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Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Bill 2015

Schedule 2 Complaints handling by the ACMA

   

Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005

1  Section 3 (paragraph (b) of the definition of investigation )

Omit “11 or”.

2  Paragraph 4(3)(a)

Omit “11 or”.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

3  Part 11

Repeal the Part.

4  After section 170

Insert:

170A   Complaints to ACMA

             (1)  A person may make a complaint to the ACMA in relation to a broadcasting service or datacasting service.

             (2)  The ACMA may conduct an investigation into the complaint if it thinks that it is desirable to do so, but is not required to conduct an investigation.

Note:          One of the ACMA’s functions is to monitor and investigate complaints concerning broadcasting services (including national broadcasting services) and datacasting services. For example, the ACMA may, at its discretion, investigate a complaint by a person relating to compliance with a code of practice if the person is not satisfied with the broadcaster’s response.

5  After section 171

Insert:

171A   Procedure for conduct of investigations

             (1)  Subject to this Division, the procedure for the conduct of an investigation is within the discretion of the ACMA.

             (2)  The ACMA must publish on its website guidelines as to the procedures that the ACMA will follow in relation to the investigation of complaints. The guidelines do not prevent the ACMA from adopting a different procedure in relation to a particular complaint.

6  At the end of Division 2 of Part 13

Add:

181   Recommendation by ACMA for complaints relating to the ABC or SBS

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  a person makes a complaint to the ACMA on the ground that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation or the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation:

                              (i)  has, in providing a national broadcasting service or a datacasting service, acted contrary to a code of practice developed by the Corporation and notified to the ACMA; or

                             (ii)  has breached Part 9D (which deals with captioning); and

                     (b)  the ACMA, having decided to investigate the complaint, is satisfied that:

                              (i)  the complaint was justified; and

                             (ii)  the ACMA should encourage the Corporation to comply with the relevant code of practice or with Part 9D;

the ACMA may, by notice in writing given to the Corporation, recommend that it take action to comply with the relevant code of practice or with Part 9D and take such other action in relation to the complaint as is specified in the notice.

             (2)  That other action may include broadcasting or otherwise publishing an apology or retraction.

181A   ACMA may report to Minister on results of recommendation

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  the ACMA has made a recommendation to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation or the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation under section 181; and

                     (b)  the Corporation does not, within 30 days after the recommendation was given, take action that the ACMA considers to be appropriate;

the ACMA may give the Minister a written report on the matter.

             (2)  If the ACMA gives the Minister a report, the Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 7 sitting days of that House after the day on which he or she received the report.