Regulatory Burden Measurement

The Australian Government requires that all regulatory costs, whether arising from new regulations or changes to existing regulation, must be quantified using the Regulatory Burden Measurement framework. The framework must also be used for quantifying offsetting regulatory savings, where applicable.

In addition, the net impact of national reforms that result in a change to Commonwealth legislation or practices, or are a result of direct Commonwealth incentives or conditions, should be quantified and offset using the Regulatory Burden Measurement framework. This requirement applies to decisions made by COAG, ministerial councils and intergovernmental standard-setting bodies where there is a level of Commonwealth involvement.

Agencies should use the Regulatory Burden Measure (RBM) to quantify regulatory costs and cost offsets, or using an equivalent method as agreed with PM&C’s Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

What is the Regulatory Burden Measure?

The Commonwealth Regulatory Burden Measure (RBM) is an IT-based tool designed to assist you to estimate the regulatory costs of various options. It provides an automated and standard process for quantifying regulatory costs on business, community organisations and individuals using an activity-based costing methodology.

The RBM can be accessed from this website, as a web-based application.

Information on the regulatory costs that must be quantified is contained in the Regulatory Burden Measurement Framework guidance note.

Accessing the Regulatory Burden Measure

The RBM can be accessed from this website, as a web-based application.

Alternatively, the OBPR can provide the necessary RBM files for installation on your intranet (internal) network.

Data Security

Data from your computer to the RBM application on our website is transmitted using a secure SSL encryption. The .rbm data file generated by the RBM application can be saved on your computer to the location you nominate. No information is saved on the internet. You should ensure that the .rbm data file is stored in a secure location. The data file is encrypted and can only be opened via the RBM application.

You should only use the web-based RBM to transmit unclassified or x-in-confidence data (e.g. security-in-confidence or commercial-in-confidence). If your regulatory proposal contains cabinet-in-confidence or other highly classified data you should only use the RBM on your intranet, or a stand-alone personal computer.

Contact the OBPR Helpdesk if you require the files to install the RBM on your intranet.

Main assumptions of the Regulatory Burden Measure

The main assumptions of the RBM are:

  • There are 10 compliance cost categories: education, enforcement, notification, permission, procedural, publication and documentation, purchase cost, record keeping, delay and other.

  • The cost categories, except ‘purchase cost’ and ‘delay cost’, are labour activity based internal costs.

  • ‘Purchase cost’ means purchasing a service or product, and is related only to outsourcing costs.

  • ‘Delay costs’ are the expenses and loss of income incurred as a result of an application or approval delay and can be in the form of labour or non-labour related costs.

  • Compliance costs can be start-up costs or ongoing costs.

  • Ongoing costs could be constant or variable every year.

  • When the present value (PV) option is chosen for regulatory costs over a period (e.g. for a cost‑benefit analysis):

    • Start-up costs are recognised on 1 January of the first year of operation.

    • Ongoing costs are recognised on 1 January of the year of expenditure.

    • The default discount rate is 7 per cent.

More information and assistance

Further information on using the RBM is available at: About the Regulatory Burden Measure.


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