Annual Compliance Reporting Requirements for Energy Retailers in the NT

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The Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory released the Compliance Framework and Reporting Guidelines in February 2016. The guidelines outline the compliance monitoring program and reporting requirements for regulated entities in the NT electricity industry, including energy retailers.

According to the guidelines, “A condition of licence is to provide a compliance report to the Commission at reasonable intervals determined by the Commission. The Compliance Report must describe the measures taken by the licensee to ensure compliance with its obligations.” Energy retailers are required to submit an annual compliance report to the Commission by 31 August each year.

The annual compliance report must include a declaration of responsibility signed by the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, stating:

“We certify that we have made all necessary inquiries of appropriate officers in this organisation to confirm that management has developed a robust and effective compliance system that meets the regulatory arrangements relating to the electricity industry in the Northern Territory, and that the system has been implemented and is being appropriately used by the organisation. Further, we warrant the accuracy of data and information provided in all reports and submissions to the Commission.”

The report must list “all instances of non-compliance, stating whether they are material or non-material breaches; and the steps being taken to rectify each compliance breach listed in the declaration.” According to the guidelines, “The licensee must identify, in detail, the steps being taken to rectify each compliance breach in its Compliance Report at the end of each financial year.”

Based on the guidelines, here are some recommendations for energy retailers:

•Develop and implement a robust compliance framework that complies with ISO 19600:2015 Compliance management systems – Guidelines.

•Identify all compliance obligations and risks, and maintain a register of applicable obligations.

•Report any material breaches to the Commission as soon as reasonably possible after becoming aware of the breach. Provide details on the circumstances of the breach and remedial actions.

•Submit an annual compliance report to the Commission by 31 August each year. Include a declaration signed by senior executives and list any instances of non-compliance and steps taken to rectify them.

•Review the compliance framework regularly and improve it to address any issues identified through monitoring and auditing. Update it to reflect changes in the regulatory regime.

•Promote a culture of compliance within the organisation. Educate staff about their obligations and accountability. Provide adequate resources and training to support compliance.

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