Dairy Food Safety Victoria - Statement of Expectations
12 Sept 2011
Ms Shirley Harlock
Chair, Dairy Food Safety Victoria
PO Box 840
HAWTHORN VIC 3122
STATEMENT OF EXPECTATIONS FOR DAIRY FOOD SAFETY VICTORIA
I am pleased to provide you with my Statement of Expectations for Dairy Food Safety Victoria. This Statement applies from the date of receipt until the end of this Parliamentary term, or until otherwise amended.
As Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, I am responsible for administering the Dairy Act 2000. This Statement should be read within the context of the objectives, obligations and functions outlined in this legislation as amended.
This Statement is important to the discharge of my Ministerial portfolio responsibilities. It sets out my priorities for Dairy Food Safety Victoria, drawing on relevant principles from Victoria’s Improving Governance of Regulators: Principles and Guidelines.
Government policy and objectives
I would like to emphasise from the outset that I recognise that you have a well-developed and clearly articulated and monitored system of regulatory management, supported by your culture of continuous improvement.
I expect you to have a risk-based system in place to deliver regulatory outcomes at lowest cost to industry, and in particular that you will apply the minimum level of regulatory intervention to achieve the outcome sought.
I recognise the importance of your sector to Victoria and I understand that you, as the regulator, are expected to actively support Victorian Government initiatives to enhance the economic growth of your sector.
The Government considers that food regulators should work together in the development of national standards that are consistent with best regulatory practice, rather than stand alone standards. The Government asks you to pursue an outcomes based approach to the national food regulatory system, minimising duplication, increasing operational flexibility and providing certainty for business. I expect that Dairy Food Safety Victoria will actively participate in the development of national standards ensuring that the interests of Victorian businesses and the public are paramount.
Stakeholder relationships and engagement
The Dairy Food Safety Victoria partnership with Government and industry has worked well in ensuring safe food outcomes in the dairy sector and has withstood public scrutiny. The strong relationship between Dairy Food Safety Victoria and the Department of Primary Industries has been critical in delivering safe food outcomes. I also recognise your need for an effective relationship with the Department of Health. I expect that you will continue to work constructively with these agencies.
I recognise the significance of your productive relationships with industry and the importance of maintaining a balance between the interests and needs of your industry stakeholders and the discharge of your regulatory obligations in a transparent and equitable way. I acknowledge that productive relationships with industry are critical to enabling Dairy Food Safety Victoria to operate as an industry funded statutory authority with minimal cost to industry.
As Minister I recognise the mutual obligation we have in the timely exchange of information. To this end my preference is for ‘no surprises’. I will undertake to keep you informed of relevant matters of concern and you can expect that ‘no news is good news’.
Transparency and accountability
As your shareholder I recognise the high level corporate governance that is in place, including a robust, transparent and accountable system of annual reporting directly to Parliament.
To this end, I expect that this Statement of Expectations will be incorporated into your ongoing planning processes and that key output and outcome performance indicators are published in your annual report.
I look forward to receiving your response to this Statement of Expectations. I understand your response will be published alongside a copy of this Statement on the Department of Primary Industries’ website.
Peter Walsh MLA
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security