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Nomination of the ACCC as Adjudicator
The capacity for the ACCC to act as Adjudicator was previously a reserve function, offered to industry participants to provide additional certainty that an alternate Adjudicator was available. This included to provide a contingency where the Independent Telecommunications Adjudicator (ITA) was not available.
Because the ITA Adjudicator position has been vacant since 1 July 2020, the ACCC is available to adjudicate disputes that may arise under the migration plan.
The ACCC’s process for resolving disputes is informed by the ITA process set out in Schedule 5 to Telstra’s Structural Separation Undertaking.
In deciding whether to ask the ACCC to adjudicate a dispute, parties should carefully consider the ITA procedural guidelines and the ACCC’s draft process and guidelines to determine which process best suits their objectives.
The ACCC Adjudicator process
If a party refers one or more disputes to the ACCC as Adjudicator, that party must pay the ACCC Adjudicator fee, which is currently $8000.
There are 3 phases to the ACCC Adjudicator process:
- preliminary phase, where a case management meeting is convened
- substantive phase, where there are submissions from parties and technical experts are received and considered
- determinative phase, where the Commission makes a final determination.
It is expected that the entire ACCC Adjudicator process will take approximately 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the complexity of the matter.