Ensuring Regulatory Effectiveness

Article published in The Regulator | Issue 1: 2020

As an independent statutory authority, there is a perception held by some in the community that NOPSEMA is either unaccountable or free to make any decision it chooses. While NOPSEMA’s regulatory functions are free of undue influence – including political, economic and special interest – we are subject to a heavy regime of scrutiny and independent review.

In the last two years, NOPSEMA was the subject of, or participated in, eight separate reviews and appeared before multiple hearings of Senate Estimates, the parliamentary process to examine and scrutinise the operations of government. NOPSEMA is subject to this level of review to ensure its assessments and decisions comply with the legislation and regulations we are legally obliged to administer. Each review of NOPSEMA has found that we administer the offshore petroleum regulatory regime in an effective and efficient manner.

This year we expect to appear at hearings for Senate Estimates, and participate in at least one Senate Inquiry and multiple external reviews, including NOPSEMA’s own five yearly operational review. This independent operational review is a statutory obligation and will cover the period 2015-2020, examining NOPSEMA’s effectiveness at bringing about improvements in occupational health and safety, environmental management and well integrity.

The operational review, along with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Program Streamlining Review (also scheduled for 2020), provide important opportunities for government, industry, other interested parties to provide input on the regulatory regime and NOPSEMA’s administration of it. NOPSEMA has consistently welcomed external reviews and will always to seek opportunities for continuous improvement to offshore worker safety and environmental management. More information on the reviews will be provided throughout the year.

Examples major reviews and inquires including NOPSEMA can be found here.