Government releases consumer representation review report
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
(ACCAN) will continue to be funded as the peak body representing
telecommunications consumers, following a review of section 593 of the Telecommunications
The final report on the review of telecommunications
consumer representation has now been released, and makes ten recommendations
Retaining Section 593
of the Act and establishing a new funding agreement with ACCAN;
Proposals for improved
engagement between ACCAN and industry
Improvements to the
independent research grants program; administered by ACCAN, fostering
collaboration between government, regulatory agencies and industry
representatives to guide research priorities;
of funding caps and time limits for research projects to provide greater
flexibility and allow for longer-term research proposals.
Section 593 allows the Minister for Communications to make
grants to organisations to represent the interests of consumers in relation to telecommunications services, and to
conduct telecommunications-related research.
The Department of
Communications and the Arts undertook a
review of consumer representation in late 2016. A public consultation
process attracted 65 submissions, the majority of which supported retaining
section 593 of the Act.
The review also
found that ACCAN is seen as an effective representative body by stakeholders,
though steps could be taken to improve both its representation role and the
benefits of the research it funds.
Government recognises the ongoing need for consumer representation in
telecommunications policy and regulatory processes and has accepted the
recommendations of the review.
recommendations will be implemented by means of a new ACCAN funding agreement,
to be entered into following the expiry of the current funding agreement in May
final report is released today and is available at https://www.communications.gov.au/have-your-say/consumer-representation-review-accan