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Evaluation of Food Regulation Partnership

In 2011/12, the NSW Food Authority undertook an evaluation of the Food Regulation Partnership program, almost four years since the last formal evaluation.

The overall aim of the evaluation was to understand whether the Partnership is working as intended in improving the regulatory system for the retail food sector in NSW. In addition, the evaluation also set out to establish whether the Partnership is implemented as planned and to identify ways the program can be fine-tuned.

5 evaluation projects were undertaken, aimed at collecting and reviewing new and existing data. Projects requiring data collection included surveying local councils and managers of multi-outlet food businesses.

Evaluation findings

Overall, the Partnership is working as intended, is well regarded by stakeholders (councils and retail/food businesses), and many foundational program activities are well established. Evaluation findings indicate that under the Partnership there has been:

  • improved compliance rates for retail food businesses
  • improved levels of co-operation between the Food Authority and councils
  • low levels of duplication of regulatory services (but examples were provided where ‘duplication’ of regulatory resources exists)
  • improvements in the effectiveness of council regulatory services
  • increased EHO efficiency across councils
  • some improvement in food surveillance and enforcement consistency but more is needed.

These evaluation findings provide a solid reference point against which to compare the impact of the Program in the future.

Three evaluation reports are available:

  1. The Food Regulation Partnership Results Summary Report (pdf 457KB)
  2. Survey of Council Environmental Health Officers and General Managers in NSW (pdf 393KB)
  3. Survey of Multi-Outlet Retail Food Businesses (Social Research Centre, 2012) (pdf 515KB)