The broadcasting complaints process
Primary responsibility for the resolution of broadcasting code-related complaints rests with the licensees. The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA) lays down a general procedure for complaints-handling whereby a complainant is required to approach a licensee first, who in turn is obliged to respond.
However, if a complainant does not receive a response within 60 days, or considers the response received to be inadequate, the matter may then be referred to the ACMA for investigation. The ACMA refers to these as unresolved complaints and must investigate them unless satisfied that they are frivolous or vexatious, or not made in good faith.
Complaints about possible breaches of program standards (children’s television, Australian content, captioning and disclosure), provisions of the BSA and licence conditions may be made directly to the ACMA. Complainants are not obliged to contact a licensee first in these instances.
The ACMA may find that a licensee has breached a broadcasting code of practice or a licensee may admit a breach of a code. Breaches of the codes are not breaches of the BSA, although the ACMA may make compliance with a code a condition of licence. Generally, the ACMA seeks to ensure that licensees take action to remedy breaches or to put in place procedures to ensure they do not recur.
From the 1 July 2011 community broadcasting investigation summaries will no longer appear in the quarterly report. Community investigation reports can be accessed by following the below links:
- April to June 2012
- January to March 2012
- October to December 2011
- July to September 2011
- April to June 2011