The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, which was established in March 2016, has welcomed the findings of an independent legislative review into the office.
Independent reviews are required under the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Act.
The first independent review was led by Ms Su McCluskey, with support from a secretariat provided by the Nous Group.
Stakeholder consultations were held with Commonwealth and state/territory agencies whose functions impact small businesses and family enterprises, also with state small business commissioners and industry organisations.
“It is clear that the ASBFEO has undertaken its advocacy function highly effectively and, in doing so, has filled a gap at the Commonwealth level,” the review states.
“The ASBFEO has effectively conducted a range of advocacy activities, including inquiries into important national issues.
“It has progressed its advocacy agenda through its strong relationships with other government agencies at both the Commonwealth and state/territory levels.”
Ombudsman Kate Carnell said she was pleased the review found the ASBFEO has undertaken its assistance function in a similarly effective way to its advocacy.
“I’m pleased the review recognises that the ASBFEO offers ‘significant value for money’ through flow-on benefits to other agencies and jurisdictions,” Ms Carnell said.
“My office is working closely with government departments to implement recommendations regarding early engagement on policy development and legislation that impacts the small business and family enterprise sectors.
“We have also begun implementing recommendations to further raise the profile of the office and establish forums to directly engage with more small businesses.
“Our recent policy forum was the first of many which will bring small business organisations together to develop a common position on issues of mutual interest.”
The review also found that the ASBFEO has assisted small businesses and family enterprises without increasing duplication or jurisdictional shopping.
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