[box]The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Committee has released an Issues Paper on the Benchmarks for Industry-based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes. Comments on the paper are due by 24 May 2013.[/box]
[box type=”alert”]The deadline for comments has now been extended to 7 June 2013.[/box]
The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Committee has released an Issues Paper on the Benchmarks for Industry-based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes. Comments on the paper are due by 24 May 2013.
In Australia and New Zealand, the Benchmarks for Industry-based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes (the Benchmarks) play an important role in guiding effective practice for the delivery of industry-based customer dispute resolution services. There have been a number of developments since the Benchmarks’ release in 1997. Changes in technology, dispute resolution methodologies as well as an increasing number and diversity of schemes mean that there is value in re-examining the Benchmarks.
The CCAAC has developed this Issues Paper, Review of the Benchmarks for Industry based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes to:
- raise issues being considered by CCAAC in relation to the review; and
- seek public and stakeholder comments in relation to these issues.
Responses are requested by 5:00pm on 24 May 2013.
Terms of reference
The Assistant Treasurer, on behalf of the COAG Governance and Legislative Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF), requests the CCAAC to review the Benchmarks for Industry based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes document (the Benchmarks Document) that was issued by the then Commonwealth Minister of Customs and Consumer Affairs in August 1997.
For the review, CCAAC is requested to:
- review the current function and use of the Benchmarks Document;
- consider for each benchmark, the ongoing relevance and usefulness of the underlying principles, purposes and key practices;
- assess whether the Benchmarks Document is meeting the objective of acting as a guide to effective practice for those industry sectors with customer dispute resolution schemes; and
- consider how the Benchmarks Document could be modernised or enhanced, including through the development of implementation guidance.
CCAAC is requested to consider the views of interested stakeholders.
The Benchmarks Document states the principles, purposes and key practices for the benchmarks of Accessibility, Independence, Fairness, Accountability, Efficiency and Effectiveness. The Benchmarks Document guides effective practice for those industry sectors with schemes to resolve disputes between their industry members and individual consumers. The Benchmarks Document also serves as a guide for consumers as to what they should expect from dispute resolution schemes.
The benchmarks are referenced in both Australia and New Zealand for the approval of dispute resolution schemes where participation is required by legislation for some industry sectors.
The Benchmarks Document was developed with the assistance of industry sector dispute resolution schemes, consumer groups, government and regulatory authorities.