ACMA looks at
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has decided to test the market to identify a provider to outsource all numbering allocation services and the administrative functions associated with the annual number charge.
In coming to this conclusion, the ACMA has established a set of Partnership Principles that guide it on whether some of the services for which the ACMA has responsibility could be better performed by an external provider.
The Partnership Principles allow the ACMA to test whether outsourcing one or more of its functions would give efficiency or quality of service benefits. They suggested that the allocation and administrative function is the most suitable for outsourcing, with the next most suitable being the annual numbering charge administration.
The Partnership Principles also suggested that the outsourcing of policy functions and compliance and enforcement arrangements were less likely to produce cost efficiencies, might have negative impacts on the quality of its service and could have negative impacts on the ACMA’s ability to perform key functions.
Chairman of the ACMA, Chris Chapman, said there had been a number of stakeholder enquiries since he had referred to the Principles in a speech he gave to a Communications Alliance seminar in July.
He said the principles consisted of three concepts: Securing the ACMA’s key functions; improving the quality of service provision and increasing the cost effectiveness of service provision.
“Twelve related criteria are used to apply the Principles and tease out key factors to do with the delivery of the function or service. They help the ACMA to broadly assess if there are cost savings, improved quality or other benefits to be gained by outsourcing,” Mr Chapman said.
He said significant examples of customer and citizen services that the ACMA had outsourced and which were now undertaken by third party providers included: Maritime and Amateur Radio Operator examination and certification services by the Australian Maritime College and the Wireless Institute of Australia, respectively; Frequency Assignments by Accredited Persons; Do Not Call Register operation and management and some numbering allocation by Industry Number Management Services (INMS).
“Outsourcing these services has been successful, both in the quality of service provided and allowing the ACMA to allocate its resources to more core regulatory activities,” Mr Chapman said.
Mr Chapman also noted that the operation of the principle was consistent with and complemented the ACMA’s assessment framework for effective self and co-regulatory arrangements.
“If a market sector is sufficiently developed for self or co-regulation to be appropriate, then outsourcing of some services in that sector might also be appropriate,” he said.
Edition 380, 24 September 2013