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Performance results

OBJECTIVE: A TRUSTED RELEVANT AND EXPERT INSTITUTION

KPI: OUR REPUTATION AND REGULATORY EXPERTISE ARE EVIDENCED THROUGH OUR REGULATORY POSTURES, INCLUDING COMPLIANCE, EVIDENCE-BASED DECISIONS, DATA ANALYSIS AND MARKET INSIGHTS.

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Overall, our agency has met or exceeded all targets supporting this KPI, demonstrating our successful practices as a trusted relevant and expert institution.

The performance measures for this KPI assess our administration of the Emissions Reduction Fund contract management function, activities related to monitoring and encouraging compliance with all schemes, and the quality and timeliness of our market information.

The proportion of carbon abatement that was delivered on time under Emissions Reduction Fund carbon abatement contracts increased to 91 per cent. This exceeds the target in the Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20 of equal to or greater than 80 per cent. This improvement reflects a record year for contractual deliveries under the scheme. The result was supported by measures we undertook to ensure the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of administration as well as our proactive outreach to scheme participants and other interested parties on both contractual and general scheme administration matters.

For 2019–20, a total of 99 per cent of entities complied with their reporting obligations. Requirements to surrender certificates for the Renewable Energy Target, or for Safeguard Mechanism reporters, to keep their emissions at or below pre-set baselines or emissions limits were also met. This covers reporting required under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme, the Emissions Reduction Fund and reporting on liability and accredited generation under the Renewable Energy Target. It also covers compliance with the Renewable Energy Target for certificate surrender and obligations under the Safeguard Mechanism for reporters to keep their emissions at or below pre-set baselines. This outcome, which is above the 95 target published in the Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20, is a significant achievement especially given the unprecedented bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

Analytics and enhanced data matching capabilities were critical in identifying non-compliance in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

Our 2019 communications survey reported a 93 per cent scheme participant satisfaction rate regarding the quality and timeliness of market information we provide. Providing this information supports the effective operation of Australia’s carbon abatement schemes and markets.

In 2019–20, we introduced a Quarterly Carbon Market Report that consolidates information across the three national carbon markets we administer – Australian carbon credit units, large-scale generation certificates and small-scale technology certificates. This regular and comprehensive format provides a contemporary understanding of market opportunities and tracks our agency’s progress against our purpose of accelerating carbon abatement for Australia. To support new participants and growing voluntary ambition from Australian companies to reduce their emissions, we expanded the availability of webinars explaining how the Australian carbon markets operate and the international context.

The Quarterly Carbon Market Reports are rich with data and graphics. Published workbooks accompany each report to improve accessibility and facilitate third parties generating new insights from our data. We provide stakeholder briefings to improve market reach. Referencing of our agency data and insights by third parties, such as the Reserve Bank of Australia, indicates our stakeholders regard the information as credible.

During 2019–20, we reviewed our estimates of the capacity of rooftop solar likely to be installed on residential and commercial premises under the Renewable Energy Target over the next four years. This data feeds into the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources projection of Australia’s 2030 emissions and the Australian Energy Market Operator electricity market demand forecasts.

No statutory decisions were appealed to courts or tribunals. This demonstrates the robustness of our decisions and the effectiveness of our assessment processes. At the time of writing, one Freedom of Information decision was under review by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

To support community confidence in the integrity of the schemes we administer, we prioritise stopping or preventing harms and ensure our compliance and enforcement activities are effective, timely and proportionate. During 2019–20, we reduced the average age of cases on hand from 346 days on 1 July 2019, to 209 days as at 30 June 2020. Changes to our investigations procedures and processes, and additional governance mechanisms resulted in more timely investigations, reflected in this result.

Performance measure

Proportion of contracted carbon abatement delivered

Rationale

This is an indicator of the effectiveness of our administration of the Emissions Reduction Fund's contract management function.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

87%

91%

≥ 80%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23 and Portfolio Budget Statement 2019

Performance measure

Compliance levels by regulated and liable entities

Rationale

Compliance levels are an indicator of participant behaviour, and the reputation of our agency as a regulator, to ensure we are seen as trusted, relevant and expert by government, participants and the community.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

98%

99%

95%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23 and Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20

Performance measure

Proportion of investigations completed within timeframes

Rationale

Timely completion of investigations contributes to our reputation as a firm but fair regulator.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

Not reported

100%

75%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Level of participant satisfaction with the quality and timeliness of market information

Rationale

Providing information increases transparency and confidence in the operation of markets and underpins our role as a trusted, relevant and expert institution.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

Not reported

93%

80%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Data and analytics are used to communicate market activities

Rationale

This is an indicator of how we have used our agency data and analytics to share market insights with our participants, stakeholders and government agencies.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

Not reported

Achieved

Achieved

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

OBJECTIVE: EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION

KPI: COMPLIANT PARTICIPATION IN OUR SCHEMES INCREASES AS A RESULT OF EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION.

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Overall, our agency has met or substantially met the majority of the targets supporting this KPI, demonstrating our reputation as an efficient and effective regulator.

The performance measures for this KPI assess the timely processing of applications, effectiveness of our agency’s processes and practices and ongoing commitment to service delivery in administering the schemes.

In 2019–20, we processed 99.4 per cent of all scheme applications within statutory or administrative timeframes. We continued streamlining administration through information and communications technology (ICT) innovation. Improvements to online applications have made accreditation processes more efficient and made it easier for scheme participants to submit compliance reporting requirements, encouraging participation in the schemes and helping to accelerate carbon abatement.

Respondents to our 2019 communications survey reported a 91 per cent satisfaction rate with their interactions with our staff. High ratings were reported for staff respectful behaviours and a sound knowledge and understanding of the relevant legislation and processes.

Active Development Plans identify each individual's areas of capability that require focused attention through training or development and are an integral part of our staff's engagement in our agency’s cultural norms. It is anticipated that the target for this performance measure will be achieved across three years, commencing in late 2019–20 when our agency formalised the capture of these plans in a dedicated learning and development system, 'LearnHub'. Since its launch in late 2019-20, engagement with the tool is on-track with, nearly one third of our agency staff currently on board.

Training and development opportunities offered to our staff included in-house training and coaching, externally hosted sessions, a mobility program and an agency-wide environmental scanning program. For example, our agency’s EPIC (Environment, People, Insights and Capability) guest speaker program offers staff informative and engaging speakers from across industry, government and academia to provide their expertise, knowledge and perspectives. This builds staff understanding about the broader context of their work as well as key developments in relevant parts of the economy.

Our ‘positive’ self-assessment against each of the mandated six KPIs under the Regulator Performance Framework was confirmed by our external validators—peak body representatives from a cross-section of scheme participants thereby demonstrating that we are maintaining our reputation as an efficient and effective regulator.

Performance measure

Proportion of applications processed within statutory or agreed timeframes

Rationale

Effective scheme administration is supported by the efficient processing of applications by our agency to meet statutory or administrative timeframes, streamline participant experience and achieve participant expectation.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

99%

99.4%

99.5%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Level of participant satisfaction with staff interactions

Rationale

We assess the ability of our staff in supporting our participants to help evaluate our service delivery and identify areas for future staff development.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

-

91%1

80%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

1Amendments were made to the methodology for reporting against performance measures in 2019-20.

Performance measure

Strategies and investment in our people enable us to be efficient and effective

Rationale

We design and implement strategies to enhance the capability of our staff, for the benefit of our agency and scheme participants.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target (Multi-year)

Not reported

Active Development Plans submitted in LearnHub 32%

Active Development Plans submitted in LearnHub 80%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Positive assessment of the agency performance under the Regulator Performance Framework

Rationale

As a regulator, we work to uphold the government’s principles for regulatory practice to foster good relationships with our participants. A positive assessment against this Regulatory Performance Framework helps to confirm the effectiveness of our agency’s processes and practices.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

Positive

Positive

Positive

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

OBJECTIVE: ENGAGED, ACTIVE AND COMPLIANT PARTICIPANTS

KPI: OUR SUPPORT, ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION ACTIVITIES WITH PARTICIPANTS RESULT IN THEIR COMPLIANCE AND SUCCESSFUL PARTICIPATION IN OUR SCHEMES.

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Overall, our agency has met or substantially met all targets supporting this KPI, and has supported the participation of competent, capable and compliant participants.

The performance measures for this KPI assess our performance in relation to guidance and information sharing, communications activities, and the volume of certificates and carbon credits issued to compliant participants.

We issued more than 15 million Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) and validated more than 30 million large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) this year, a new annual record for both certificate types. The ACCU issuance estimate was based on an internal agency model, which is not able to reflect the impact of external factors. The impact of the revisions to some key vegetation methods reduced project registrations and ACCU issuance for these projects by about seven per cent, resulting in the estimate not being achieved for 2019–20. Despite this, we achieved a 12 per cent increase in ACCUs issued, compared with 2018–19. For the Renewable Energy Target, there was a 14 per cent increase in LGCs validated, compared with 2018–19. The number of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) validated increased by 17 per cent, compared with 2018–19. This was due to an increase in average system size and higher volumes of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed. Each of these certificates and units represents action taken by individuals or businesses to reduce emissions.

Our 2019 communications survey recorded a 92 per cent participant satisfaction with engagement and guidance provided. This indicated that our continual improvement in website communications was timely and informative and that our carbon market publications are fit for purpose, understandable and useful in helping participants make compliant decisions. We developed all new simplified website content, which included a range of factsheets and a new user guide for soil carbon projects. These are examples of simplified and streamlined information offerings we developed in conjunction with industry.

During 2019–20, our Contact Centre resolved 68 per cent of telephone enquiries. This is slightly lower than the 2018–19 result and reflects an increase in the complexity of participant enquiries as our schemes continue to mature. It also reflects the impact on operations due to our workforce working from home in response to COVID-19. Given the technical nature of our schemes, we expect some enquiries will be escalated to specialised business areas within our agency for resolution.

Performance measure

Level of participant satisfaction with engagement and guidance provided

Rationale

Providing accurate, timely and relevant guidance and engagement informs and educates our participants to understand their obligations or entitlements and to successfully participate in our schemes.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

-

92%1

80%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

1 Amendments were made to the methodology for reporting against this performance measure in 2019-20.

Performance measure

Proportion of participant contacts resolved at first interaction

Rationale

The ability to efficiently resolve participant queries through our Contact Centre enables existing and prospective participants to successfully participate in our schemes and meet their obligations.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

74%

68%

70%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019-23

Performance measure

Number of Australian carbon credit units issued

Rationale

This is an indicator of the level of carbon abatement that has been achieved.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Estimate

13,663,409

15,476,458

16,700,000

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Number of renewable energy certificates (LGCs and STCs) validated

Rationale

This indicates the volume of electricity generated from renewable energy sources and the liquidity of the certificate market, therefore participation in and tracking towards the Renewable Energy Target.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Estimate

LGCs: 26,250,722

STCs: 33,265,332

LGCs: 30,496,990

STCs: 40,267,622

LGCs: 31,000,000

STCs: 32,000,000

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Our engagement and communication activities assists participants to successfully participate in our schemes

Rationale

We undertake various engagement and communication activities to educate and inform our participants to successfully participate in our schemes.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

Not reported

Achieved

Achieved

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

OBJECTIVE: SECURE AND ENDURING REGULATORY INFRASTRUCTURE

KPI: PARTICIPANTS HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE INTEGRITY OF MARKET OPERATIONS AND AGENCY DATA AS OUR REGULATORY INFRASTRUCTURE IS ACCESSIBLE, RESILIENT AND ADAPTIVE.

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Overall, our agency has met or exceeded all targets supporting this KPI, demonstrating that we continue to maintain resilient and adaptable long-term processes and systems, as well as reliable data.

The performance measures for this KPI assess our performance in relation to compliance against Australian Government administrative, legal and policy boundaries, along with investments in our technology and security in our online systems to streamline participant experience and improve efficiencies in the administration of the schemes.

Our approach to this objective is through a program of continuous review and improvement, which is demonstrated in three ways:

  1. Good governance is demonstrated in our work across all administrative, legal and policy areas, resulting in an improvement overall with no significant breaches reported in 2019–20.
  2. Confidence in the integrity of market operations and data is demonstrated through the availability of our online systems when stakeholders and participants need them. Our systems were available 99.8 per cent of time, excluding planned outages.
  3. Continued investment in our online systems also demonstrates how we meet the current and future needs of our users. Commitment to the Digital Roadmap and Cyber-Resilience Framework are two examples of major programs to modernise our services, improve user experience and improve resilience by:
    1. migrating our registries and support systems to Azure and Office 365—this greatly streamlined our technology while readying a platform for modernisation in the future, and
    2. committing to cyber-security—this is demonstrated through our compliance with the Australian Government’s Essential Eight security strategies as the cornerstone of our cyber-resilience program.

Performance measure

No significant breaches of government, administrative, legal and policy requirements

Rationale

In operating for the public good, we must operate within the Australian Government administrative, legal and policy boundaries.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

1 breach

0 breaches

0 breaches

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Availability of online systems

Rationale

We can assess our ability to create and foster participant confidence in the market through the reliable operations of our online systems and registries.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

99.4%

99.8%

99.5%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Proportion of detected cyber threats resolved

Rationale

This measure assesses our ability to actively respond to cyber threats and ensure a measured response to all detected threats.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

Not reported

100%

100%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

Performance measure

Level of participant satisfaction with registries and reporting systems

Rationale

This measure relates to providing scheme participants with secure and user-friendly registries and reporting systems.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

-

92%1

80%

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23

1 Amendments were made to the methodology for reporting against this performance measure in 2019–20.

Performance measure

Investments in our systems to ensure that they remain secure and adaptive now and into the future

Rationale

This is an indicator of the work we have done to enhance and ensure the longevity of our systems.

Result: 2018–19

Result: 2019–20

Target

Not reported

Achieved

Achieved

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–23