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Reducing regulatory burdens on business

Wednesday, 12 March 2008
By Print21

The Productivity Commission is seeking comment from Printing Industries and its members on the effects of federal government regulations on business.

This follows the release of an Issues Paper by the Commission identifying the parameters for business feedback with the end goal of relieving unnecessary bureaucratic and monetary costs burdening businesses in the manufacturing and distributive trades.

Printing Industries national manager for policy and government affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian, said the Productivity Commission was seeking views and any supporting information in relation to the regulations members felt imposed such burdens on business.

"It is encouraging that the Productivity Commission is not limiting the inquiry to just Commonwealth regulations. They want feedback from our industry on all types of regulations that have a significant impact on business operations and performance," he said.

The Commission provides a feedback guide which asks for:.

1. The nature of the burden – for example:
    •     time spent  meeting information requests;
    •      costs of gaining  approvals and permits;
    •      costs associated  with delays in approvals;
    •      additional  in-house staff requirements;
    •      need to employ  external expertise;
    •      additional  equipment or process modifications;
    •      constraints on  production methods or characteristics of products; and
    •      forgone  opportunities.

2. The compliance costs of the regulation – principally:
    •     the time it  takes to comply with the regulation; and
    •      the financial  costs, such as staff and other resource costs.

It seeks to identify.

 3. What proportion of these compliance costs is additional to the time and expenditure that would have been undertaken anyway as part of conducting the business. For example, businesses would keep accounts anyway, but an additional cost might be presenting the figures in a different way, involving both extra time and perhaps additional expertise. 

4. Ideas on how much of these additional compliance costs are unnecessary. That is, the amount of time or money that could be saved by meeting the government’s regulatory objectives in a more efficient manner. Regulations may be imposing excessive compliance costs because of poor design, overlap or duplication (within or across jurisdictions) or poor administration.

5. Any practical suggestions for reforming the regulations so as to reduce compliance costs without compromising the achievement of the regulations objectives.

Hagop invited industry companies to provide their feedback directly to him.

"If individual companies want to meet officials from the Productivity Commission to discuss government regulations please contact me as we can also arrange these appointments," he said.

The closing date for initial submissions is Thursday 20th of March 2008. The final report to the Government is scheduled by the end of August 2008.

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