Senator MARK BISHOP—Now that [the Regulatory Reform Program] has been refocused away from a timely conclusion, what is the new completion date and how is it proposed to stop it drifting along forever?
Mr Byron—We do not have a firm completion date at this stage, but we should be able to generate that fairly soon. Mr Gemmell mentioned the refocus, I suppose, that I imposed on the organisation in late 2003-04 on getting the rules right and getting the quality. I found it necessary late last year to articulate in a bit more detail some guiding principles about how I wanted that done and who I wanted to be involved in the process.
I have issued some guiding principles on the formulation of new regulations and, if necessary, manuals of standards that accompany them. I have, I suppose, imposed on the system an additional layer of consultation, to assure me that the final draft rules that I send to the minister for consideration by the parliament are the right ones and that they address very carefully risks that are real and necessary issues that must be picked up by regulations. I felt it was necessary to do that to make sure that I have the right rules. I am not going to put my signature to anything that I do not think adequately addresses safety issues.
Senator MARK BISHOP—When do you think those regulations will go to the minister?
Mr Byron—I anticipate we would start sending some of them from about the middle of this year. I do not see this delaying the overall program excessively. We have an action item to develop a plan to forward to the minister about when we plan to have them to the minister, and I assume that plan would be done in the next couple of months. I would be hopeful that it would not be long after early 2006 that most of the draft rules are delivered to the minister.
In other words, the Regulatory Reform Program will drift along forever. And there was me thinking Mr Byron was more manager than politician.
As we have previously postulated, BB is either the Messiah, or just a naughty boy.
If he can sustain his tenure till the end of 2006, he will be a very wealthy Messiah or naughty boy.
The timelines are interesting, Howard and Anderson will control the senate come midyear, when it will then be effectively hobbled, and the Senate Estimates Committee will come under control of the Government (Minister).
The opposition is running out of time to capitalise on their soon to expire advantage in the senate.
"Yes Minister" is the game.
Regulatory reform, CASA reform, Safety programs are not the driving agenda, personal survival and personal gain are the issues at stake and we are compelled to watch, powerless, from the sidelines.
As for BB, whilst there is very little evidence of managerial skill, his political acumen can be seen as quite astute.
I think Mr Byron, like his predecessor, is clever enough to know that regulatory ‘reform’ is one dead cat that’s best left moldering in the ‘pending’ tray. This question and answer (at page 124) occurred just before the passage quoted above:
Senator MARK BISHOP … When did the regulatory reform program begin and when was it originally scheduled to conclude?
Mr Byron—The regulatory reform program commenced—and I might need to take advice from Mr Gemmell, who was in CASA at the time—in about 2002.
Mr Gemmell—The regulatory reform program in various guises has been going for many years. The last formal kick-off for the current program was 1999. It was reviewed in 2001, a review done by me—in fact, I was newly joined to CASA—and we set ourselves a target of completing it by December 2003. Mr Byron joined as CEO on 1 December 2003, and it was at that point it was refocused from the time to the quality.
I thought this expensive journey to nowhere began long before 1999, with the RSVP followed by the PAP or similar. It is surprising Mr Byron thought the regulatory reform program commenced in 2002. Wasn’t he on the board around the time Mr Smith put the kybosh on the regulatory reform program that had put the kybosh on the RSVP, and which itself was kyboshed by the “last formal kick-off for the current program”, which in turn appears to have been kyboshed by the decision to focus on “quality”.
At least we’ve managed to quadruple the size of the rules in the interim.
Q: What do you get when you cross a dead cat with a camel?
However, after watching successive ‘deadlines’ (if one can dignify them with that name) for the completion of the ‘new’ rules come and go, year after year, you’ll forgive me if I don’t share your optimism.
Why do you think Mr Byron’s language during the hearing shifted from clear and concise to the unintelligible political goobledegook quoted above? He doesn’t share your optimism, either.
It’s taken nearly 10 years to build the regulatory equivalent of the Spruce Goose in that hangar on the corner of Northbourne and Barry. No one’s going to redesign and rebuild it in one year. If they do, it’s going to be one ugly, inefficient bird.
dunno about that, I do know he will do the very best that is possible. Optimism and a plan? maybe that's all we've got at the moment until the organic change is accomplished and the Spruce Goose is moved out of the hangar.
I don't think the long term solution is any secret but there are only so many hours in a day and he needs all the constructive support we can give him.
To suggest that he is the last shot in the locker may be a bit alarmist and not the least bit fair to BG and the many fine public servants in support.
I don't think B1 ever thinks of himself as a Messiah and whatever they are paying probably isn't enough given the responsibility and the pizzling he gets from the Greek chorus. B2 has the Public Service experience skills to back him up.
They are both good people besides.
Why dont we try something really radical and assume that they are going to be succesful and support them, wherever it is possible and at every turn.
I share your concern Creampuff for the following reasons.
CASA has been spruking about quality improvements for ages now, yet the basis for their processes is way out of date, flawed and provides little in the way of sound infrastructure on which to base contemporary quality improvements and measurements. The RRP became a political hot potato with DS. What a shame!
I hope the RRP commences again soon and with the needed high level CASA and government support. It should be a top priority that if done correctly, will facilitate future improvements to Australian aviation.
CASA will continue to just muddle along while the organization relies on outdated regs. The organization's rhetoric on quality will be just that - rhetoric - unless there are changes to the regs.
Rather like an AOC holder being given sixteen years so far (1989 to 2005) to revise and submit it's Operations Manual!
If CASA had an AOC it would surely be long since suspended!
Gaunty, stop being an optimist. There many more "careers to retirement" in this project yet!!
And, Creamie, from what little I've seen of the reform process, we have many more years of debate on the meaning of the new CAR's which appear to make no more sense than many existing CAR's - such as CAR 206(1)(c).
One of my favourite programmes on TV right now is "No going back" a terrific docco style show that follows the fortunes of couples who sell up their busy city life and buy say a formerly grand 15th Century European Chateaux to turn into a modern guest house.
Invariably the house had "good bones"
The job is always harder than they could posibly have imagined.
The deeper they look the more evidence they find of botched repairs and el cheapo add ons.
More often than not thay have to tear out the previous renos altogether.
It always takes longer and costs more than they had budgeted, however carefully.
The local bureacracy drives em nuts until they work out it actually works however odd the ways may be and how they can make it work for them.
The locals always have the real answers that often go against theirs and external experts opinion all they have to do is ask.
There is always a point at which they nearly give up to the "I told you so's".
They almost invariably get there, after a lot of very hard hard work, a heap of encouragement, courage and persisitence, some timetable and planning adjustments and usually a bit more cash.
I'll betcha B1 and B2 watch the same show if only for inspiration from the people in it.
On a similar subject, I have just seen the various "Matrix" that GA flying schools are required to follow less knuckles are rapped by CASA surveillance FOI on audits.
I might have misunderstood the principles of these "matrix" but the days seem to be over when you took your ab-initio student flying on one fine day and taught him several sequences in the one period if he showed the aptitude. For instance: A natural student could easily cover straight and level, climbing and descending, maybe a circuit joining and even a go at a take off. All in an hour on a nice day.
But the new rules say your ops manual must show a Lesson Plan for each individual sequence which in turn must have numerous levels of competency. And I believe that no longer can the instructor tick the competency boxes but must describe each level of competency reached.
So unless the Ops Manual Lesson Plan includes each individual exercise in the one period (which it won't because the instructor wouldn't know until he got airborne how good the student is), I understand that after completing (say) straight and level, the lesson is ended and you must go home to land as the Lesson Plan does not permit flexibility of choice to include other allied exercises. The cost to the student of learning to fly via Lesson Plan matrix policy is going to be horrendous.
All of the above info I got from an instructor at a flying school as that is how he sees it. Is he right?
CASA Media Release - Wednesday, 16 March 2005 Safety outcomes the top priority New aviation regulations must focus on safety outcomes rather than being excessively prescriptive.
This principle for the development of new air safety rules has been laid down by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s chief executive officer, Bruce Byron.
Mr Byron told an aviation law conference today that safety outcomes were generally more important than the methods used achieve compliance with regulations.
“We want to get our regulations back to a clear safety focus,” Mr Byron said.
“Where possible I want the rules to spell out the outcome to be achieved and not be excessively prescriptive.
“The regulations should then be supported by an advisory method of compliance.
“In other words, if you adopt this method you will satisfy the regulatory requirement (and satisfy CASA). But other methods may well produce the required outcome and may therefore be an acceptable means of compliance.”
Mr Byron told the Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand that some people in the aviation industry had doubts about the way CASA had conducted consultation while developing new regulations.
He said these doubts centred on whether everyone had been given enough time to consider the large volume of proposed new rules being released and whether CASA had seriously considered suggestions put forward by the aviation industry.
“Some said it was just ‘lip-service’ and CASA would implement the regulations in the way that it wanted.
“It is almost irrelevant whether the concerns had any substance or not. Perception plays a big part in attitude formation in the aviation world and I suppose in most fields of human interaction.
“There was a perception among a sufficiently significant group of players that there were problems with the way the regulatory development process was going.”
Mr Byron said for these reasons he had issued directives that effectively put the regulatory reform processes on hold and set new principles for rules development. (My bolding)
I hope I'm wrong, but my guess is that the time required to clean up this regulatory train smash will be much, much longer than Mr Byron's likely incumbency as CEO. His replacement in a few years' time will, no doubt, have a different idea of what needs to be done, and this never-ending story will continue.
The overarching and chronic problem here is that the political cycle is simply too short, and its influences simply too self-interested, for the regulatory reform process to be commenced, managed objectively and in the public interest, then completed, before the use-by date of the person in charge of the process.
The good news is that they’re going to try putting someone competent and qualified in charge of regulatory development, to see if that works:
LEGAL SERVICES GROUP
Manager Regulatory Development
… manage and co-ordinate CASA’s regulatory development process…
Applicants will be expected to hold tertiary qualifications in law or equivalent qualifications …
Will be very interesting to see who’ll be prepared to ignore the stench of dead cat, in return for the “competitive 6 figure remuneration package”.
The bad news is that the shimmering mirage of finalisation just moved a little further away in the desert of regulatory ‘reform’. At least a few weeks, and probably months, to work out who’s going to take on the job of resuscitating the dead cat, at least another few months for the new appointee to conduct a review to work out how dead the cat really is, and at least another few months to work out a strategy for spiriting the carcass into someone else’s ‘in’ tray.
Meanwhile, the CEO of CASA has said that CASA is “not that far away” from completing a “review” of Part 91. New “draft” rules for maintenance “should” be completed by year-end and new draft rules for operations “should” be completed by “early” 2006.
Keep trudging lads – I can see water just over the next sand dune!
4.2 Rowena also noted that a training day for participants involved in the CEO Directive 16/2004 review was foreshadowed at the 16 March SCC meeting. Rowena said that the scope of this training was narrowed down from the prospective 300+ participants to approximately 40 CASA staff.
The focus of the information session will be on safety risk assessment and outcome-based regulation with the aim being to enable a unified view of these issues. Rowena suggested the training would also be extended to the chair of the SCC, the aviation industry Sub-Committee co-chairs and one or two other key personnel to be nominated by the Sub-Committee co-chairs. Rowena stated the outcome of the training day will be captured on a CD so that it can be broadcast widely and used as further information/training to CEO Directive 16 participants. Rowena said the training date is provisionally scheduled for Thursday 2 June 2005 in Canberra. The SCC considered the training day should proceed with priority, and recommended that an overview of the training be provided at the next SCC meeting in August.
Later comment: The training date has been re-set to 5 July 2005 due to unavailability of presenters.
4.3 Rowena noted that work on applying CEO Directive 16/2004 to the maintenance suite of CASRs is temporarily suspended until after the training day has been conducted. …
Perhaps we need an action item to develop a plan to forward to the minister about when we plan to have the training day to form a united view about what we were supposed to be doing in the last ten years….