The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has released a series of Regulation Impact Analysis (RIA) training videos on its YouTube channel.
The 35 videos, uploaded on Wednesday, cover a range of modules as well as interviews from senior public servants and industry leaders who share their advice and experience.
They explore many topics, including the consequences of poorly identified policy problem, the advantages of starting a regulation impact statement early, and whether an evidence-based approach to policy development is needed.
The videos were developed for the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for RIA in 2015, and have been publicly available since late 2015.
“Due to changes with hosting arrangements, the videos and the remainder of the content in the RIA MOOC are being transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website and YouTube channel,” a PM&C spokesperson told The Mandarin.
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On having an open mind to alternative policy options
Commissioner of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, John Price, says “having an open mind is critical in developing policy”.
He argues the importance of analysing information, making the best possible decision based on that information, and ensuring that stakeholders know all options have been considered.
“The most obvious policy solution isn’t always the best decision,” he said.
On governments intervening in a market
Chris Chapman, from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, says it is important that governments intervene when necessary.
“In a socially conscious society, which Australia is, there are occasions when the vulnerable or the disadvantaged need genuine protection in an increasingly complex, contested world. They’re valid reasons for intervention.”
Secretary of the Department of Communications, Drew Clarke, uses protecting children from harm on the internet as an example of a legitimate reason for government intervention.
“The market — the entire world of online content, is open to kids and we need to make interventions to help them make good choices and good decisions through their childhood.”
On public consultation for policy proposals
John Skerritt, National Manager at the Therapeutic Goods Administration, says public consultation is “central” to the process of implementing regulation.
“In this day and age it’s something that society and communities expect,” he said.
“And indeed, public consultation can often bring forward views that — even if you’ve thought over a particular area for 12 months or more, with large numbers of people inside your organisation or even inside industry or government — the broader public will often bring special perspectives that will get you to rethink possible areas of regulation.”
He said public consultation, particularly in regards to unpopular policy, generally results in higher compliance because it encourages a broader understanding that the change is for the common good.