Impacts of COAG Reforms: Business Regulation and VET
At its March 2008 meeting, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that, to assist the COAG Reform Council in its role of helping to enhance accountability and promote reform, and monitoring the progress of the COAG reform agenda, the Productivity Commission would be requested to report to COAG on the economic impacts and benefits of COAG's agreed reform agenda every two to three years. Terms of Reference for this commissioned work stream were released by the Australian Government on 16 June 2010.
These reports will enable governments and the community to have up-to-date information with which to evaluate what has been achieved, and will provide an assessment of potential future gains. These reports will also assist the COAG Reform Council in its role of helping to enhance accountability and promote reform, and in monitoring the progress of COAG's reform agenda.
The Commission's role was to assess:
- the economic impacts and benefits of COAG reforms
- where practicable, whether Australia's reform potential is being achieved and the opportunities for improvement.
The focus of the Commission's reporting were on the realised and prospective effects of COAG reforms. It will complement COAG Reform Council reporting on the implementation of reforms agreed to by COAG.
Each Commission report will be guided by directions from the Assistant Treasurer concerning the particular reporting priorities to be addressed.
For the first report in the series, the Assistant Treasurer has directed the Commission to focus on the impacts and benefits of two reform areas:
- aspects of the 'seamless national economy' deregulation priorities
- the vocational education and training (VET) reforms and initiatives that support young people make successful transitions from school to further education, training and employment.
The Letter of Direction for the report was released by the Assistant Treasurer on 22 August 2011 and asks the Commission to prepare a discussion draft in December 2011 and a final report by 31 March 2012.
In preparation for its inaugural report, the Commission was requested to provide a framework report to COAG outlining its proposed approach to reporting on the impacts and benefits of COAG's reform agenda by 31 December 2010. The resulting framework report was released on 19 January 2011.
In the course of the study, the Commission consulted with the COAG Reform Council, relevant Ministerial Councils, any relevant COAG working groups, Commonwealth Ministers, State and Territory Treasurers, business and the wider community, as appropriate.