The Australian Federation of Travel Agents announced the appointment of the AFTA Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (ACCMC) including that of Dr June Smith as the Chair.
Dr Smith formally accepted the position this month, and AFTA is delighted by the appointment as she brings extensive legal, financial, and business experience, and is currently appointed to the Financial Ombudsman Service. In addition some of her current appointments include Racing Victoria’s Racing and Disciplinary Board, and Financial Planning Association of Australia’s Conduct Review Commission.
Accompanying Dr Smith on the ACCMC are Consumer Representatives John Berrill and Paul Holmes. Both were appointed by CFA and have extensive experience in the legal profession and bring with them sound knowledge of the commercial environment and consumer rights.
Dr June Smith said, “Travel agents accredited by the scheme have agreed to deliver high standards of service in accordance with their code obligations. Trust, integrity and accountability are key elements of this framework.”
“The role of the Committee is to oversee the integrity of the scheme, review and determine consumer complaints and allegations of non-compliance with the standards when and if they arise, and provide a fair outcome for all parties. I look forward to working with the other Committee members to achieve these outcomes.”
The industry will be represented on the ACCMC by Ian Carew-Reid, who is well known within the industry and comes with a long history of experience and connection to AFTA. Jayson Westbury as the current Chief Executive of AFTA will also sit on the ACCMC as the second industry representative.
General Manager, Gary O’Riordan said, “to uphold the integrity of the Scheme, all AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) participants are required to have a process to professionally and promptly respond to customer complaints. It is natural that during the course of doing business consumers may experience problems, so it is essential that our ATAS participants are equipped to respond to these in a timely, ethical and appropriate manner. In situations where both parties cannot come to an agreement the ACCMC plays a vital role in addressing the ATAS participant’s compliance with the ATAS Code of Conduct and ensuring a fair outcome for all parties.”
“Our ATAS consumer website contains useful information for individuals on how to seek a resolution as well as addresses what complaints may be handled by the ACCMC and which of those must be referenced to an Australian Consumer Protection Agency and addressed under Australian Consumer Law,” said Mr O’Riordan.
Over 2,200 travel agent locations across Australia are now ATAS accredited and over half of all traffic to the ATAS consumer website uses the search directory to find an accredited agent.