Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The future of regulation: technology adoption

Across New Zealand there are some great examples of innovative regulators using technology to achieve better community outcomes and make it easier and less costly for people and businesses to comply.

In many circumstances, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred agencies to quickly develop new ways of working, often adopting technology much quicker than before. But at other times governments struggled to be as nimble as the private sector in the use of technology. 

The adoption of technology within government regulators has no industry-scale view. At the
moment there is no data on where and how technology is being used by regulators, and where it might be better used in the future. Regulatory agencies have limited visibility of what is happening with their peers and in other jurisdictions. It is important to understand what is happening at a macro level to identify trends, benefits being realised and opportunities for improvement.

To offer insight into what’s really happening, the Government Regulatory Technology Survey 2022 has launched. The first time survey asks government agencies who manage a
regulatory function about the types of regulatory technology they are implementing, the benefits they are seeing, and any barriers they face.

Dr Grant Pink, Managing Director RECAP Consultants, considers that “good regulatory practice and good regulatory delivery has always required regulators to get the basics right. With technological advances, the basics now include regulators having some level of RegTech capabilities and competency”.

Adding that this is consistent with a Productivity Commission report 1 which suggests that:
‘There are four key areas where RegTech solutions may be particularly beneficial:
 where regulatory environments are particularly complex to navigate and monitor
 where there is scope to improve risk-based regulatory approaches, thereby targeting the
compliance burden and regulator efforts
 where technology can enable better monitoring, including overcoming constraints related to physical presence
 where technology can safely unlock more uses of data for regulatory compliance (p4, 2020)’.

Objective Global VP for RegTech, Ben Hobby, urges government regulators to get involved. 

“The survey will provide a uniquely rich depiction of the changing regulatory landscape for government technology adoption and lay a foundation benchmark for how this is advancing. The concept of the survey has been very well received amongst those in the regulatory community who are excited to finally receive insights into how RegTech is evolving,” he says.

The findings of the survey will be shared widely with those in the industry. Anyone who completes the survey will be invited to a special webinar event to discuss the findings with industry experts.

The survey for government across New Zealand and Australia is open until 1 June. Take the survey: https://www3.objective.com/l/12792/2022-05-10/jkpmxr

1 Productivity Commission 2020, Regulatory Technology, Information Paper, Canberra.

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