Government efficiency

In 2012, the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Australia 14th in the world for government efficiency, or the extent to which government policies are conducive to competitiveness.

Australia was ranked:

  • 1st for the fairness of its justice system
  • 8th for personal security and property rights 
  • 10th for the legal and regulatory framework

Regulatory reforms

Australia has a strong regulatory management system. In its OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Australia, 2010 report, the OECD assessed it to be one of the most rigorous and comprehensive of all member countries. 

Australia's current regulatory reform agenda centres on building a seamless national economy, with reforms aimed at harmonising regulations across jurisdictions in order to increase productivity and reduce business costs. 

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is working towards this goal, and it is estimated that full implementation could provide cost reductions to business of around $4 billion per year.

The New South Wales Government is supporting its commitments to COAG by implementing a comprehensive regulatory reform agenda which aims to address unnecessary or poorly designed regulation, reduce compliance costs on business, and remove restrictions on competition. 

In 2011, 152 regulations were removed while only 14 new regulations were added, which was expected to save the state's businesses and taxpayers more than $233 million in 2012.

Over the past 30 years, the emphasis of national government policy has been on making Australia more internationally competitive and globally integrated, and better able to withstand external shocks. 

The series of macro-economic and micro-economic reforms introduced over this period has led to significant productivity gains and produced robust and competitive markets including:

  • Moving to a flexible exchange rate regime
  • Deregulating financial, communications and energy markets
  • Reducing tariffs 
  • Reforming labour market and taxation
Government efficiency, global rankings, 2012
Country Justice1 Tax
evasion2
Bribing and corruption3 Personal
security4
Hong Kong SAR 14 9 13 7
Singapore 10 1 2 4
Taiwan 28 29 25 18
New Zealand 13 11 5 16
Malaysia 26 18 27 27
Australia1368
Germany 12 16 11 9
United States 19 21 18 13
United Kingdom 9 25 19 19
Korea 33 32 32 29
Thailand 32 34 42 36
Indonesia 46 35 44 45
Philippines 45 38 45 44
China 44 45 48 50
India 29 50 49 33
France 18 43 22 21
Japan 22 20 16 20
Government Efficiency, Global Rankings, 2012 (cont'd)
Country State
ownership of
enterprises5
Legal and
regula-
tory frame-
work6
Protectionism7 Overall ranking on government efficiency8
Hong Kong SAR 6 1 3 1
Singapore 35 2 19 2
Taiwan 20 25 22 5
New Zealand 8 14 6 10
Malaysia 16 6 26 13
Australia1010914
Germany 9 21 11 19
United States 7 19 15 22
United Kingdom 12 15 16 23
Korea 38 48 47 25
Thailand 43 35 39 26
Indonesia 24 30 40 28
Philippines 31 38 52 32
China 53 36 48 34
India 22 29 38 42
France 21 45 32 47
Japan 17 39 36 48

Footnotes:

Rankings out of 59 national  economies

  1. Justice is fairly administered
  2. Tax evasion is being adequately addressed
  3. Bribing and corruption do not exist
  4. Personal security and private property rights are adequately protected
  5. State ownership of enterprises is not a threat to business activities
  6. Legal and regulatory framework encourages the competitiveness of enterprises
  7. Protectionism does not impair the conduct of your business
  8. Based on 70 separate criteria included in the Government Efficiency  Competitiveness Factor

Source: The IMD World Competitiveness  Yearbook, 2012, Switzerland, www.imd.ch/wcy