Government and private businesses to compete on equal terms
The National Competition Policy Competitive Neutrality Principles require that all significant government business activities should be corporatised or, if full corporatisation is not feasible, a 'full costing' model must be applied to offset any competitive advantage arising from public ownership, unless it is demonstrated that the public interest is better served by not applying this model.
A person may make a complaint against a government body's business activity that the complainant believes is in contravention of the competitive neutrality principles to the detriment of the complainant's business. However, the complainant must first discuss the supposed contravention with the government body conducting the activity.
A competitive neutrality complaint must be:
- in writing (a complaint form has been provided in the table below for this purpose); and
- accompanied by a filing fee of 110 fee units, inclusive of GST (see the table below for further information concerning the value of a fee unit).
The Regulator has the responsibility of conducting complaint investigations when the complaint meets the legislative requirements and an investigation is appropriate or necessary.
The Regulator has published competitive neutrality complaint guidelines, setting out an overview of the processes for the review of complaints about alleged breaches of, and non-compliance with, competitive neutrality principles. The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Competitive Neutrality Principles Application Statement and the Application Statement for Local Government issued by the Department of Treasury and Finance. Both of these documents plus others relating to national competition policy released by the Tasmanian Government are available below:
The Regulator wrote to all Tasmanian Local Government councils
and Tasmanian Government departments
in November 2010 advising them of the Regulator's role in relation to competitive neutrality complaints and reminding the councils and departments of the Regulator's approach to determining what business activities are significant when investigating CN complaints.
Under the Economic Regulator Act the Regulator is to report on any competitive neutrality investigations undertaken during the year in its Annual Report