be demonstrated that there is a good reason to do so.

DFAT continues to monitor closely its regulatory responsibilities with a view to ensuring that international standards and risk assessments are taken into account where appropriate.

Last Updated: 30 October 2017