Section 4 : Other Reporting Requirements
AMSA will be developing a purchaser provider arrangement with DOTARS to cover the provision of transport safety assistance to Indonesia. An agreement between the parties will be developed to define responsibilities and control arrangements.
Funds for the project are to be appropriated to DOTARS with $0.8m to be provided to AMSA in 2007-08.
Overview of AMSA-s Cost Recovery Arrangements
When AMSA was established in 1990, the Australian Government took a policy decision that AMSA-s ship safety and regulatory services would be fully cost recovered from the shipping industry primarily by three statutory levies and fee for service sources. The three levies are:
- The Marine Navigation Levy funds maintenance and management of Australia-s national network of aids to navigation. As the network primarily assists the safe navigation of commercial shipping, the Australian Government policy is to recover the full cost from the industry. This is in line with the "user pays" principle so those benefiting meet the cost.
- The Regulatory Functions Levy funds the safety and environmental regulation and surveillance of the shipping industry to ensure seaworthiness and safe operation of ships in Australian waters. The Australian Government policy is to recover the full cost of ship safety and regulatory functions from the industry in line with public sector pricing principles to recover avoidable costs. Shipping is an economic activity requiring regulation in the community interest and the cost of such regulation should be borne by those generating the need for it and not by the general community.
- The Protection of the Sea Levy funds the operation of Australia-s National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and Other Noxious and Hazardous Substances and the NMERA. The recovery of the full costs of managing the National Plan and the NMERA is based on the principle of the "potential polluter pays". Any ship may require pollution or emergency response services under these national arrangements and hence the industry should meet the cost of maintaining these services.
Table 2.5 outlines total estimated levies and Table 2.3 outlines total estimated fees and charges in the 2007-08 Budget. This shows AMSA-s primary funding source for its safety and regulatory functions is through its levies and only a small part of revenue is from fees and charges. The Australian Government receives the statutory levy payments from the shipping industry and these funds are appropriated to AMSA under section 48 of the AMSA Act as Special Appropriations.
AMSA-s search and rescue coordination services are met by the Australian Government through Budget Community Service Obligation (CSO) funding. Under a number of international conventions, Australia is obliged to provide search and rescue services for persons in aircraft and vessels in distress in Australia-s internationally designated search and rescue region. This covers almost 53 million square kilometres or one tenth of the earth-s surface and comprises parts of the east Indian, southwest Pacific and Southern Oceans. The majority of search and rescue incidents involve recreational and fishing vessels and small aircraft.
The AMSA Act requires in section 12 that AMSA is to consult, where appropriate, in the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers with government, commercial, industrial, consumer and other relevant bodies and organisations. AMSA has established an AMSA Advisory Committee of key stakeholders, which regularly discusses management of AMSA-s levy system and cost recovery policies.
Monitoring and Review
AMSA annually reviews the level of levies required to recover its costs. It also has regularly reviewed its levy arrangements, consistent with Australian Government policy, to establish if the underlying operating principles and methodology remain sound and appropriate. In 1997, AMSA commissioned a comprehensive review of the principles and policies underpinning its levy arrangements by an independent consultant, involving extensive consultation with stakeholders. This review was updated in 2002 by the same independent consultant conducting an examination of the strategic directions of the levy system. AMSA accepted the recommendations of these reviews and implemented them in consultation with stakeholders. AMSA also has regularly reviewed its fees and charges in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines require a review of cost recovery arrangements every five years. AMSA undertook a comprehensive review of its current cost recovery arrangements against these guidelines in 2006-07. This found that overall AMSA-s cost recovery arrangements are consistent and comply with the requirements and principles outlined in the Guidelines. AMSA will continue to monitor its cost recovery arrangements on a regular basis. A further review of levies involving stakeholder consultations is scheduled to take place in 2007-08.
AMSA has no Australian Government Indigenous Expenditure.