Expanded Unfair Contract Terms Laws in effect in November

Expanded Unfair Contract Terms Laws in effect in November

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance, NT Energy Compliance
Contracts are an integral part of our business transactions and consumer purchases in Australia. Whenever someone buys a product or service, they generally enter into a contract with the seller which outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Some contracts are formal written documents while others are verbal or implied. Regardless of the form, contracts aim to provide certainty for buyers and sellers. However, some contracts contain terms that are inherently unfair to one of the parties. Unfair contract terms can limit liability for the seller, allow unfair price increases or make it difficult for the buyer to exit the contract. Standard form contracts, where the terms are set by the seller and offered on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis, often contain unfair terms as the buyer…
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Misconduct in Public Organisations: Important Lessons for Businesses

Misconduct in Public Organisations: Important Lessons for Businesses

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance, NT Energy Compliance
On 9 August 2023, the Victorian Ombudsman published Misconduct in public organisations: A casebook. The casebook examines seven real-world cases of misconduct substantiated by the Ombudsman through investigations. While the cases specifically involve public sector entities, the issues explored, like conflicts of interest, financial mismanagement, and failure to foster a culture of integrity, apply equally to private businesses. One of the most common issues identified across cases was failure to properly manage conflicts of interest. In one example, the chair of a cemetery trust gave grave-digging work to their own private business, failing to recognize this arrangement as a conflict of interest. According to the Ombudsman, “conflicts of interest are poorly understood by many people in public roles.” The Ombudsman recommends all organizations “educate employees, volunteers and contractors about what…
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Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) 2023-24

Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) 2023-24

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance
What is Privacy Awareness Week (PAW)? Privacy Awareness Week is an annual event held in Australia by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to raise awareness about privacy issues and promote the importance of protecting personal information. The event is typically held in May and involves a range of activities and events, such as webinars, workshops, and social media campaigns. In 2023-24, Privacy Awareness Week is expected to focus on the importance of privacy in the digital age and the need for individuals and organisations to take proactive steps to protect personal information in online environments. What is PAW 2023-24? The upcoming PAW in 2023 will be held from Monday 1 May to Sunday 7 May. This year's theme is "Back to Basics," which emphasises the fundamental principles…
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Understanding the New Energy Tech Consumer Code – A Guide for Clients

Understanding the New Energy Tech Consumer Code – A Guide for Clients

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance
Introduction The New Energy Tech Consumer Code is a voluntary code that sets minimum standards for retailers in the new energy technology market. The Code provides consumers with clear information about products and services, while retailers commit to providing high-quality products and services in a transparent, accountable, and fair manner. Participating in the Code To participate in the New Energy Tech Consumer Code, clients need to follow these steps: Step 1: Understand the Code Requirements The first step is to understand the requirements of the Code, which include: Providing clear information about products and services, including pricing, performance, and warranties. Using accurate and clear advertising that does not mislead consumers. Complying with fair and reasonable contract terms, including the right to a cooling-off period. Having a complaints and dispute resolution…
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A Guide to AER’s Minimum Disconnection Threshold

A Guide to AER’s Minimum Disconnection Threshold

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance
In this article, we provide a detailed overview of the Australian Energy Regulator's (AER) 2017 decision on the minimum disconnection amount for energy customers. Background and Context On March 17, 2017, the AER released its final decision on the minimum disconnection amount applicable to small customers within the jurisdictions of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania. The decision aimed to balance the protection of vulnerable consumers with the need to maintain the efficient operation of energy services. The Final Decision In its final decision, the AER determined that the minimum disconnection amount for small customers should be set at $300 for both electricity and gas services. This amount was an increase from the previous threshold of $200, which had been in place since 2006.…
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An approach to Understanding New Regulatory Obligations

An approach to Understanding New Regulatory Obligations

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance, Consumer Data Right, Victorian Energy
Understanding new regulatory obligations can be a daunting task for any organization. It is important to be aware of all applicable laws and regulations, both federal, state, local, and internal company-instituted rules. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, so it is essential to ensure that everyone in authority is aware of the law and understands it. This is the role of compliance, to make sure people know the rules beforehand and help to ensure that they continuously follow them. To understand new regulatory obligations, there are a few key steps that organizations should take. Research The first step is to research the applicable laws and regulations. This includes researching federal, state, local, and internal company-instituted rules. It is important to be aware of all potentially applicable laws and regulations.…
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Navigating Due Diligence: A Comprehensive Guide to Reducing Risk in Transactions

Navigating Due Diligence: A Comprehensive Guide to Reducing Risk in Transactions

Compliance, Financial Services
Due diligence is an essential process to follow to reduce risk in a variety of transactions. Due diligence is the structured process of investigating and testing the true position of a business or asset. Due diligence is typically used in business transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, but can be applied in other contexts, such as when hiring a new employee or when making large purchases. Due Diligence Processes The due diligence process has several steps, including evaluating the goals of the project, analyzing business financials, inspecting documents, analyzing business plans and models, forming a final offering, assessing risks, and categorizing diligence efforts. During the due diligence process, buyers carefully scrutinize every aspect of the target company or asset, from the business plan to real estate and cash flow. The…
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How to apply for a Director ID Extension

How to apply for a Director ID Extension

Compliance
The original deadline to apply for a Director ID has now passed, leading many to ask how to apply for a director ID extension. According to the website of the Australian Business Registry Services, applications for a Director ID for those directors under the Corporations Act on or before 31 October 2021 need to have been lodged by 30 November 2022. Where you were appointed as a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you were required to apply for a Director ID within 28 days of appointment. Where you became or become a director from 5 April 2022, you must (have) apply(ied) before appointment. You'll need a director ID if you are an eligible officer of: - a company, registered Australian body, or - registered foreign company…
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Ensuring Compliance: A Day in the Life of a Compliance Officer

Ensuring Compliance: A Day in the Life of a Compliance Officer

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance
The day to day role of a Compliance Officer is multi-faceted. On a typical day, they will monitor operational processes and procedures using a compliance management platform to ensure that the company complies with all legal regulations and ethical standards. They will manage the information flow by researching, recording and analysing data and information. This is an important part of their role as it helps them identify and manage regulatory risk. What does a Compliance Officer do? They must also build and design internal policies to mitigate the risk of non-compliance. They are expected to train and educate staff so that they are informed of any legal changes and updates to compliance guidelines. Furthermore, they need to act as a contact person and liaison between department heads and senior management…
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How do I find my Director ID number? (CALL 13 28 61)

How do I find my Director ID number? (CALL 13 28 61)

AU Energy Compliance, Compliance
NEED HELP? CALL 13 28 61We are not a Government Department, if you are looking for your Director ID, read this article, do not call us asking for it as we do not have your ID number. You've applied for a director ID and now need the number, so you've asked the question how do I find my director ID number? Directors of companies in Australia require a director ID in most instances. If you are a director of an Australian company and need to find your director ID, the process is relatively simple. How to obtain your director ID? Firstly, you will need a myGovID with at least a Standard identity strength. With this myGovID, you can then log into ABRS online and view your director ID, along with…
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