In December 2011, the TIO Council approved a number of amendments to the TIO Constitution and recommended to the Board that these be adopted. The TIO Board has subsequently approved the amendments, which have also been the subject of consultation with the Federal Ministers for Telecommunications and Consumer Affairs. The amendments, which are set out below, come into effect on 1 July 2012.
Under clauses 6.1(a) and 6.2 of the Constitution, the monetary limits in relation to the power of determination has increased from $30,000 to $50,000. The monetary limit for the recommendation power has increased from $85,000 to $100,000. In addition, under clause 6.4 there has been an increase to the monetary limit for the arbitration powers to $100,000. These new limits will only apply to new complaints received after 1 July 2012.
Providing information and documentation
Previously, the TIO Constitution outlined that members were required to provide documentation in response to a TIO investigation for standard and systemic investigations. To make this requirement clearer, amendments to clauses 5.1(c) and 5A.2(f) now mean that members will need to provide both documents AND information relevant to a complaint, if this is requested by the TIO.
Discretion not to investigate
Clause 4.3(m) of the Constitution has been removed, and a new clause 6.6(d) inserted. This new clause provides that the TIO has a discretionary power to decline to investigate or further investigate a complaint where the consumer has refused to pay any or all undisputed charges, or such amount of the charges as, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, are reasonable.