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Impacts and Benefits of COAG Reforms: Reporting Framework

Framework report

The Commission has been requested to report every two to three years to COAG on the economic 'impacts and benefits' of COAG reforms. The Commission is also required to consider the extent to which Australia's reform potential is being achieved and opportunities for improvement.

In preparation for its first report, the Commission has been requested to provide this framework report outlining its proposed approach. This research report was released on 19 January 2011.

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  • Key points
  • Media release
  • Annex
  • The Commission has been requested to report every two to three years to COAG on the economic 'impacts and benefits' of COAG reforms. The Commission is also required to consider the extent to which Australia's reform potential is being achieved and opportunities for improvement.
    • In preparation for its first report, the Commission has been requested to provide this framework report outlining its proposed approach.
  • As in earlier exercises, the Commission will adopt an economy-wide approach for its assessments.
    • The proposed framework recognises the direct and wider flow-on effects of reforms. As far as practicable, costs incurred by government to achieve reform objectives and outcomes will also be taken into account.
  • The framework will provide for the quantification of the impacts of COAG reforms on national economic activity, employment and income. It will also provide quantification of fiscal, as well as State, regional and other distributional effects of change.
    • The Commission proposes to use a 'dynamic general equilibrium model' to project economy-wide impacts.
  • Where practicable, the social and environmental impacts will also be assessed.
    • Although not in comparable metrics, available indicators will be drawn on to help provide a broader assessment of the overall impacts of reform.
  • The Commission will group reforms into three broad streams: competition and regulation; human capital (including health, education and training); and the environment.
    • The proposed framework will account for differing lead times and the implications of changing demographic and economic characteristics on reform impacts.
  • Taking into account the progressive development and implementation of COAG's reforms, it is proposed that the Commission's first report provide:
    • an overview of the agenda and the potential for gains;
    • an assessment of areas of the competition and regulation stream for which policy development and implementation are advanced; and
    • an assessment of an area of the human capital stream, such as education, where agreements have been concluded and there are some realised as well as prospective impacts.
  • It is proposed that the Commission progressively report across the three reform streams in subsequent reports.

Background information

Owen Gabbitas (Research Manager) 02 6240 3273

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has developed a wide-ranging agenda of national reforms. The Productivity Commission has been given the role of reporting to COAG periodically on the economic 'impacts and benefits' of the reforms. It was asked to prepare initially a framework report which would set out how it proposes to go about this task.

The Commission's 'framework' report has been released. It sets out for COAG's consideration the broad approach and a sequence of reporting priorities that the Commission could follow in its substantive reports. It highlights the need to look at both the direct and indirect impacts of any reform, and to recognise that not all of the impacts in some areas will be measureable in economic terms. Assessments will also require varying degrees of judgement, and these will need to be informed by effective consultation processes.

The Commission has proposed that its first substantial report could cover reforms in the competition and regulation area, and reforms in the education area within the 'human capital' stream.

Background information

Owen Gabbitas (Research Manager) 02 6240 3273

Leonora Nicol (Media, Publications and Web) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443

Catalogue of COAG Reforms and Initiatives

This annex was released on 19 January 2011.

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