Canberra calls snap TIO review

 

Transparency on the table.

The Federal Government has called a snap review of the telecommunications industry ombudsman (TIO) that could change its structure and transparency.

The Department of Communications has released a discussion paper detailing a number of proposed reforms for the scheme.

The announcement came just months after iTnews columnist David Havyatt noted the urgency for an industry-led review to address criticisms from ISPs and customers – or face intervention from Canberra.

"If the latter outcome occurs, the industry should not be surprised if a new scheme does not serve their best interests," Havyatt warned.

Indeed, the Government sought comment on a range of proposals aimed at opening the TIO's structure up to public scrutiny and cutting out bad practices.

They included:

  • Making the TIO subject to an independent public review every three to five years
  • Creating a "single overseeing governance body" to replace the current three-tier approach of a council, board of directors and the ombudsman's office
  • Giving the Minister or ACMA some oversight or veto powers over the TIO's constitution

The Government was particularly concerned with the overall transparency of the TIO scheme.

It questioned if the scheme could balance the interests of industry and consumer groups.

The Government was also concerned about the "capacity for industry to control the high-level policy direction" of the TIO, due to the scheme's governance structure.

"The confidential nature of board and council meetings impedes the visibility of governance processes," the discussion paper stated.

"Insight into how conflicts between the board and council are resolved in the best interests of consumers is hindered by this lack of transparency."

The paper raised the prospect that the TIO's jurisdiction was too narrow and should be widened to keep pace with changes in services and products available in the industry.

"The continued popularity of bundled services/packages for telecommunications consumers and continuing customer confusion about where to pursue complaints on this topic remains an unresolved issue," the paper noted.

"It is understood that the TIO is proposing to amend its constitution to widen its jurisdiction over some bundled products and services."

The review would also examine whether to raise industry fees for dealing with low-level complaints to persuade ISPs and telcos to invest more in their own complaints-handling functions. This was in response to a large number of Level 1 complaints that were resolved when they were referred by the TIO back to the service provider.

Telcos have long questioned the methodologies used by the TIO distorted the number of complaints it received, suggesting a review of the scheme was overdue.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Canberra calls snap TIO review
 
 
 
Top Stories
Coalition's NBN cost-benefit study finds in favour of MTM
FTTP costs too much, would take too long.
 
Telcos finally briefed on data retention details
Update: AGD offers list of data to be stored.
 
Qld Health hires short-term CIO, CTO
Ray Brown leaves after five years at IT helm.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Looking for storage? Seagate has five new small business NAS devices
Aug 22, 2014
Seagate has announced a new portfolio of Networked Attached Storage (NAS) solutions specifically ...
Run a small business in western Sydney?
Aug 15, 2014
This event might be of interest if you're looking to meet other people with a similar interest ...
Buying a tablet? Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 goes on sale this month
Aug 8, 2014
Microsoft has announced its Surface Pro 3 will go on sale in Australia on 28 August from ...
Apple's top MacBook Pro with Retina is now cheaper
Aug 1, 2014
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro range with faster processors and new pricing, including ...
Pass on carbon tax savings, warns ACCC
Jul 24, 2014
The ACCC is warning businesses that supply "regulated goods" to pass on any cost savings ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  67%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  3%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  12%
 
Denial of service attacks
  7%
 
Insider threats
  12%
TOTAL VOTES: 559

Vote