Better regulatory practice initiative | ACMA

Better regulatory practice initiative

At the ACMA, we are committed to ensuring that our performance remains fit-for-purpose and of the highest possible standard. We work to improve not only the regulatory frameworks we operate within, but also our internal processes and procedures.

An essential element of this process is facilitating an open and constructive dialogue between the ACMA and our stakeholders. This helps inform our regulatory decision-making and provides us with valuable insights into where improvement may be required.

Our Better Regulatory Practice Initiative (BRPI) is an important component of this. It provides us with a way of responding to feedback and implementing priorities identified through our stakeholder engagement processes, internal reviews and the Regulator Performance Framework (RPF). 

You can read about our 2016–17 BRPI achievements in our RPF 2016–17 performance assessment report, which also outlines the next focus areas for 2017-18, identified through input from our stakeholders.

Our 2017–18 BRPI

Our 2017–18 BRPI builds upon the achievements and work identified in 2016–17. Its activities fall under the following categories:

  1. transparency, accountability and openness
  2. targeted compliance and enforcement
  3. greater consistency in our consultation processes
  4. expansion of our regulatory reform agenda.

1.   Transparency, accountability and openness

The ACMA is committed to providing an adaptable and targeted communication strategy to assist industry to understand regulatory obligations and communicate our approach to risk. We believe that open channels of communication, education and outreach help all parties to make decisions about their future with certainty and confidence. 

Our 2017–18 BRPI will continue to enhance transparency, accountability and openness of our decision-making processes. One key way this will be addressed is through implementing recommendations of the ACMA Review associated with ensuring stakeholders have a clear understanding of our compliance and enforcement actions.  We will also continue to include a range of communications mechanism, including formal consultations, stakeholder forums, social media channels and technology assisted communications tools.

2.   Targeted compliance and enforcement

Our 2017-18 BRPI will continue our efforts to apply a proportionate, risk-based and coordinated approach to compliance monitoring and enforcement to meet challenges as they arise.

The ACMA will take an approach to compliance activities and regulatory intervention based on evidence of harm for current consumer issues.  Through our Priority Compliance Area (PCA) program we seek to focus resources on higher risk issues while maintaining compliance and enforcement coverage of other matters.  This prioritised approach enables us to achieve good regulatory outcomes in an efficient and targeted way. 

Integrated Public Number Database (IPND): The 2017-18 PCAs are decided having regard to reports extracted from the IPND, consumer and data user quality complaints, and intelligence from key stakeholders.  The PCA’s include data provision issues, including for telephone services provided over the NBN.

Unsolicited Communications: the application of PCAs provides a clear framework within which to engage with consumers, industry and government agencies. Telemarketing by the solar industry, the conduct of registered charities and consent based marketing practices are all areas of compliance priority.

Consumer issues related to NBN services will also be an area of further focus for 2018.

3.   Greater consistency in our consultation process

Our 2017–18 BRPI will further our efforts to drive continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks through robust and consistent consultation.

The ACMA will finalise an enhanced consultation framework (including a consistent staff guidance on end-to-end consultation processes) in early 2018. This will improve our ability to engage more effectively, including providing more information on the anticipated scheduling of our consultations, decision-making processes and reasons for decisions

4.   Our regulatory reform agenda

Our 2017–18 BRPI will continue to improve our efforts to work with industry, community and government stakeholders to review and update existing regulation, remove legacy regulation where its purpose has been served, and respond to needs for new arrangements, where appropriate, to provide safeguards to consumers.

Regulatory reform priorities for 2018 reflect key government initiatives relating to changes to media ownership legislation, radiocommunications legislation to allow for more flexible spectrum management practices, and telecommunications consumer safeguards. Implementing the recommendations of the ACMA Review associated with Authority structure and governance arrangements will further enable us to improve regulatory frameworks.

Your feedback

We welcome your feedback on our BRPI. Feedback can be emailed to

Last updated: 05 April 2018