On 1 December, the TIO introduced a new complaint handling procedure to deal with providers that do not join or refuse to comply with the TIO Scheme.
Telecommunications service providers are obligated under the Telecommunications Act to join and comply with the TIO Scheme. When an organisation does not join or refuses to comply with the TIO, we follow a procedure to firstly engage with the organisation and, if that is unsuccessful, to refer the organisation to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
A new procedure for referring non-compliant organisations to the ACMA was created following a review of TIO policies and procedures in 2009/10. It aims to:
- give clearer information about what is non-compliant conduct
- include how the TIO handles refusal to join the TIO Scheme
- provide for a more flexible process to deal with non-compliance, and
- give clear principles for publishing information about non-compliance.
The TIO implemented the new complaint handling procedure on 1 December 2012 after consulting with the ACMA and TIO Council. Refusal to join or failure to comply with the TIO Scheme sets out:
- how the TIO informs eligible organisations about their obligations to join and comply with the TIO Scheme
- examples of non-compliant conduct
- methods of dealing with non-compliant conduct, including informal resolution, warnings and referral to the ACMA
- when information about non-compliance will be published by the TIO
- that the TIO may depart from standard complaint procedures when dealing with complaints where organisations are non-compliant, and
- how the TIO will communicate with the ACMA and other regulators throughout the process.
In its 2012 report Review of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the Department of Broadband,Communications and the Digital Economy recommended that the TIO publish guidelines about when and how we refer non-compliant organisations and publicly report on non-compliance. The TIO confirmed that the new procedure meets this recommendation.
The full text of the new procedure is available on our website at Refusal to join or failure to comply with the TIO Scheme