Annual Report 2018-2019 Essential Services Commission of South Australia
Tabled paper 1481
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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Department of the Legislative Assembly
ESCOSA Annual Report 201819 1 Overview: about the Commission Commission objective and purpose The Essential Services Commission (Commission) is a statutory authority, established as an independent economic regulator and advisory body under the Essential Services Commission Act 2002 (ESC Act). The Commission has economic regulatory responsibilities in the water, sewerage, electricity, gas, rail and port services sectors, and a general regulatory and economic advisory function. Under the ESC Act, the Commissions primary objective is the protection of the long-term interests of South Australian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. The ESC Act sets out seven further factors that the Commission has regard to in performing its functions: promoting competitive and fair market conduct preventing misuse of monopoly or market power facilitating entry into relevant markets promoting economic efficiency ensuring consumers benefit from competition and efficiency facilitating maintenance of the financial viability of regulated industries and the incentive for long-term investment, and promoting consistency in regulation with other jurisdictions. The Commission acts independently, transparently and objectively in performing its functions and exercising its powers. It promotes a culture in which Commissioners and staff are consultative, professional and accountable. This is reflected in the Commissions corporate values, which support, uphold and promote the values of the South Australian Public Sector. The Commission adds value to the South Australian community through the regulatory outcomes that it facilitates under its principlesbased and proportionate regulatory approach. This protects consumers and enables and encourages regulated entities to deliver for their customers, with appropriate regulatory response where that does not occur. Under the ESC Act and relevant industry regulation Acts, the Commission also provides expert independent advice to the South Australian Government. This informs and provides an evidence base for policy making and public consideration of economic and regulatory issues. Strategy The Commission produces a rolling three-year Strategy, which sets out strategic priorities, challenges and responses. The priorities guide us in meeting our primary objective of protecting the long-term interests of consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. The three priorities in the Strategy 2018-2021 are: 1. We will establish consumer protection frameworks to promote the delivery of service levels valued by consumers at an efficient cost. 2. We will keep regulated entities accountable to their customers through transparent monitoring and public reporting on performance. 3. We add value to South Australia by delivering impartial, credible and robust regulatory and economic advice. We recognise that there may be challenges arising as we pursue those priorities; while those may be many and varied, the Commission has identified five areas which will have a key influence on the its regulatory frameworks for the 2018-2021 period: changing community expectations and views on standards of service and access for essential services the role that regulation can or should play in the market