IPART’s organisational arm or Secretariat is managed by the Chief Executive Officer. IPART has approximately 140 staff members and an annual budget of A$25 million. The current Chairman is Dr Peter BoxallAO. IPART is responsible to the Premier of New South Wales, presently Mike Baird MP.
IPART's role is set out in various pieces of state legislation including the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Act 1992, the Gas Supply Act 1996, the Electricity Supply Act 1995, the National Electricity (NSW) Law 1997 and the Transport Administration Act 1996.
IPART's core functions are conferred by legislation, rules and access regimes established by legislation. These functions are to:
Set maximum prices for monopoly services provided by government agencies in NSW (including water and public transport).
Administer licensing or authorisation of water, electricity and gas businesses, and monitor compliance with licence conditions.
Advise the NSW Government or its agencies on issues such as pricing, efficiency, industry structure and competition.
Regulate maximum electricity and gas prices that regulated energy retailers can charge to residential and small business customers.
Regulate private sector access to water and waste water to encourage competition and re-use.
Maintain a local government cost index, determine the maximum percentage increase in local government general revenue (rate peg), determine special rate variations and review Council development contributions plans.
Review the regulatory burden in priority industries to reduce red tape.
Administer the Energy Savings Scheme and associated Register of energy savings certificates.
Register agreements for access to public infrastructure assets and arbitrate disputes about agreements for access to public infrastructure.
Investigate complaints about competitive neutrality referred to us by the Government.
In addition to these functions, IPART also undertakes reviews and investigations to advise the NSW government and its agencies on a range of economic and policy issues such as pricing, efficiency, industry structure and competition.
The Tribunal comprises three permanent members: a Part-Time Chairman and 2 Part-Time Tribunal Members. Tribunal members are appointed by the Premier. The Premier can also appoint any number of additional temporary members. As of March 2015, the permanent Tribunal members are:
Dr Peter Boxall, AO (Chairman)
Ms Catherine Jones
Mr Ed Willett
IPART's first Chairman (from 1992 to 2004) was Dr Tom Parry; and its first Minister was then Premier Nick Greiner.