Financial penalties for breaches of the legislation have recently increased
Under most Commonwealth laws, financial penalties are expressed in terms of ‘penalty units’ instead of dollar figures. As an example, a maximum fine would generally be expressed as ’10 penalty units’ as opposed to ‘$1000’. The Australian Government recently increased the value of penalty units that apply to breaches of most Australian Government laws.
On 28 December 2012, the value of a penalty unit for calculating financial penalties increased from $110 to $170. The penalty unit value had not been adjusted since 1997. The civil penalties that apply for contraventions of the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 are calculated using penalty units. This means that all financial penalties calculated using penalty units under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 will be higher for breaches of the legislation that occur on or after 28 December 2012.
The ACMA is currently in the process of updating its website and other information and fact sheets about the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 to reflect the new higher penalty unit value.
The Do Not Call Register Act 2006 Compliance Guide provides telemarketers and fax marketers with detailed guidance about measures they can take to comply with the Do Not Call Register legislation.
The compliance guide was developed by the ACMA in consultation with the telemarketing industry, and incorporates information gathered by the ACMA through its investigations into non-compliance. Put simply, the ACMA has looked to industry for what does work, and has observed through its investigations what doesn't.
The compliance guide encourages telemarketers and fax marketers to aim for best practice compliance with the legislation, and provides practical advice about how they can go about achieving it.
The guide is intended neither as a statement of things that telemarketers and fax marketers must do to comply with the legislation, nor as a listing of measures that, if applied, would necessarily ensure a person's compliance. Its primary objective is to help telemarketers and fax marketers to meet their regulatory obligations under the legislation, and thereby reduce the number of prohibited calls made and prohibited faxes sent to registered numbers.
In addition to the electronic versions of the compliance guide on this page, durable wire-bound hard-copies of the guide are available from the ACMA on request to DNCInvestigations@acma.gov.au.
The compliance guide complements the range of other educational material available on the Do Not Call Register - Information for industry page.
In light of recent amendments to the Do Not Call Register Act 2006, the ACMA has prepared an addendum to the compliance guide for the fax industry.