The Government may require the Regulator to conduct a prescribed body inquiry under Part 4 of the Economic Regulator Act 2009.
A prescribed body is an agency, Government Business Enterprise, State-owned company, a subsidiary of a Government Business Enterprise or State-owned company, statutory authority or Local Government body.
Under a prescribed body inquiry, the Regulator is limited by legislation to examining matters relating to the prescribed body's pricing policies including policies about the level or structure of prices for goods and services.
Public Trustee's pricing policies
In July 2023, the Treasurer directed the Regulator to conduct an inquiry into Public Trustee's pricing policies and provided terms of reference.
The Regulator's inquiry is to assess the fees and charges for clients who are required by legislation to use the Public Trustee's services:
1. whether the fees and charges for the provision of service to these clients:
a. reflect efficient costs of service provision, consistent with industry best practice for service delivery; and
b. are consistent with recovering those costs on a full cost attribution basis through efficient cost allocation mechanisms; and
c. are structured with simplicity and equity.
2. where possible, that the fees and charges are consistent with that observed in other comparable markets nationally and internationally, including comparable services provided by the private sector; and
3. any other matters that impact on fees and charges for clients required by legislation, that the Regulator considers relevant, including known future legislative changes.
Where considered appropriate, the Regulator is to provide findings and recommendations on how the Public Trustee's fee structure and fee determination methodologies could be improved.
For the purposes of this inquiry:
- Clients who are required by legislation to use the Public Trustee services are:
- Represented Persons under order by the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal;
- testators or beneficiaries of estates or trusts following an application under section 16, 17, 18 or 19 of the Public Trustee Act 1930;
- beneficiaries of trusts established under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1976 and Workers Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 1988; and
- beneficiaries of trusts established under order of the Supreme Court of Tasmania, resulting from damages arising from civil claims.
- financial administration;
- trust management; and
- estate administration.
The Regulator is to deliver a report that details any findings and recommendations in relation to the matters detailed in this Terms of Reference. The report is to be delivered to the Treasurer by 29 February 2024.
Interested parties can contact the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator to provide input into the inquiry.
Bass Island Line's pricing policies and behaviour
The Regulator's report was provided to the Treasurer on 28 August 2023 and is available here.
Aurora Energy’s pricing policies and competitive behaviour
In August 2019, the Treasurer issued a terms of reference and directed the Regulator to conduct an inquiry into Aurora Energy’s pricing policies and competitive behaviour.
The Regulator’s Report was provided to the Premier, Minister for Finance and Minister for Energy on 18 March 2020.
TasNetworks' Pricing of Infrastructure as a Service Activities
In December 2017 the Treasurer issued terms of reference and directed the Regulator to conduct an inquiry into the pricing of TasNetworks' wholesale IT Infrastructure as a Service Activities in relation to the Government's Networking Tasmania III panel.
The Regulator's Report was provided to the Treasurer on 30 April 2018.