The Productivity Commission has recently launched an inquiry into opportunities to improve regulatory performance in local government by releasing an Issues Paper this month.
As part of the Government's eight point 'Better Local Government' package, the Commission was asked to develop principles to guide the allocation of regulatory functions between central and local government and identify functions that should be reallocated to a different level of government. As such, the Commission's paper seeks views on opportunities for both central and local government to improve the regulatory performance of local government and ways to improve the performance and assessment of local government.
The Issues Paper frames its inquiry into five broad questions:
- What are the current regulatory roles performed by central and local government and is this current allocation appropriate?
- What is the effect of local and regional variation in regulatory performance?
- What factors should determine the allocation of functions between central and local government?
- How can regulatory coordination and performance be improved?
- How can assessment of local government performance be improved?
The intent of the inquiry appears to be to get as many suggestions as possible on what regulatory functions local government currently undertake, and how the performance of these functions could be improved and monitored. Such a broad approach will likely get stakeholder buy-in and lead to wide ranging submissions that consider the various issues. The findings of this inquiry will form the basis of the Commission's final report which is expected to be provided to the Government on 1 April 2013.
The Commission's issues paper can be found here Submissions close 31 August 2012.