Policy, strategy and disclosure

Policy

The APVMA Compliance and Enforcement Policy 2013 details our compliance and enforcement objectives, the philosophy and principles that guide our activities and the approaches we apply.

Strategy

The APVMA Compliance and Enforcement Strategy 2015–17 aims to strategically apply selected compliance and enforcement mechanisms to provide an effective and flexible regulatory system.

The APVMA has five principles that supports our strategy and regulatory decisions.

1. Take focused and effective action informed by risk

Standardised risk assessment and prioritisation of all non-compliance incidents or emerging issues help us to focus on matters potentially involving the greatest risk of harm.

2. Apply proportional and consistent sanctions based on evidence

The APVMA uses provisions in Agvet legislation for matters of non-compliance in a proportionate and consistent manner.

3. Support compliance and deter non-compliance

We consider the level of cooperation and the attitude of the alleged non-compliant entity in determining an appropriate response.

4. Conduct our activities professionally and to the highest standard

APVMA compliance and enforcement activities are undertaken transparently, with appropriate governance, oversight, time-driven resolution and professional conduct.

5. Work with stakeholders to proactively identify and address emerging risks

The APVMA has an embedded intelligence capability to support its compliance and enforcement functions; we monitor the market and liaise with Australian and international co-regulators.

Enforcement Committee

The Enforcement Committee is an internal APVMA governance committee that facilitates senior executive oversight of critical decisions related to compliance and enforcement matters.

The objective of the committee is to ensure that we conduct compliance and enforcement actions in accordance with APVMA policy and the Australian Government Investigations Standards. The committee also allows for the strategic consideration of cases, promotes the effective allocation of resources and supports a coordinated approach to compliance and enforcement across the APVMA. The Enforcement Committee has a CEO endorsed Terms of Reference.

Disclosure framework

Following any reports of suspected non-compliance that result in enforcement action, the APVMA may disclose details of investigative activities with co-regulators for law enforcement purposes. We have developed memorandums of understanding with other regulators that clarify procedures for handling information exchanged for law enforcement and other purposes.

While details of investigative activities would normally remain confidential, most court proceedings are open to the public.

The APVMA will not provide detailed information to the public on non-compliance matters or investigations, as it may be unfair or prejudicial to a person or company’s right to a fair hearing or legal process. It may also impinge on the privacy or safety of others involved in the investigation—such as complainants, witnesses and suspects—or prejudice past, current or future actions of the APVMA.

Information requests

Information requests about general compliance and enforcement matters are handled in accordance with the APVMA’s service charter and the process detailed in the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Any decision to release or refuse to release information is considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Media enquiries are handled by the APVMA Public Affairs and Communication section or a APVMA Compliance and Monitoring spokesperson.

Publication of notices and information

We publish certain information relating to compliance and monitoring activities on our website, including information about monitoring activities and enforcement actions. We also report on our compliance and monitoring activities in our annual report.

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