Australian government confirms support for ACMA reforms

22 May 2017

Mitch Fifield, Australia’s communications minister, has confirmed the government’s response to the review of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) carried out by the Department of Communications and the Arts (DCA). The review found that the ACMA had ‘generally performed its regulatory role efficiently and well over the last ten years’, it made a number of recommendations regarding the ACMA’s remit, objectives, functions and governance. Now, the Australian Government has confirmed that it supports, or supports in-principle, all 27 recommendations being put forward.

As per the review, the DCA had argued that the measures proposed would ensure the ACMA is ‘a modern, agile and responsive fit-for-purpose communications regulator’, while suggesting key reforms would ‘redesign the governance arrangements for the regulator and provide for greater transparency, accountability and responsiveness of the regulator’s day-to-day and strategic activities’. Among the notable recommendations were plans to launch a coordinated programme of regulatory reform to establish a contemporary communications regulatory framework, while there is also a commitment to undertake further work to determine whether it may be more efficient for another body carry out the revenue collection functions currently performed by the ACMA. Meanwhile, other key reforms will ‘redesign the governance arrangements for the regulator and provide for greater transparency, accountability and responsiveness of the ACMA’s day-to-day and strategic activities’. Implementation of these changes, the government said, is already underway.