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Purpose 1: Creating economic growth and jobs

Analysis

The 2019–20 reporting period is best described as a story of two halves. In the first six months, Australia experienced remnants of drought and floods together with the onset of devastating fires. In the second six months—from the end of 2019 to the end of the reporting period—the intensity of the Australian bushfires was immediately followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts to contain it.

PM&C assisted in the delivery of the Government’s key measures to bolster Australia’s economic recovery by providing timely and high-quality advice on economic policy. In addition, this year PM&C met the challenge to pivot in response to national and global crises, playing a critical role in supporting the Government through crisis management efforts, economic stimulus and recovery.

In 2019–20, PM&C:

  • led the federal response to the Australian bushfires and established the National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA)
  • worked closely with Commonwealth agencies to implement economic measures in response to the immediate impact of COVID-19
  • advised on the prioritisation of key infrastructure projects
  • led the Digital Technologies Taskforce to introduce an APS-enterprise approach for digital policy development
  • advised COAG and National Cabinet on vocational education and training (VET) reforms.

We were instrumental in convening strategic engagements between senior officials, with the Commonwealth and with all states and territories. This extensive engagement supported the design of various small business support measures that were announced during the bushfire crisis; the establishment of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements; and agreement at COAG in March to a range of emergency management projects.

From early 2020, social distancing, quarantine and lockdown measures were introduced across Australia—first, to ensure the capacity and capability of the health system; and, second, to combat the spread of COVID-19. The impacts resulting from COVID-19 restrictions led domestic and global economies to suffer from one of the largest economic shocks since the Great Depression. PM&C worked closely with the Department of the Treasury, the Australian Tax Office, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Social Services and Services Australia to implement largely temporary social security, tax, superannuation and industrial relations measures designed to cushion the immediate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaboration and quality advice were critical in the rapid rollout of two rounds of the $750 Economic Support Payment and the $500 Coronavirus Supplement to the JobSeeker Payment through the welfare system, and JobKeeper Payment through the tax system. The Department also advised on business investment support, measures for the early release of superannuation for individuals, and the variation of award rates and targeted relief for affected industries.

Infrastructure investment is central to the Government’s strategy to deliver sustainable economic growth and job creation. Substantial progress was made this year towards key projects such as completing Pacific Highway upgrades, delivering Inland Rail and Perth’s MetroNet and commencing major earthworks on the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.

PM&C also co-led the Deregulation Taskforce with the Treasury, to address regulatory congestion and modernise the way businesses interact with government. This included delivering the Government’s 2019–20 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) deregulation package, which contained reforms to:

  • reduce regulatory burden for food manufacturers with an initial focus on exporting
  • make it easier for sole traders and micro businesses to become first-time employers
  • get beneficial major projects up and running sooner.

We achieved nine out of 11 performance measures under this purpose. One measure is partially achieved and we are on track to deliver against another measure over the life of the Corporate Plan.

In 2019–20, against a backdrop of constant change, negative economic outcomes and crisis, PM&C effectively pivoted to support the Government’s key economic priorities.

Results: Key Activity 1.1

Key activity

Measure

Target

Work to apply economic frameworks to complex policy problems so sustainable policy solutions are developed for the Government, to identify options to enhance the productivity of domestic businesses and to foster internationally competitive industries.

The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, responsible ministers and agencies receive high-quality and coordinated advice to inform policy development and support the implementation of the Government’s key priorities and activities.

Quality of advice received supports the Prime Minister in coordinating and implementing these policies and programs.

The advice considers the views of all relevant stakeholders, including industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the states and territories.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through case study

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C provided rigorous economic advice on the operation of markets, the identification of market failures, and the design and impact of sustainable policy solutions across a range of markets and policy areas, to ensure their effectiveness.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C played an instrumental role in the design of the Government’s response to the 2019–2020 bushfire crisis. (Refer to the following case study). PM&C brought together key stakeholders across the Commonwealth to provide coordinated advice in developing bushfire support packages.

PM&C collaborated across the APS to advise on and support the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including two rounds of the Economic Support Payment, the Coronavirus Supplement to the JobSeeker Payment, and the JobKeeper payment.

Case study: Developing a program of financial assistance for recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires

In the summer of 2019–2020, Australia faced bushfires that were unequalled in their extent, involving every Australian state and territory. By the time the bushfires were brought under control, they had razed over 10 million hectares of land, claimed the lives of 33 people and destroyed over 3,000 homes and many businesses, devastating local communities.

The scale of the disaster demanded an unparalleled response from all levels of government.

To assist those who had lost incomes and property as a result of the bushfires, the Government put together several targeted financial and other support packages.

In developing the support packages, PM&C brought together, and worked with, relevant Commonwealth, state, territory and local government agencies and other stakeholders to enable local solutions. PM&C also assisted in ensuring options brought forward to the Cabinet were consistent with frameworks that support sound policy design, including the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, and could be implemented and administered in a timely way (including by the relevant state agencies). This work helped ensure that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet were in a position to make informed decisions.

PM&C established the National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA)—an operationally independent unit within the Department—to lead and coordinate a national response to the bushfires, including oversight of more than $2 billion provided for the National Bushfire Recovery Fund. The funding provides for a number of measures to support individuals, families, and businesses, including targeted assistance for small businesses and primary producers. This money supported bushfire-affected communities to restore their local communities, with support from the NBRA and state and local partners.

More about the National Bushfire Recovery Fund, including take-up of assistance, is available at www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/progress-to-date/funding

Results: Key Activity 1.2

Key activity

Measure

Target

Lead the Digital Technologies Taskforce to coordinate and drive the Government’s policies on digital technologies.

The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, responsible ministers and agencies receive high-quality and coordinated advice to inform policy development and support the implementation of the Government’s key priorities and activities.

Quality of advice received supports the Prime Minister in coordinating and implementing these policies and programs.

The advice considers the views of all relevant stakeholders, including industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the states and territories.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

On track

Methodology

Evaluation through case study

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C established and led the Prime Minister’s Digital Technology Taskforce.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C worked with the Digital Experts Advisory Committee to identify options to support the acceleration of Australia’s transition to a leading digital economy.

The Department provided the Prime Minister and relevant ministers with advice, proposals and support for informed decisions on key digital technology priorities.

PM&C consulted with key stakeholders including Government and the private sector to coordinate and develop digital policy. (Refer to the following case study).

Case study: Australia as a leading digital economy and society by 2030

The growing global digital economy is changing the way people all over the world live and do business. Over coming decades it will transform important sectors of the world economy, including banking, retail and education. The Government aims to ensure that Australia can participate in this expansion to the fullest extent and become a leading digital economy and society by 2030.

For this reason, in November 2019, the Prime Minister established a Digital Technology Taskforce within and led by PM&C. The Taskforce brought together the Attorney-General’s Department; Department of Education, Skills and Employment; Department of Home Affairs; Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications; and Department of the Treasury—agencies that have a significant role in developing the digital economy for Australia.

The Prime Minister asked the Taskforce to advise on a range of issues, including:

  • how the digital landscape is changing
  • what trade opportunities are available to Australia as a result of the digital economy
  • how to encourage the uptake of digital technology across the Australian economy
  • what skills Australians will need and how those skills can be developed
  • what online safety issues are at play
  • what infrastructure will support the use of digital technology.

The Taskforce consulted with Government and private sector stakeholders to coordinate the approach to digital policy development.

Digital technology policy is part of the work of most, if not all, Australian Government agencies. The Taskforce brought together agencies to provide an APS-enterprise approach and to push on strategies and initiatives to embed the uptake of digital technology. The approach aimed to build businesses and support learning and community engagement across the Australian economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the importance, and risks, of digital technology as an economic enabler. The COVID-19 quarantine measures resulted in rapid, widespread and increased use of digital tools by households and businesses.

The Taskforce sought to build on this momentum and accelerate the Australian economy’s digital transformation, while emphasising cyber-safety, to ensure resilience, recovery, job creation and longer term prosperity for individuals and businesses in Australia.

As part of its work, the Taskforce supported the Prime Minister and other relevant ministers by providing high-quality briefings, coordinating advice and proposals, and working across with other agencies to deliver whole-of-government strategic approaches to digital technology policy and proposals.

Results: Key Activity 1.3

Key activity

Measure

Target

Work with other Commonwealth agencies to provide holistic and timely advice on the Government’s $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline, including the delivery of priority projects such as the Western Sydney Airport, Inland Rail and Snowy Hydro 2.0.

The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, responsible ministers and agencies receive high-quality and coordinated advice to inform policy development and support the implementation of the Government’s key priorities and activities.

Quality of advice received supports the Prime Minister in coordinating and implementing these policies and programs.

The advice considers the views of all relevant stakeholders, including industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the states and territories.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through case study

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C worked closely with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) and relevant statutory agencies to drive a range of infrastructure projects.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C provided advice to DITRDC and relevant statutory agencies to enable progression of infrastructure projects, including facilitating engagement with the Prime Minister’s Office where relevant, coordinating and assisting progress of decisions through the Cabinet process.

PM&C supported the COVID-19 economic recovery efforts by coordinating and contributing to prioritisation of accelerated commencement of infrastructure projects to deliver local jobs and boost economic activity. (Refer to the following case study).

Case study: Faster and safer transport — connecting people, goods and services

Infrastructure investment is central to the Government’s strategy to reduce road congestion, improve road safety, meet the national freight challenge and transform Australia’s economy. Better infrastructure improves national connectivity, creates jobs and increases economic growth.

The Government is investing more than $100 billion in its Infrastructure Investment Program—a 10-year investment in transport infrastructure. The Government’s transport investments span everything from major projects, such as the construction of the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and the associated metro link, to small road safety projects that protect and save lives.

Substantial progress was made this year towards key projects such as completing Pacific Highway upgrades and delivering Inland Rail and Perth’s MetroNet.

Major earthworks commenced on the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport; and the Prime Minister and New South Wales Premier reached an agreement to deliver the accompanying metro link in 2026.

In addition, since 2019-20 MYEFO, the Prime Minister announced the accelerated delivery of $9.3 billion in projects that will support the Australian economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This coordinated and targeted infrastructure investment will boost economic recovery by creating jobs and strengthening economic confidence.

The Cabinet played a critical role in selecting projects the Commonwealth will invest in, along with the states and territories; and PM&C supported both the Cabinet and the Prime Minister in their decision making.

The Government’s $100 billion Infrastructure Investment Program can only be realised with constructive collaboration between Commonwealth agencies and jurisdictions. PM&C worked closely with the Department and relevant statutory agencies to support delivery and acceleration of the Government’s infrastructure commitments; and we played a central role in bringing together public and private sector perspectives in support of the Prime Minister’s infrastructure agenda.

Results: Key Activity 1.4

Key activity

Measure

Target

Support the Prime Minister, responsible ministers and agencies to deliver the National Vision for Vocational Education and Training.

The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, responsible ministers and agencies receive high-quality and coordinated advice to inform policy development and support the implementation of the Government’s key priorities and activities.

Quality of advice received supports the Prime Minister in coordinating and implementing these policies and programs.

The advice considers the views of all relevant stakeholders, including industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the states and territories.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through case study

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C provided high-quality, whole-of-government advice to the Prime Minister. The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the need for a responsive vocational education and training (VET) system. National Cabinet agreed to progress skills reform as a key priority for job creation.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C supported new skills funding agreements as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery.

The Department advised on establishing the National Skills Commission and National Careers Institute.

PM&C assisted the development and delivery of the $80 million Infection Control Training Fund.

PM&C’s quality advice and coordination assisted Commonwealth and state and territory governments to reach consensus on a National Vision for Vocational Education and Training.

Case study: Skills reform

In August 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed on a National Vision for Vocational Education and Training (National Vision) as a ‘responsive, dynamic and trusted’ sector.

Skills reform that delivers on the National Vision will ensure that Australians have access to education and training that meets industry needs and enables them to secure in-demand jobs. The Australian Government is working with the states and territories to achieve this vision, including through the National Cabinet.

PM&C provided timely, whole-of-government briefings to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to support the delivery of skills reform. This included providing advice:

  • to support the Prime Minister at the COAG meetings in August 2019, when the National Vision was agreed; and in March 2020, when leaders agreed on reform priorities
  • on establishing the National Skills Commission and National Careers Institute as key features of a reformed vocational education and training (VET) system
  • on new skills funding agreements with the states and territories to support the COVID-19 recovery and prepare the ground for revised VET funding arrangements.

Our advice enabled the Prime Minister to work with the states and territories on an ambitious skills reform agenda, initially through COAG and later through the National Cabinet.

The $80 million Infection Control Training Fund (which all jurisdictions signed up to in June 2020) is an example of how national collaboration on a responsive skills system can benefit the community. The fund is delivering around 80,000 subsidised short courses to support the safe reopening of businesses in a post-COVID-19 environment.

The Government has laid the groundwork for reform with the establishment of the National Skills Commission and National Careers Institute. Initial consensus on skills reform at the then COAG laid the foundation for further progress through National Cabinet.

Skills reform is a key part of the Government’s JobMaker plan—it will ensure Australia has a trained workforce ready with skills matched to industry needs. A VET system that is responsive, dynamic and trusted will be critical in supporting Australia to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: Key Activity 1.5

Key activity

Measure

Target

Support the Government in the implementation of its refreshed deregulation agenda, including through co-leading, with Treasury, the Deregulation Taskforce.

The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, responsible ministers and agencies receive high-quality and coordinated advice to inform policy development and support the implementation of the Government’s key priorities and activities.

Quality of advice received supports the Prime Minister in coordinating and implementing these policies and programs.

The advice considers the views of all relevant stakeholders, including industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the states and territories.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through stakeholder survey

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C supported the Government to deliver its deregulation agenda.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C co-led the Deregulation Taskforce to deliver the Government’s 2019–20 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) deregulation package (see the Purpose 1 analysis for more information about the reforms). The Department continued to design and implement the Government’s new whole-of-government deregulation agenda, with a focus on regulatory stewardship.

Stakeholder survey results were very positive, with stakeholders rating PM&C’s role in supporting the Government to deliver its deregulation agenda as being effective.

Results: Key Activity 1.6

Key activity

Measure

Target

Support the Government to implement its priorities in industrial relations, tax, transfers and superannuation policy, including through the Retirement Income Review.

The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, responsible ministers and agencies receive high-quality and coordinated advice to inform policy development and support the implementation of the Government’s key priorities and activities.

Quality of advice received supports the Prime Minister in coordinating and implementing these policies and programs.

The advice considers the views of all relevant stakeholders, including industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the states and territories.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through case study

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C provided advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet that contributed to decision making and worked closely with partner agencies to support the delivery of priorities.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

The Department supported the Government’s implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Financial Services Royal Commission). The Government has now implemented 24 commitments and substantially progressed a further 35. (Refer to the following case study).

PM&C advised on support for small businesses affected by bushfires.

As Government priorities shifted as a result of the 2019–2020 bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, PM&C continued to deliver informed advice in consultation with partner agencies and external stakeholders.

Case study: Implementing the recommendations of the Financial Services Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Financial Services Royal Commission) was established in December 2017 to investigate misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. It found that industry participants had engaged in often illegal conduct that caused substantial loss to many customers but yielded substantial profit to those in the industry. The Royal Commission’s final report was presented to the Governor-General on 1 February 2019.

The Royal Commission identified serious shortcomings in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. Timely implementation of the Government’s response is important for restoring trust in Australia’s financial sector and ensuring vulnerable consumers will not be exploited.

On 4 February 2019, the Government announced its response to the Royal Commission’s report. In August 2019, it established an ambitious implementation roadmap to progress reforms arising from the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

PM&C supported the Government to implement its response to the Royal Commission. The Government has now implemented 24 commitments it made in its response and has substantially progressed a further 35 through consultation and the preparation of draft legislation. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unavoidable six-month delay to implementation, but work is progressing and we are currently on track to meet these new time frames.

PM&C’s work included responding to policy authority questions in a timely and accurate manner, seconding staff to Treasury to coordinate our approach to policy development, and continuously engaging across the broader public service to ensure reforms were on track. PM&C reviewed draft legislation prior to introduction, to ensure that the measures were being implemented in a way that was consistent with the agreed Government position.

The reforms will deliver a financial system that better serves the needs of the public and protects vulnerable consumers. Ultimately, it will lead to restored trust in Australia’s financial sector, which is essential to people’s wellbeing and a productive economy. The timely implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations demonstrates the commitment the Prime Minister and the Government have made to reform the sector.

Results: Key Activity 1.7

Key activity

Measure

Target

Work with central agencies to support the Prime Minister in the Budget process, including whole-of-government advice on new policy proposals considered by the Expenditure Review Committee.

Support the Expenditure Review Committee in decision making and assist the Government to deliver on its fiscal strategy.

Quality of advice received supports the Expenditure Review Committee in its decision making and assists the Government to deliver on its fiscal strategy.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through stakeholder survey

Analysis

In the 2019–20, PM&C supported the Prime Minister in the Budget process. Stakeholder survey results were positive, with stakeholders indicating that PM&C had been effective in bringing together a whole-of-government perspective, adding value to the development of policy and achieving outcomes for this key activity.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C supported the Prime Minister and the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet to quickly respond to the 2019–2020 bushfires, including by assisting with the establishment of the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund.

The Department assisted the development of around $289 billion in fiscal and balance sheet support for the economic response to COVID-19, which complemented support provided for the health response.

PM&C worked closely with other central agencies to set the strategic direction of the Government’s new fiscal strategy and recovery pathway from the July Economic and Fiscal Update to the October 2020–21 Budget (postponed from May 2020).

Results: Key Activity 1.8

Key activity

Measure

Target

Support the Prime Minister in achieving the Government’s strategic priorities in areas that require Commonwealth-State cooperation.

Assist COAG to deliver on its priorities by ensuring good governance of the COAG system.

Quality of advice received supports good governance of the COAG system.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through case study

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C supported the Prime Minister in achieving the Government’s strategic priorities in areas that required Commonwealth–State cooperation.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C organised and supported the Prime Minister to chair two COAG meetings at which leaders agreed on important national reforms, including the export ban of certain waste products. PM&C convened high-level meetings between senior leaders in response to the bushfires, facilitating direct briefings from the NBRA to inform decision making. (Refer to the following case study).

The Department supported the Prime Minister and leaders to establish a new intergovernmental forum, initially intended to coordinate the Commonwealth Government and state and territory governments’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic—the National Cabinet.

PM&C supported the Prime Minister to chair 22 meetings of the National Cabinet between 15 March and 30 June 2020.

For more information on our role and effectiveness, see the case studies for key activities 4.2 and 4.4.

Case study: Engaging with states and territories in response to the 2019–2020 bushfires

The 2019–2020 bushfires had exceptionally severe impacts on communities across Australia.

The National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA) was established within PM&C in early January 2020 in response to the sheer scope of the devastation across multiple states and the scale of recovery effort needed. The role of the NBRA was to help people to access support across governments and recover from these devastating fires; and to coordinate a national bushfire recovery response.

Between January and March 2020, PM&C convened a number of high-level meetings between Commonwealth, state and territory senior officials to coordinate the bushfire response. At the meetings, senior officials closely monitored the bushfire crisis and the evolving needs of governments and communities. They were briefed directly by operational experts and staff from the newly established NBRA.

As a result of the meetings and other ad-hoc bilateral engagement, senior officials were able to exchange information regularly and narrow the range of matters to be considered by First Ministers at a COAG meeting on 13 March 2020.

First Ministers considered the recovery from the bushfires as a matter of priority. They agreed that the NBRA would work with all jurisdictions to coordinate the delivery of a national plan for bushfire recovery, complement state recovery plans, and support locally led efforts consistent with the National Principles for Disaster Recovery. They also agreed that local economic recovery for the regions most affected by the bushfires would be part of a national approach and that this would be jointly led by impacted states and the NBRA.

Recognising that consultation and collaboration with stakeholders and affected communities is critical to successful and enduring recovery, the NBRA collaborates with all levels of government, the private sector and charities.

The NBRA established a range of forums to facilitate coordination, consultation and collaboration. For example, it set up state and federal bushfire recovery groups to coordinate and optimise recovery efforts between state, territory and federal recovery agencies.

PM&C successfully leveraged existing relationships and forums to coordinate APS-enterprise and Commonwealth–State efforts in a crisis. The step-up in engagement was pivotal to the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic when it arose later in 2020.

Results: Key Activity 1.9

Key activity

Measure

Target

Support the Prime Minister to represent Australia in the G20 and other international forums to drive international cooperation and advance Australia’s national interests.

Support the Government to develop and prosecute its trade, foreign investment, and G20 objectives.

Quality of advice received supports the Government in developing and prosecuting its trade, foreign investment, and G20 objectives, while protecting Australia’s national interests.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Result

Achieved

Methodology

Evaluation through case study

Analysis

In 2019–20, PM&C helped secure Australia’s interests by providing high-quality policy advice and coordination.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

PM&C provided advice that shaped the G20’s COVID-19 response, through negotiation of the G20 Leaders’ Statement and through the Prime Minister’s strong intervention during the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit. (Refer to the following case study).

Case study: Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Statement on COVID-19

On 26 March 2020, G20 leaders convened for a virtual Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit to agree on a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A G20 Leaders’ Statement was successfully negotiated and released following the Summit. The statement committed leaders to unite against the COVID-19 twin health and economic crises.

PM&C had an important role in negotiating Australia’s position during the Summit so that it would be strongly reflected in the resulting Leaders’ Statement. PM&C’s negotiations helped deliver the Government’s intent, which was to have the Leaders’ Statement reflect Australia’s international health and economic COVID-19 response priorities, including support for vulnerable countries in our region and for a strong multilateral system.

We began by identifying Australia’s strategic priorities and then using them as an anchor for our negotiating position in a highly fluid and fast-moving environment. PM&C’s negotiation on the Leaders’ Statement supported the Prime Minister’s influential participation in the virtual Summit and helped to progress his COVID-19 priorities.

The agreed outcomes in the Leaders’ Statement reinforced support for multilateralism, open markets and the rules-based order—all things that underpin Australia’s national prosperity. Language in the Leaders’ Statement on supporting small island states demonstrated Australia’s commitment to our Indo-Pacific family and regional stability.

PM&C’s part in the virtual negotiation process included:

  • coordinating Australian Government positions (within PM&C and across government agencies)
  • consulting other member countries to identify and advance areas of mutual interest
  • commenting on presidency drafts to shape the outcomes
  • participating in a virtual sherpa meeting.

The G20 Leaders’ Statement helped advance Australia’s national interests and drive international cooperation in the midst of the pandemic, signalling that the Prime Minister and global leaders were united and willing to do whatever it took to combat COVID-19.

Results: Key Activity 1.10

Key activity

Measure

Target

Result

Analysis

Work as early as possible with agencies to identify policy problems and articulate the costs and benefits of all options where there may be major impacts on businesses or citizens.

Ensure Government decisions are fully informed of the direct impacts of major policy proposals using evidence and the input of affected stakeholders.

Increase the share of impact analysis considered Best Practice from 2018–19.

Partially achieved

In 2019–20, PM&C worked with agencies to identify policy problems and articulate the costs and benefits of all options to ensure Government decisions are fully informed of the direct impact of major policy proposals.

PM&C’s achievements against this measure

In 2019–20, 31 per cent of Regulation Impact Statements (RISs) that were finalised and released by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) within PM&C were considered best practice.

Due to a number of factors, predominately COVID-19, the number of RISs considered best practice was lower in 2019–20 compared with the 2018–19 reporting period. A key factor that contributed to this result was the realignment of priorities across APS agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019–2020 bushfires, which impacted on the material coming forward for analysis.

Additionally, in March 2020, PM&C released the updated Australian Government Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis. This was accompanied by an increased focus by OBPR on lifting the quality of advice provided to Government and adjusting the criteria for best practice analysis.

Increase the number of hours of structured impact analysis training delivered across the APS from 2018–19.

Achieved

In 2019–20, OBPR delivered more than 2,254 hours of capacity building training to APS staff from 12 out of the 14 portfolio departments. The number of training hours from the 2019–20 reporting will establish the benchmark for future reporting periods.

This is in addition to emails, calls, meetings and discussions that provide agencies with the support and skills to produce high-quality impact analysis.

Source

Corporate Plan 2019–2023, pp. 7–8

Methodology

OBPR assesses all Regulation Impact Statements done by agencies to inform major decisions of Government. Each RIS is eventually released, when a policy decision is made and announced by Government. All such RIS’s are available at https://ris.pmc.gov.au/ and reports on overall numbers and figures are available at https://www.pmc.gov.au/regulation/compliance-reporting/aust-govt