ACCC’s 2020 Enforcement and Compliance Priorities

ACCC’s 2020 Enforcement and Compliance Priorities

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has published its enforcement and compliance priorities for 2020.

For 2020, the ACCC’s priorities are:

* Competition and consumer issues in the funeral services sector.
* Competition and consumer issues relating to digital platforms.
* Competition and consumer issues arising from the pricing and selling of essential services, with a focus on energy and telecommunications.
* Misleading conduct in relation to the sale and promotion of food products, including health and nutritional claims, credence claims and country of origin.
* Conduct affecting competition in the commercial construction sector, with a focus on large public and private projects and conduct impacting small business.
* Ensuring that small businesses receive the protections of the competition and consumer laws, with a focus on the Franchising Code of Conduct.
* Ensuring compliance with the Dairy Code of Conduct.
* Empowering consumers and improving industry compliance with consumer guarantees, with a focus on high value goods such as motor vehicles and electrical and whitegoods.
* Pursuing regulatory options to prevent injuries and deaths to children caused by button batteries.
* Finalising the compulsory recall of vehicles with Takata airbags.

These are in addition to the ACCC’s enduring priorities which are:

* Cartel conduct
* Anti-competitive conduct
* Product safety
* Vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers
* Conduct impacting Indigenous Australians

It goes without saying that irrespective whether your organisation is on the 2020 priority list or not, you should always ensure your organisation has an effective compliance management program and ongoing assurance mechanism to ensure compliance with not just laws and regulatory requirements, but moral duties too.

Now is a good time to review your compliance management programs to ensure alignment with recognised standards such as ISO 19600. Ensure all staff remain aware of their obligations and how to spot weaknesses or exceptions in organisational compliance and how to report them if identified. An ISO 9000 quality management system can help ensure a process of continual improvement.