Survey now live: Find out how regulators are using data to improve outcomes

The verdict is in – the best regulatory outcomes rely on risk-based regulation. So why do regulators struggle with risk-based decision-making? And what are they missing out on as a result?

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a risk-based approach to regulation improves regulatory outcomes. At the very foundation of this approach is the reliance on data, which allows risk to be assessed in an objective way*. And while most regulatory agencies understand the role of data in risk-based regulation, only a few effectively use technology and data in their processes.

From scratching the surface to reaping the benefits

In 2022, we ran a survey to capture a snapshot of technology adoption in regulatory agencies across Australia and New Zealand. When it came to the effective use of technology and data, the results showed that most regulators were just scratching the surface. So, while regulators want to employ best-practice, many are still on the path to operating as sophisticated, risk-based, intelligence-led regulators.

The gap between desired outcomes and reality

95% of regulators surveyed reported that data sharing across agencies and/or jurisdictions is relevant, yet only 15% of regulators surveyed are currently sharing data^

^ The Government Regulatory Technology Report 2022, p8, Objective.

This year, we’re reaching out to regulators to learn more about the common barriers they face with using data. And for regulators doing more with data, we want to uncover their strategies to overcome data challenges and what benefits they’ve realised. We’ll then compile the results and share insights and case studies that might inspire others to become more effective regulators.

Benefits across the regulatory spectrum

As RegTech experts with decades of experience in the sector, we’ve seen how better use of data can influence everything from strategy development to reducing processing times to improving compliance. Specific applications we’ve seen include:

Pre-filling application forms

Triaging allegations, complaints, or notifications

Identifying high-risk entities

Intelligent use of data to support decision trees

Targeting regulatory entities that need support with compliance

Supporting inspections, audits, investigations, or reviews in the field

Reporting internally and/or externally on regulatory activities

Developing regulatory strategy

Reporting externally to inform consumers on the performance of regulated entities

Reporting externally to regulated entities on their performance relative to peers

Setting annual priorities

Informing policy advice

Better use of data in action

Enabling new legislation for enhanced enforcement in the field

Improved responsiveness | Better end-to-end enforcement | Streamlined processes

The Department of Conservation, New Zealand (DOC) is tasked with conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. New legislation was introduced, giving broader enforcement powers by allowing the issue of infringement notices for lower-level offending.

DOC utilises a mobile solution that empowers Rangers (officers) in the field and streamlines their end-to-end process. The solution enables real-time inspections with data entered directly into the system, eliminating the double handling of data, reducing errors and improving data quality.

Rangers can now capture evidence, identify repeat offenders, raise and serve infringements in the field and integrate customer payments. With detailed inspection tracking, DOC can access powerful reporting, review field activity, identify gaps and allocate resources accordingly.

Protecting vulnerable children with improved cross-agency data sharing

Faster response times | Better cross-agency coordination | Informed, critical decisions

The need to better share information to improve child safety outcomes has been a recognised challenge for years. The barriers to information sharing across borders meant workers in each state had limited or no visibility of vital information that could change the outcomes of children’s lives.

Connect for Safety is a world-first solution designed to share sensitive data across multiple systems and organisations. It enables real-time decision-making about risks for children that help keep them safe. It does this by finding the most likely record fast, even with partial or incorrect data, all while complying with policy and legislation.

With access to a complete picture, case workers can better understand circumstances and assess the risks more accurately. Child protection agencies across Australia can now securely share essential information, helping trigger vital early action, facilitate better coordination and inform critical decisions.

Detecting biosecurity hazards by combining AI with RegTech

Reduced cost of manual inspections | Reduced human error | Increased capacity for inspections

With millions of shipping containers arriving each year, manual inspections can be costly and time-consuming, capturing only a fraction of imports. Detection is also challenging, with certain pests difficult to identify in grain by humans, especially in large samples.

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry participated in the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) program to find an innovative solution. The solution was developed to utilise hyperspectral imaging systems in conjunction with AI to enable real-time and automated detection of pests.

The solution reduces the cost and resources of manual inspections, reduces human error, and enables more inspections. It is currently being piloted in ports in Port Kembla and Sydney.

We’re keen to hear from regulators who want to do more with data

What challenges is your agency facing? Have you overcome any of them, and if so, how? And what does your agency stand to gain with better use of data?

Share your experiences in our latest survey and help us learn from each other, gain peer insights, and collectively help improve regulation across different sectors.

The survey only takes seven minutes to complete, with results to be released in an online forum later this year, along with a copy of the report.

Complete survey