Review of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
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On 7 September 2012 the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announced a review of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).
Established in 2009, ACCAN currently receives $2 million funding per annum (CPI indexed) from the Australian Government under Section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act). This funding is recouped from telecommunications carriers as part of their obligation under the Telecommunications (Carrier Licence Charges) Act 1997.
The review sought submissions from interested stakeholders on ACCAN’s performance against terms of reference. The review was wide ranging in its scope, with a view to assessing whether ACCAN had met its obligations under its deed and ACCAN’s performance against key performance indicators. More broadly, the review assessed the difference that ACCAN has made to consumer representation in the Australian telecommunications sector.
Terms of reference
The terms of reference for the review were published on 7 September 2011.
The submission period closed on 19 October 2011.
Report of the review
On Sunday 20 May 2012 the minister announced the release of the report of the ACCAN review.
The review’s main finding was that ACCAN has established itself as a well-regarded and effective organisation in representing the interests of consumers in the telecommunications sector. The review also found that ACCAN satisfactorily met its obligations under its Deed of Agreement which sets out key performance indicators for the organisation. Every submission to the review supported a continuing role for ACCAN.
The review made the following recommendations to enhance ACCAN’s performance:
- that ACCAN undertakes steps to increase small business representation both in ACCAN’s membership and in its policy and advocacy work
- that ACCAN develops an industry engagement framework to formalise consultation processes with industry
- that ACCAN revises its standing advisory committees to enhance their operations and more properly reflect ACCAN’s membership base
- that ACCAN becomes more involved in the development of telecommunications industry standards where these have the potential to improve consumer welfare and utility
- that ACCAN investigates options to engage in joint research or collaborative partnerships with industry and others where such arrangements lead to shared consumer outcomes and where ACCAN’s independence is not compromised
- that ACCAN develops a greater focus on communications that would have relevance to a general consumer audience
- that ACCAN revises its constitution to ensure that governance experience is the key selection criteria for future Board appointments
- Review of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network report (PDF, 482.4 KB)
- Review of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network report (DOC, 318.5 KB)
The government will work with ACCAN on the implementation of these recommendations.
Contact the department
Phone: 1800 254 649 (a free call from a fixed line) or 02 6271 1000 (from overseas, dial +61 2 6271 1000)
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, or are deaf, you can contact the department through the National Relay Service between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm (Monday to Friday):
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