Report of the Third Review of the National Environment Protection Council Acts (Commonwealth State and Territory) December 2012 National Environment Protection Council Response to the Report of the Third Review of the National Protection Council Acts
Tabled paper 599
Tabled papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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61 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 7.3 CONCLUSIONEFFICIENCY OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COUNCIL AND THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COUNCIL SERVICE CORPORATION While the National Environment Protection Council Committee and Executive Officer have a strong focus and commitment to governance, this review found that the complicated governance framework for the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation increases risks framework because accountability and responsibility are diffused between the nine participating jurisdictions. The review notes the ongoing budget pressures and the constrained ability to reduce costs because of the legal requirements that the National Environment Protection Council and Commonwealth and Authorities and Companies Acts impose on the Executive Officer and the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation. The requirements to prepare an annual report and assess and report on the implementation and effectiveness of National Environment Protection Measures are also subject to specific guidelines and approaches, particularly in the case of the annual report. This takes considerable resources. In the case of the Executive Officers responsibilities, particularly for financial management, the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act sets out the legal obligations which must be undertaken, and these are relatively inflexible. However, there are significant costs in managing a small statutory agency such as the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation and these costs are relatively inelastic to the size or budget of the corporation. The Act review team has identified a number of options to reduce costs and increase reporting, financial and operational efficiencies for the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation. Many of these options require legislative change to implement. Delivery of secretariat services and financial management for the National Environment Protection Council and the National Environment Protection Council Committee do not now require an independent statutory agency for delivery. Secretariat services for the National Environment Protection Council can be delivered within a jurisdiction, as is the case for most Council of Australian Governments councils. The current arrangements around the National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation are highly unusual within the Commonwealth financial management framework. Independent financial management, audit and preparation of financial statements can be incorporated into the existing Commonwealth financial framework following amendment of the National Environment Protection Council Act. This new secretariat arrangement would continue to support the National Environment Protection Council to make and report on National Environment Protection Measures and support the Standing Council on Environment and Water, and would include a delegate to support the National Environment Protection Council in its statutory role.
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