“A million dead fish can’t be beaten”, proclaimed one nomination for the inaugural Australia’s Most Hopeless Regulator (AMHR) Award. Indeed, in what’s a fiercely contested discipline, the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is a robust contender for the coveted title of the maximum hopeless regulator.
Although it did now not preside over the destruction of the country’s most treasured eco-gadget – as turned into done by means of the Murray Darling Basin Authority – the Australian Energy Regulator introduced a robust performance nonetheless.
For more than a decade now, the Australian Energy Regulator has finished its exceptional to be the maximum hopeless regulator in the united states. On a pure dollar basis, no other regulator has finished extra to strip billions from normal operating Australians – thru nosebleed strength payments – and plonk the ones billions onto the stability sheets of overseas multinational tax avoiders.
Its associate, the Australian Energy Markets Commission (AEMC), also deserves unique interest because it sets the fuel and electricity marketplace regulations in favour of the big foreign groups.
Before we announce the winner of the Peoples’ Award for Australia’s Most Hopeless Regulator, it’s miles really worth considering the quiet non-achievers; those regulators which go about their commercial enterprise being hopeless with little fanfare; people who receive no public popularity for frittering away millions of taxpayer bucks contributing little or nothing.
In this regard, it is difficult no longer to harbor a sneaking private admiration for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), a frame that’s so elusive that even its individuals must question whether it virtually exists. The FRC is adamant however that it’s far doing suitable work. Having currently despatched out a survey to its auditor individuals do ask them if they notion they have been doing an amazing job, “ninety-two percent replied … ‘above average’ or ‘superb’”.
That settles it. It is that this form of rigorous process, inviting people to mention nice things approximately their own work, which has made the FRC what it’s far today, completely vain.
Then there’s the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Yes, this truly is an actual corporation, we did not make it up. The OAIC is the privateness and statistics regulator, and there may be no want for the OAIC to reassure itself that it’s far doing an amazing activity. When it comes to finish inaction, agonizingly gradual reaction instances and trendy knowledge in ducking and weaving, this regulator is certainly without peer.
Special point out have to also go to the Australian Skills Quality Authority – the national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and education zone – which has grew to become container-ticking and meaningless office work into an art shape.
The People’s Choice
The humans have spoken. There is a clean winner in the Peoples’ Choice Award for Australia’s Most Hopeless Regulator. When we introduced the AMHR awards in overdue January, the maximum famous nomination, by a ways, become the company regulator, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
Presiding over systemic fraud by using Australia’s biggest and maximum profitable establishments is no mean feat. It takes a selected type of group to disregard that much fraud occurring at once under its nose whilst last, somehow, extant.
Indeed, the Banking Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne singled out ASIC for its uselessness on a number of activities final yr.
Undeterred, even in the face of the damning Royal Commission findings, the Commission’s pinnacle brass have been busy giving themselves performance bonuses again last year. Throughout the past decade in reality, as the banks it becomes regulating routinely fleeced their customers, ASIC’s top brass kept on paying themselves higher overall performance bonuses.