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Professor Veronica Taylor was embedded as a part time Expert Adviser at the Prime Minister and Cabinet. As part of that secondment, she led the research project, ‘How should we modernise document execution in Australia?’
Many of our most frequently used legal documents in Australia remain paper-based, cumbersome to use and difficult to understand. How can we regulate these kinds of documents – and transactions –in ways that balance the policy need for business efficiency with the original purpose of limiting fraud, while safeguarding vulnerable people? Working with Associate Professor Philippa (Pip) Ryan (ANU College of Law), Professor Taylor produced policy recommendations that informed discussion with a wide range of stakeholder groups, including the Law Council of Australia, the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department, the Treasury and State and Territory policy makers. The project report is published as Executing document in a digital economy: rethinking statutory declaration and deeds in Australia. This report received excellent feedback from the Australian Public Service, with Jason McDonald, Division Head, Regulatory Reform Division (PM&C) commenting:
“I just want to draw your attention to a new paper prepared for us by Professor Veronica Taylor from the ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance, ‘How should we modernise document execution in Australia?’ The paper provides a framework for considering reforms to statutory declarations and deeds, as well as surveying current national and international practice. Reform would not only reduce compliance costs by around $500m a year, but potentially set a precedent for the wider shift away from ‘paper, parchment and velum’. We have been honoured to have Professor Taylor as part of the team for the past six months.”
As part of her work with PM&C, Professor Taylor designed the seminar series, Regulatable, which was hosted by senior colleagues in the Deregulation Taskforce and livestreamed to PM&C and other Commonwealth and State Departments. The presenters and topics drew audiences of over 100 people for each session.