A guide to government regulatory management systems

Discover how regulatory management systems can unlock efficiency and improve outcomes for government regulators.

What is a regulatory management system?

A regulatory management system is software designed to support government regulators with their approvals, compliance monitoring, and enforcement responsibilities. These systems provide a structured framework that helps regulators administer their regulatory processes more efficiently and effectively.

The main goal of a regulatory management system is to make administering regulation more efficient while improving outcomes for citizens and industry by automating regulatory workflows and making compliance easier. Unlike generic software platforms that require extensive customisation, a regulatory management system is built for regulators and comes with features tailored specifically to regulatory processes. For example, Objective RegWorks offers:

  • Standard regulatory workflows and high quality templates that reduce the implementation timeframe
  • Incorporation of the specialist regulatory knowledge and best practice that covers the end-to-end regulatory lifecycle.
  • No-Code/Low-Code flexibility that allows regulators to adapt to change without ongoing IT projects
  • Cloud-based delivery enabling regular version upgrades that include new regulatory features providing increasing value over time.

Learn more about the difference between specialist and generic software for regulators.

The importance of shifting to risk-based regulation

Traditionally, regulations have been based on prescriptive rules and requirements that are uniformly enforced across all entities and/or citizens. This rules-based approach to regulation provides clear and explicit guidelines for compliance, leaving little room for interpretation. The downside of this one-size-fits-all approach is the focus on compliance over outcomes, the lack of flexibility, and regulators that struggle to keep pace with change.

The new rules of regulation shift the focus from a uniform enforcement of rules to assessing and managing risks. This risk-based approach allows regulators to identify and prioritise areas that present higher levels of risks and respond proportionately. To do this, regulators need the ability to:

  • Use data and analysis to assess the level of risk associated with different entities, activities, or industries
  • Allocate resources based on risk levels, directing more attention to higher-level risks while streamlining oversight for lower-level risks
  • Assign a level of regulatory intervention and enforcement is proportional to the identified risks
  • Adjust and adapt their approach to changing circumstances.

Digitising regulatory activity is an essential step for regulators making the shift from rules to risk-based regulation. “Regulation isn’t a set-and-forget exercise and in todays’ constantly changing regulatory landscape, traditional approaches are becoming less and less effective,” said Kirsty Dusting, Global VP, RegTech, Objective. “Effective use of regulatory software is critical to operating as a modern regulator, yet many regulators use of technology is only just scratching the surface”. 

The challenges holding regulators back

Regulators who have yet to embrace regulatory software tend to face some common challenges.

Outdated legacy systems

Outdated legacy systems hinder government regulators from operating efficiently and achieving best practices. Acquired over time, these on-premise systems are difficult and expensive to upgrade, provide limited support, and struggle to support changing business needs.

Adapting to change

Regulatory agencies need their systems to adapt to ongoing changes across legislation, Machinery of Government (MoG), regulatory processes, and more. But for many regulators using heavily customised systems, the necessary systems changes can be time-consuming and cost prohibitive.

Lack of a single view

Government regulators have different systems for licensing, investigations, inspections, and enforcements, and they typically don’t interact with each other. This makes it hard to gain a single view of a regulated entity and their history, which can cause delays and inaccuracies in decision-making and reporting.

Administrative burden

Without the right systems and technology, government agencies tend to struggle with manual workflows, cumbersome workarounds, and paper-based document management. These inefficiencies can significantly increase the administrative burden and lead to poor outcomes for the regulator and slow responses to the public and industry.

Delivering a digital customer experience

Customers today have come to expect seamless, digital, on-demand services across every part of their lives – including services from government agencies. People want to submit licence applications, monitor the status of those applications, provide further information, make payments, raise complaints, communicate with agency staff - and more – using the channel of their choice at a time that suits them.

Accessing the right information at the right time

The combination of legacy systems and lack of integration between systems means agency staff often can’t find the information they need when they need it. This may include when they aren’t in the office, for example, completing an inspection or assessment, impacting their ability to make risk-based decisions.

Sustaining trust and confidence with the public

Trust and confidence are demonstrated through transparent, informed, and consistent decision-making, and this can be hard to achieve without the right support systems in place.

Without a modern regulatory management system, these challenges continue to prevent regulators from efficiently achieving their outcomes.

See how your agency can overcome these common challenges.

What are the benefits of having a regulatory management system?

A regulatory management system can benefit both government regulators and regulated entities or citizens, resulting in improved outcomes for the community.

Benefits for regulators
Automating workflows

Automated workflows can prompt consistent next steps, set reminders based on SLAs, assign work to individuals or teams based on rules, and automate correspondence. By enforcing rules aligned to business processes, automated workflows ensure agency staff follow the appropriate steps, resulting in fewer errors, less rework, and more consistent decision-making.

Integrating licensing and compliance systems

Regulatory management systems such as Objective RegWorks can achieve a single source of truth across multiple business units enabling implicit data sharing, a complete history of regulated parties, expediting decision making and providing a well governed data set for reporting and analytics. For example, compliance officers will have visibility in the field of key information captured during the approval of a licence and vice versa.

Making informed, risk-based decisions

Good regulatory management systems empower risk-based decision making by enabling access to real-time information and risk factors combined with risk-based algorithms. For example, high risk applications can be escalated to suitably trained staff who may then request additional information or apply stricter controls. Similarly, a history of serious non-compliance can be flagged and followed up with the appropriate enforcement actions.

Empowering officers in the field

Giving field officers access to real-time information can help enable targeted enforcement of high-risk areas. Data captured in the field improves accuracy and timeliness. Automatic synching with the back office removes the need for duplicate data entry and allows rapid follow-up actions.

Benefits for regulated entities and citizens
Delivering self-service experiences

A regulatory management system with an inbuilt customer portal delivers a digital customer experience via an intuitive workspace that enables self-service 24x7 and reduces call centre enquiries. Security for authenticated users is enabled by seamless integration with common digital identity solutions.

Reducing processing time

Significantly reduce application processing time by automating highly manual, low-value, repetitive tasks. Online access can also enable the public to quickly respond to requests, helping to minimise delays.

Making it easier for regulated entities and citizens to comply

With the right digital platform, customers only need to provide information once, even when applying for multiple licences, permits or benefits. Additionally, this simplifies payments and renewals.

We’ve had hundreds of thousands of people visit our website, use our tools, make reports to us. We’ve investigated hundreds of matters and we’ve progressed matters through to court. Objective RegWorks helps us keep delivering these fantastic results for Victorians

Robert Hortle

Commissioner, Wage Inspectorate Victoria

What makes a good regulatory management system?

A good regulatory management system offers a digital solution that streamlines the work of government regulators and improves outcomes for the public. To achieve this, a good regulatory management system should enable regulators to:

  • Automate manual tasks
  • Provide a smooth customer experience
  • Meet statutory deadlines
  • Make informed, consistent decisions
  • Adapt easily to changes in legislation and organisational structure
  • Offer discoverable real-time data for accurate reporting
  • Facilitate proactive risk identification and prevention.

Objective RegWorks is a user-friendly system that’s introduced greater flexibility to meet regulatory reporting requirements. It can also adapt to changing legislation, helping future proof our operations

Directory Regulatory Compliance, Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre

Regulatory management systems in action

Enabling new legislation for enhanced enforcement in the field

The Department of Conservation, New Zealand (DOC) is tasked with conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. New legislation was introduced, giving broader enforcement powers by allowing the issue of infringement notices for lower-level offending.

DOC utilises a mobile solution that empowers Rangers (officers) in the field and streamlines their end-to-end process. The solution enables real-time inspections with data entered directly into the system, eliminating the double handling of data, reducing errors and improving data quality.

Rangers can now capture evidence, identify repeat offenders, raise and serve infringements in the field and integrate customer payments. With detailed inspection tracking, DOC can access powerful reporting, review field activity, identify gaps and allocate resources accordingly.

Protecting vulnerable children with improved cross-agency data sharing

The need to better share information to improve child safety outcomes has been a recognised challenge for years. The barriers to information sharing across borders meant workers in each state had limited or no visibility of vital information that could change the outcomes of children’s lives.

Connect for Safety is a world-first solution designed to share sensitive data across multiple systems and organisations. It enables real-time decision-making about risks for children that help keep them safe. It does this by finding the most likely record fast, even with partial or incorrect data, all while complying with policy and legislation.

With access to a complete picture, case workers can better understand circumstances and assess the risks more accurately. Child protection agencies across Australia can now securely share essential information, helping trigger vital early action, facilitate better coordination and inform critical decisions.


Designed for better regulation

Regulatory management systems are the key to government agencies achieving better regulation and outcomes for the community.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a regulatory management system can help your agency, visit Objective RegWorks for more information or get in touch with our team.