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MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Thursday May 23, 2013
A statutory authority is a not-for-profit organisation, whose goals are set out in its corresponding originating act. Its senior management are chosen by the relevant government (State or Federal) and will work closely with its associated ministry or ministries.
Laws made by statutory authorities are usually referred to as regulations. They are not cited in the same fashion as an act of parliament, but usually with specific initials (depending on the authority) and a number.
Just as Laws enacted by Parliament, all laws made by a statutory authority must be published in the Government Gazette.
- Efficiency - State and Federal Parliaments do not have the time nor resources to investigate, analyse, draft, enact and monitor laws for every area of our increasingly complex society. By delegation of legislative power to a statutory authority, a specialist body may subrogate parliament and use its authority in a more efficient manner
- Bipartisanship - Statutory authorities are usually responsible for areas of legislation where there is a common goal or direction desirable within the community. Delegation of authority away from parliament prevents these areas of law from becoming partisan issues.
- Transparency - The disclosure requirements placed upon statutory authorities are generally stricter than that of State and Federal Parliaments; statutory authorities cannot rely upon the same government secrets provisions as can State and Federal governments.
- Accountability - The jurisdiction of a statutory authority is expressly set out in its corresponding act (i.e. the Act of Parliament which created the statutory authority). This, therefore, makes switching, sharing or evasion of responsibility in the instance of a scandal more difficult for officers of the statutory authority.
Statutory Authorities in Australia
The power to enact legislation has been delegated by Australian Parliaments (State and/or Federal) in the following areas;
- Consumer affairs - Where authority is delegated to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
- Road and traffic safety - Where authority is delegated to various bodies by state for example, VicRoads in Victoria
- Collection of taxes - Where authority is delegated to the Australian Taxation Office
- Corporate law - Where authority is delegated to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- Prudential regulation - Where authority is delegated to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority