Feedback sought on further reforms to executive officer liability

Published: 02 Mar 2016

The NTC today released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) which has identified several options designed to improve current HVNL requirements on executive officers.

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said executive officers of corporations play a key role in ensuring that their companies operate safely.

“This phase of the reforms sets out options to remove inconsistencies and complexities in the HVNL. This can make it easier for corporations to proactively manage their safety risks and comply with the law,” Mr Retter said.

“Ultimately it is about making our roads safer.”

The options are intended to encourage a proactive approach to safety in the heavy vehicle industry without unnecessary red tape. This is part of the second phase of reforms to executive officer liability under the HVNL, following on from work completed in 2015.

The first phase of reforms introduced a due diligence obligation for executive officers to ensure chain of responsibility parties comply with their primary duty to keep their road transport operations safe. This was agreed to by ministers in November 2015.

The RIS explores several options to remove inconsistencies and complexities in the HVNL, including the possible extension of executive officer due diligence obligations to additional offences where other parties currently have a duty or obligation under the law.

“We welcome any feedback on these options and any additional information about potential impacts on compliance costs and safety.”

Executive officer liability refers to the personal liability imposed on individuals who are concerned with, or who take part in, managing corporations. It makes executive officers responsible for decisions they make that might harm others.

For example, executive officers are responsible for putting processes in place to ensure that loads are adequately restrained and that a driver’s schedule allows for adequate rest.

The reforms proposed require a RIS to be undertaken because some options involve an extension of existing obligations on executive officers.