An appropriate level of effective regulation is an essential part of well-functioning economies and supports the achievement of economic, social or environmental policy objectives. In designing regulatory approaches governments need to strike a balance between the obligation to protect the community or public interest, while at the same time not imposing unnecessary costs on those they regulate or indirectly the broader community.

This Better Practice Guide (the guide) is being published in a period of change in regulatory approach. During 2013, the Australian Government made a commitment to regulatory reform with the aims of reducing the burden of regulation, boosting productivity, increasing competitiveness, reducing unnecessary regulation and lifting regulatory performance.

This guide aims to provide guidance to regulators on how to efficiently and effectively administer regulation. The content of the guide has been revised to reflect the changing focus of regulatory administration. In particular, greater attention is given in this guide to the importance of risk management, effective stakeholder engagement, the value of data analysis as a source of regulatory intelligence, regulator behaviour, and regulator and regulatory performance. Better practice principles are outlined in the guide to assist Australian Government regulators in assessing the quality of their administrative practices and in identifying where improvements can be made.

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