Issue for comment 11/2014 - 20 March
The ACMA has remade the EME regulatory instruments with minor amendments:
This consultation closed on Friday 2 May 2014. The ACMA received the following 22 submissions. The ACMA's Outcomes paper in response to these submissions is available.
The ACMA was consulting on a proposal to remake the Radiocommunications (Electromagnetic Radiation — Human Exposure) Standard 2003 (the Human Exposure Standard) and the Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling —Electromagnetic Radiation) Notice 2003 (the EME Labelling Notice).
The draft Human Exposure Standard and EME Labelling Notice operate together, specifying the Australian regulatory arrangements for EME for relevant devices under the Radiocommunications Act 1992. The draft Human Exposure Standard incorporates changes to ensure the specific absorption rate (SAR) measurement procedure for devices covered by the standard:
- reflects current best international practice
- provides accurate information regarding exposure to EME from a mobile or wireless device under all possible transmission modes.
The consultation paper outlining the proposed amendments and the draft instruments is available:
- Consultation paper (Word 179 KB)
- Draft Radiocommunications (Electromagnetic Radiation — Human Exposure) Standard 2014 (Word 100 KB)
- Draft Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling —Electromagnetic Radiation) Notice 2014 (Word 205 KB)
The Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (LIA) provides a regime for the automatic repeal of regulations and other legislative instruments after 10 years, unless action is taken to exempt them. This process is referred to as sunsetting. To preserve the effect of an instrument, it needs to be remade before the sunset date. Sunsetting ensures that legislative instruments are kept up-to-date and only remain in force as long as they are needed (see section 49 of the LIA).
Under Part 6 of the LIA, all legislative instruments will be repealed automatically on the 1 April or 1 October on or after the 10th anniversary of registration of the instrument, unless an exemption is in place. Under subsection 54(2) of the LIA, certain classes of legislative instruments are exempt from the sunsetting provisions.
Under section 50 of the LIA, the sunsetting instrument will be repealed and cease to be in force on the day it sunsets. Repeal does not undo the past effect of the instrument.
All government organisations are responsible for administering the legislative instruments due to sunset to determine whether the instrument will be required after its sunset date.
Among the legislative instruments made by the ACMA due to sunset in the near future are the Human Exposure Standard and the EME Labelling Notice, made under subsections 162(1) and 182 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 respectively.
There is an ongoing requirement for the instruments, as together they to specify the Australian regulatory arrangements for EME for relevant devices. Therefore, the ACMA is proposing to remake the instruments under the new names Radiocommunications (Electromagnetic Radiation — Human Exposure) Standard 2014 and Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling — Electromagnetic Radiation) Notice 2014 with some minor amendments.
The minor amendments seek to ensure the SAR measurement procedure reflects current best international practice and are detailed in the consultation paper.
The ACMA is committed to ensuring the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal, written consultation processes, it has developed the following guide: Effective consultation: A guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA’s formal, written, public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.
Publication of submissions
In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions it receives. The ACMA prefers to receive submissions which are not claimed to be confidential. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the claim. The ACMA will consider each confidentiality claim on a case-by-case basis. If the ACMA accepts a claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless authorised or required by law to do so.
Release of submissions where authorised or required by law
Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (unless an exemption applies) or shared with other Commonwealth government agencies and certain other parties under Part 7A of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, under a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.
The Privacy Act 1988 imposes obligations on the ACMA in relation to the collection, security, quality, access, use and disclosure of personal information. These obligations are detailed in the Australian Privacy Principles that apply to organisations and Australian Government agencies from 12 March 2014.
The ACMA may only collect personal information if it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of its functions or activities.
The purposes for which personal information is being collected (such as the names and contact details of submitters) are to:
- contribute to the transparency of the consultation process by clarifying, where appropriate, whose views are represented by a submission
- enable the ACMA to contact submitters where follow-up is required or to notify them of related matters (except where submitters indicate they do not wish to be notified of such matters).
The ACMA will not use the personal information collected for any other purpose, unless the submitter has provided their consent or the ACMA is otherwise permitted to do so under the Privacy Act.
Submissions in response to this paper are voluntary. As mentioned above, the ACMA generally publishes all submissions it receives, including any personal information in the submissions. If a submitter has made a confidentiality claim over personal information which the ACMA has accepted, the submission will be published without that information. The ACMA will not release the personal information unless authorised or required by law to do so.
If a submitter wishes to make a submission anonymously or through use a pseudonym, they are asked to contact the ACMA to see whether it is practicable to do so in light of the subject matter of the consultation. If it is practicable, the ACMA will notify the submitter of any procedures that need to be followed and whether there are any other consequences of making a submission in that way.