Washing fees under the DNCR increase by 42 per cent

08 Aug 2017

  • Privacy and Compliance

Under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 telemarketers and fax marketers must not contact numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register (the Register). 

Australian numbers can be placed on the Register if they are:
• used primarily for private or domestic purposes
• used or maintained exclusively for transmitting and/or receiving faxes
• used or maintained exclusively for use by a government body
• an emergency service number

To avoid calling numbers listed on the Register, telemarketers, and fax marketers are able to check, or ‘wash’ their calling lists against the numbers listed on the Register. The washed list is returned with registered numbers identified. The Register uses a mix of services, processes and technology to ‘wash’ the lists uploaded by telemarketers and fax marketers, and includes:
• a secure database of registered numbers
• a call centre with IT support
• a customer management system
• a dedicated website
• a financial system for account management
• four washing channels

ACMA is responsible for establishing and overseeing the operation of the Register, including determining the subscription fees for accessing the Register.  When the Register initially commenced, the Government allowed some of the direct costs of operating the Register to be recovered.  However, from 1 July 2018, the Register started operating on a ‘full cost-recovery’ basis. This means that all the direct costs of operating the Register are recovered from the organisations that access and use the Register for the purposes of engaging in telemarketing and fax activities. The costs of maintaining the Register are directly related to the service outlined above, being provided to individuals or organisations wanting to check numbers against the Register. For this reason, subscription fees are set to recover the direct costs of operating the register.

ACMA engaged an independent consultancy firm, Access Economics in 2006 to assist with developing a Subscription Fee Model that would enable it to recover all the direct costs of operating the Register.  Under this model, there are eight annual subscription types to choose from.  The subscription type entitles the telemarketer or fax marketer to submit a specified maximum quantity of numbers, ranging from 500 to 100 million, for checking against the Register during a 12-month period.

ACMA regularly compares subscription fee revenue with the direct costs of operating the Register. ACMA may also determine fees payable by organisations to access the Register and how those fees are to be paid.

In determining the subscription fees, the likely demand for subscriptions is forecast. This likely demand and the total cost to recover from industry are then inserted into the Subscription Fee Model. The model determines the amounts the subscription fees must be set at to cover the direct operating costs of the Register from industry. Under the Subscription Fee Model, subscription fees will increase by 42 per cent in 2017–18.

You can view the subscription types on the ACMA website here.  

On 17 March 2017, ACMA released a discussions paper for public comment for a four-week period. The discussion paper sought feedback on the options identified to recover the direct costs of operating the Register.  In addition, it also asked whether there were alternate options for setting new charges to recover the direct costs of the Register. Following no opposition on the proposed 42% increase, ACMA made a determination to increase the fees with effect from 1 July 2017.  The Subscription Fees are outlined below:

Subscription TypeWash creditsFee
A500$0
B20,000$113
C100,000$525
D1,000,000$4,540
E10,000,000$38,310
F20,000,000$63,850
G50,000,000$95,775

For more information on the DNCR Register and your obligations, you can visit the ACMA website here.

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