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Friday, 25 November 2011
Page: 9741

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

(Question No. 1281)

Senator Abetz asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 14 October 2011:

With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 708 (Senate Hansard, 17 August 2011, p. 4768):

(1) In relation to paragraphs 2a.(i) and 2a.(ii), can the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) acknowledge that Mr Patrick Crouche, Deputy Regional Director of the ACCC's Melbourne office, was in fact the author of both items of correspondence.

(2) Is there any reasonable doubt that Mr Crouche was the author of those letters; if so, can an explanation as to why be provided.

(3) What documentary evidence does the ACCC have to 'establish' the reason for the bike component failure referred to in that correspondence.

(4) In relation to paragraph 7, did the ACCC fail to answer the question because it could not provide examples where Mr Groombridge's alleged selective quoting may have been misleading.

(5) Can the ACCC provide any real world example of where the alleged selective quoting may have been misleading.

(6) In relation to the answer provided in paragraph 6, can the ACCC confirm that it is unable to provide any documentary evidence of any consultation with any representative on the Standards Australia Technical Committee for Pedal Bicycles (or staff with technical qualifications including science and engineering) about the assessment of the first of the HRL Technology Pty Ltd reports.

Senator Wong: The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Both items of correspondence were authored by ACCC staff. As noted in the ACCC's response to question on notice no. 708 the letter dated 13 December 2005 is a draft only.

(2) The contributors to the drafting of both items of correspondence cannot be ascertained with certainty. The ACCC's document management system in 2005 did not record contributors to the drafting of documents.

(3) The ACCC does not hold documentary evidence which establishes the precise reason for the component failure on Mr Groombridge's bicycle.

(4) The ACCC did not fail to answer the question.

(5) In its response to Senate Question 156, paragraph 19, the ACCC simply made the general observation that written material which is not in its context can be misleading.

(6) That is correct.