Media Release

5 November 2015

Secretaries Ready to Rid the Red

The Department of Finance Secretary Jane Halton today announced the release of an Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation (the review).

The review, conducted by former senior public servant Ms Barbara Belcher, was commissioned by the Secretaries Board to identify opportunities to reduce red tape in internal to government regulation and processes.

Ms Belcher made 134 recommendations to reduce excessive regulation with a key focus on streamlining security vetting processes, removing duplication of reporting, improving accessibility of information, clarifying guidance, introducing electronic tabling in Parliament and improving annual reports.

Ms Halton said “the review found many regulatory requirements are appropriately and efficiently administered, but others are not. Some regulation was put in place when entity capability was significantly lower than today, and before the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013’s focus on risk, performance and duties.

“The Secretaries Board is committed to progressing the Review’s recommendations and the four main regulating entities, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Public Service Commission and the Department of Finance, have already made a good start on progressing some of these.

“Over the coming months we will start to see regulation that is better targeted, more effective, and ultimately, uses less of our scarce resources. This will allow us to be better focussed on delivering services for the community. The review will help us to test future regulation against a set of principles, to avoid the future occurrence of red tape.

Policy owners are already responding to the Review. One example is ICT Benchmarking, which has noticeably reduced the 2016 data collection requirements for medium and small entities.”

The review is an opportunity to improve public sector agility through removing or streamlining regulation, and improving processes and culture within the public service.

The Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation, including the full list of recommendations, is available from

Media contact: Amelia Gard 02 6215 2665

Last updated: 05 November 2015