Consumer protection

17 Apr 2013

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is undertaking compliance activities designed to identify and deter noncompliance, encourage voluntary compliance and protect consumers. These activities are supported by a compliance framework to guide CAV’s compliance and enforcement officers in their activities, and to inform those it regulates.

However, a range of administrative weaknesses undermine the effectiveness and efficiency of elements of CAV’s compliance activities and its compliance framework. None of the 16 badged compliance and enforcement officers spoken to during this audit—out of a total of 45—were aware of more than two of CAV’s 14 compliance and enforcement guides and procedures. This lack of knowledge increases the risk that compliance functions are not undertaken in line with the principles of consistency, transparency and proportionality.

Weaknesses with its compliance data, and an underdeveloped performance monitoring and reporting framework, means that CAV cannot be assured about the reliability of its reported performance data. CAV also cannot determine how effective, efficient and economical it has been in performing its regulatory functions, or whether it is achieving its stated goals.

CAV has started to address some of the issues this audit had identified, but needs to do more so that both consumers and traders can have confidence in it.

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