It is with great pride that I present to you this fifth update of the Risk Analysis Framework (RAF). The RAF outlines the OGTR’s approach to conducting risk assessment and preparing risk management plans and licence conditions. Importantly, it also outlines how we communicate with stakeholders about risk analysis. It is this latter purpose that has been the major focus for this revision of the RAF.

Effective communication of our activities is integral to maintaining and building stakeholder trust and confidence in and understanding of the regulatory system. The field of gene technology is a complex and rapidly advancing area of science and this is reflected in the increasingly complicated nature of the work being conducted with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These factors present some risk communication challenges for all agencies involved in the regulation of GMOs. In addition, an ever expanding range of communication tools and technologies is becoming available. It is therefore timely that we have focused this revision of the RAF on the subject of risk communication.

The development of this edition of the RAF has benefited from advice from both the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee and the Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee. Apart from the many discussions within the office on the subject of risk communication, a number of staff have given valuable input to enhancements in other areas, reflecting our practical experiences in conducting regulatory risk analyses for GMOs. I would like to thank the risk analysis experts and others who provided constructive feedback that helped us to produce a better document. I would particularly like to thank Paul Keese for his commitment to the highest standards of risk analysis and for leading our periodic reviews of the RAF. Significant contributions were also made by Peter Thygesen, Robyn Cleland, Andrea Robold, Rebecca Newton, Will Tucker, Vidya Jagadish and others too numerous to mention. The product of these collaborations is a document that I believe keeps us at the forefront of international best practice for regulatory risk analysis of GMOs.

I commend the 2013 Risk Analysis Framework to you and welcome your feedback.

[Signed in Hard Copy and PDF versions.]

Dr Joe Smith
Gene Technology Regulator