Annual Report 2013–14—Chief Executive Officer's report and outlook

Chief Executive Officer's report and outlook

This has been a busy and challenging year across the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

Combined with our regular responsibilities and following the passage of legislation in late June 2013, we focused significant effort on updating our systems and processes, and assisting industry and stakeholders to get ready for the legislative reforms that will commence on 1 July 2014.

To provide greater certainty for industry, we reviewed and revised our entire suite of regulatory guidance material to bring it into line with the new laws. We made a draft version available to industry for comment in January 2014, and a final version was published in mid-May 2014.

Face-to-face information and training sessions were delivered to around 600 people. These sessions provided practical assistance for industry on how to get ready for the changes, and were also a great opportunity for the APVMA to receive timely and relevant feedback about proposed systems and processes.

Continuing our commitment to improve the way we do things at the APVMA, and to make it easier for industry to interact with us, this year we built and delivered new online services and a new website. This means that applications for approval and registration of chemicals, and payments of fees and levies can now be done through an integrated and secure online system. Our new case management system delivers more efficient management of both applications and enquiries.

An independent review of our registration processes has informed a program of business improvements across the organisation and also resulted in the development of an exciting new project that will enable us to better match regulatory effort to regulatory risk. Over time, we expect to implement 'lighter touch' approaches to applications assessed as being of lower regulatory risk. This work is groundbreaking, and promises to reduce the regulatory burden on a significant section of the agricultural and veterinary chemical industry.

During this period of reform and improvement, we have continued to deliver on our core business, with more than 2500 applications finalised over the year. Our Chemical Review Program resulted in 261 regulatory actions; cancellation of 2 active constituent approvals, 11 product registrations and 118 product labels; and variation of 130 label approvals.

Engagement with other government agencies and our international counterparts continued to inform our decision-making in 2013–14. Continuing our scientific leadership, we published a literature review of neonicotinoid insecticides, hosted a symposium on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and continued our work on regulatory matters relating to nanomaterials.

We have another full year ahead of us, and there is still much to be done.

Our commitment to regulatory excellence and a strong business improvement program will continue in 2014–15 as we work towards making the APVMA a contemporary world-class regulator.

I am pleased to present this annual report of our work in 2013–14.

Kareena Arthy
Chief Executive Officer

September 2014

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