Request for further information

Article published in the Regulator | Issue 6: 2014 

On 28 February 2014, amendments to the Environment Regulations introduced Regulation 9A which provides for NOPSEMA to request further information from a titleholder about any matter in a submitted environment plan (EP) and for the information provided to be regarded by NOPSEMA as part of the submitted EP.

Prior to 28 February 2014, the only regulatory option for titleholders to provide additional clarification for an EP submitted for assessment was to modify and resubmit the EP. Regulation 9A has been in use since February to enable a more efficient and effective approach for titleholders to supply NOPSEMA with additional information that is then considered part of the EP. This reduces regulatory burden and improves timeframes for completion of EP assessments. 

To ensure the timely completion of EP assessments, titleholders should provide clear information in their response that directly addresses the request for further information, and not consider the request as an opportunity to modify and resubmit certain parts of the EP. If the titleholder chooses to respond outside of the scope of the request and take action such as remove content from the EP when this was not requested, then this may generate additional findings in the assessment. This may lead to further requests for information or NOPSEMA deciding that the titleholder must modify and resubmit the EP, which will add to the overall duration and effort required for the submission to reach a final decision.

Requests for further information are made in accordance with NOPSEMA’s assessment policies that clearly outline NOPSEMA’s administration of submissions made under the Environment Regulations. To view NOPSEMA’s assessment policies see the Environment Resources page under the Environment tab at nopsema.gov.au.