What can NBN Co do in caretaker mode?

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What can NBN Co do in caretaker mode?

It can't replace its CEO, for one.

NBN Co will shift into caretaker mode with other government agencies but "may" continue some promotional activities right through the election period.

A spokeswoman for the network builder told iTnews NBN Co would abide by common caretaker conventions described in federal guidance (pdf).

Such guidance means deferring "significant appointments", which means the vacant top job at NBN Co won't be filled until after the election.

It also calls on government agencies and enterprises not to enter "major contracts or undertakings" whilst the government is in caretaker mode, putting more rollout contracts or extensions off limits.

The spokeswoman confirmed business-as-usual (BAU) activities, such as the network rollout, would continue, and it appears that may cover some marketing and promotional activities.

"As NBN Co has an awareness-raising role, those promotional activities that are BAU may continue during the caretaker period," the spokeswoman said.

She said local activity to promote the impending availability of services in an area was a prime example of such BAU promotional activity.

The federal guidance on the caretaker conventions does allow for "campaigns that are of an operational nature" to continue. It gives the examples of defence force recruitment or public health campaigns.

"Bipartisan support is sought" to continue other types of advertising campaigns in the lead-up to an election.

"Campaigns that highlight the role of particular Ministers or address issues that are a matter of contention between the parties are normally discontinued," the guidance states.

There are also rules for social media use. Though it appears NBN Co will keep its own social media pages active — the spokeswoman did not specifically comment on questions raised by iTnews — a Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)-owned Facebook page on the NBN has been placed on hiatus.

"This Facebook page will be deactivated once the Government enters a caretaker role prior to the election on 7 September 2013," the page read.

The DBCDE also said on Twitter that its account there would become "less active".

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