The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) was established in 2016 under the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Act 2015 (the Act). The Act requires the Ombudsman’s assistance function be reviewed every four years. This is the second independent review following the inaugural review in 2017.
Under the Act, the Minister responsible for small business is required to appoint a suitably qualified and independent person to conduct the review. This review was completed between March and June 2021 by Ms Carmel McGregor PSM, with secretariat support provided by Deloitte.
Key questions examined by the review included how ASBFEO has responded to the recommendations of the 2017 review, the functions added since 2016, the interaction and effectiveness of ASBFEO’s functions, and whether there are any improvements that could better support ASBFEO in the delivery of its functions.
The Review found that the ASBFEO has largely acquitted the recommendations of the 2017 review. A number of further recommendations have been made to position ASBFEO for continued influence and impact.
Stakeholder consultations were held with Commonwealth and state/territory agencies whose functions impact small businesses and family enterprises, as well as with state small business commissioners and industry bodies. All submissions were carefully considered and the final report was submitted to the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business on 18 June 2021.