House of Representatives Committees

Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration

Inquiry into aspects of the National Competition Policy Reform Package

Recommendations

Public interest test

1 The Committee recommends the following as necessary components of the 'public interest' process:

The Committee recommends all jurisdictions should publish guidelines encompassing the application of the 'public interest test'. (paragraph 2.76)

Community service obligations

2 The Committee recommends that all CSOs be explicitly defined and their details made publicly available. (paragraph 3.41)

3 The Committee recommends that the Council of Australian Governments address ways of better coordinating the provision of community service obligations and welfare payments to safeguard the equitable distribution of payments and benefits for all recipients. (paragraph 3.47)

4 The Committee recommends that the funding arrangements for both existing and new community service obligations be transparent and assessed on a case-by-case basis. (paragraph 3.74)

5 The Committee recommends that any decision by a party to contract out the provision of community service obligations is most appropriately made on a case-by-case basis. Any contracting arrangement should contain clearly identified performance criteria and exit provisions. (paragraph 3.90)

6 The Committee recommends all governments:

Implications for the efficient delivery of services by local government

7 The Treasurer as a matter of priority address the issue of taxation of local government businesses at the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments as under the current regime there is a powerful disincentive to corporatise. (paragraph 4.54)

8 The Committee recommends that State and Territory Governments encourage their local councils to more urgently implement appropriate accounting and financial management systems to assist resource allocation decisions, including those relating to community service obligations. (paragraph 4.63)

Related issues

9 The Committee recommends that following the completion of the current assessment round the Council of Australian Governments evaluate the dual role of the National Competition Council to determine if both roles are appropriate. (paragraph 5.12)

10 The Committee recommends the National Competition Council adopt a more open approach to its work and be more active in disseminating information about the activities of the Council and National Competition Policy. (paragraph 5.15)

11 The Committee recommends that the review of the need for and operation of the National Competition Council after it has been in existence for five years be an independent review and if the review determines the Council is to continue, a sunset clause on this matter be inserted into the Competition Principles Agreement. (paragraph 5.18)

12 The Committee recommends that the Treasurer ensure that:

13 The Committee recommends that the State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments put in place measurement and monitoring systems so that the outcomes of implementing national competition policy can be adequately assessed in the future. (paragraph 5.34)

14 The Committee recommends that all agencies involved in the implementation of national competition policy devote resources to ensure community understanding and debate about the contents of the policy and its outcomes. (paragraph 5.39)

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