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Self-regulation to help address 'new' internet risks

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The scope of this third edition of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s occasional paper Optimal conditions for effective self- and co-regulatory arrangements has been expanded to address the ‘new’ risks and problems arising from internet-enabled (IP) technology and service developments.

Optimal conditions for effective self- and co-regulatory arrangements describes the consistent analytical framework used by the ACMA in current activities such as the ACMA’s response to the government’s deregulation agenda and its implementation of the government’s Regulator Performance Framework.

‘This update reflects the widening perspective the ACMA has taken as it transitions its regulatory practice to address the ‘new’ risks and problems arising from internet-enabled (IP) technology and service developments,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

‘A key feature of this transition strategy is the increasing reliance on non-regulatory interventions seeking to solve contemporary media and communications issues.’

The ACMA has an enduring interest in the effective operation of industry self- and co-regulatory arrangements and the first edition of the paper, published in 2010, identified a number of conditions that underpin these arrangements.

The 2015 update points out recent initiatives by industry representative bodies and the ACMA to use non-regulatory approaches that provide flexible solutions, rather than use traditional regulatory tools.

‘This paper discusses the ACMA’s growing use of innovative approaches to communicate, facilitate and, more generally, adopt better practice strategies,’ Mr Chapman said.

‘The ACMA has worked with industry to further extend the self and co-regulatory arrangements of media and communications regulation, rather than imposing new regulatory obligations.

‘Our original analysis, particularly as extended in this update, remains highly relevant today but the thinking in this third edition focuses on better practice approaches to reducing regulatory burdens on industry.’

The Optimal conditions for effective self- and co-regulatory arrangements occasional paper can be found on the ACMA website.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or media@acma.gov.au.

Media release 28/2015 - 25 June

Backgrounder

Optimal conditions for effective self- and co-regulatory arrangements outlines the shape of the ACMA’s approach to engaging with industry in regulatory outcomes. It also contributes to the ACMA’s regulatory best practice and development research, and aims to inform broader public policy discussions about effective regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms in a converged media and communications landscape.

The paper identifies the elements the ACMA will take into account in the early stages of considering, where discretion exists, whether to adopt self- or co-regulatory arrangements, innovative non-regulatory approaches or alternative tools. It is informed by government literature and academic perspectives and:

  • discusses the Australian media and communications context for self and co-regulation
  • sets out the place of self- and co-regulation in the regulatory toolkit
  • outlines the ACMA’s assessment framework for examining the effectiveness of self- and co-regulatory arrangements
  • identifies a number of non-regulatory and alternative tools for consideration
  • provides short case study examples of the use of various regulatory and non-regulatory tools drawn from the ACMA’s regulatory practice.

Feedback on the paper would be very welcome and can be provided to Regframe@acma.gov.au.



Last updated: 25 June 2015

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