When an Independent Telecommunications Adjudicator (ITA) dispute is referred to the ITA Process, the referring party may elect whether the dispute is heard by the ITA Adjudicator or the ACCC acting as Adjudicator.
Schedule 5 of Telstra's Structural Separation Undertaking outlines the ITA process, including:
- information on the types of disputes that can be referred to the ITA process
- the steps that wholesale customers must take
- the process that the ITA Adjudicator will follow
- timeframes that the ITA Adjudicator is bound by when resolving ITA disputes.
When an ITA dispute is referred to the ITA Process, the referring party may elect whether the dispute is heard by the ITA Adjudicator or the ACCC acting as Adjudicator.
The capacity for the ACCC to act as Adjudicator is a reserve function, offered to industry participants to provide additional certainty that an alternate Adjudicator is available, and to provide a contingency where the ITA Adjudicator may not be available to assist (for example, where the ITA Adjudicator position is vacant).
In making a decision concerning which Adjudicator to elect, parties should carefully consider the ITA procedural guidelines published on www.theita.com.au and the ACCC’s draft process and guidelines to determine which process best suits their objectives.
If a party refers one or more ITA Disputes to the ACCC as Adjudicator, the ACCC must be satisfied that there is an ITA Deed in force between that party and Telstra, and that the party referring the ITA Dispute(s) has paid the annual ITA Process Fee to the ITA. In addition, that party must pay the ACCC Adjudicator fees, which for disputes in 2013-14 are set at
There are three 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 8-12 weeks, depending on the complexity of the matter.
For further information regarding the ACCC’s role as Adjudicator, please contact Sean Riordan, General Manager, Industry Structure and Compliance Branch, on 03 9290 1889.