On 4 January 2013 the Australian Government announced the commencement of a review of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Franchising Code), to be conducted by Mr Alan Wein. Further information about Mr Wein can be found in Mr Alan Wein's biography. The Department will provide secretariat support to Mr Wein throughout the review.
The review report was presented to Government on 30 April 2013. The Government will now consider its response.
The Minister for Small Business issued a media release on Friday 17 May 2013 making the review report publicly available.
All inquiries regarding the review, should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background to the review
In 2008, the Franchising Code was amended following a Review chaired by Mr Graeme Matthews (Review of the Disclosure Provisions of the Franchising Code of Conduct, October 2006 [PDF 641KB]). The Government response to the Matthews review [PDF 67KB] was released in February 2007.
Following an inquiry into franchising by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (Opportunity not opportunism: improving conduct in Australian franchising, December 2008), and a report from a Government Expert Panel (Strengthening statutory unconscionable conduct and the Franchising Code of Conduct, February 2010 [PDF 871KB]), the Government made amendments to the Franchising Code in 2010.
As part of its response to the Parliamentary Joint Committee report, the Government undertook to review in 2013, the efficacy of the 2008 amendments to the Franchising Code and any 2010 amendments to the Franchising Code.
In making this commitment, the Government stated that a 2013 review ‘would allow for a review after an adequate number of contracts, established after the amendments were implemented, have run their course (and that) the franchising sector deserves some certainty and stability before instigating another review’.
Terms of Reference of the Review
The reviewer is required to inquire into the efficacy of the amendments to the Code contained in the:
- Trade Practices (Industry Codes – Franchising) Amendment Regulation 2007 (No 1); and
- Trade Practices (Industry Codes – Franchising) Amendment Regulation 2010 (No 1).
Further, the reviewer is required to inquire into:
- good faith in franchising;
- the rights of franchisees at the end of the term of their franchise agreements, including recognition for any contribution they have made to the building of the franchise; and
- the operation of the provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 as they relate to enforcement of the Franchising Code.
The reviewer is required to prepare a report suitable for public release to the Minister for Small Business, within 3 months of the date of commencement of the review. The report is to include findings and recommendations, based on evidence presented to the reviewer and these terms of reference. In gathering evidence to support findings and recommendations for the final report, the reviewer is required to undertake appropriate consultation, including with industry and interested State and Territory stakeholders.
Frequently Asked Questions
A set of Frequently Asked Questions - review of the Franchising Code is available for the review.
A Discussion Paper - Review of the Franchising Code of Conduct [PDF 272KB] was prepared to assist with the development of submissions to the review.
Stakeholders were invited to provide feedback and comment on the terms of reference. Closing date for submissions was 15 February 2013.
View submissions received by the Secretariat.
All information (including name and address details) contained in submissions may be made available to the public on the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education website or in future papers, unless you indicate that you would like all or part of your submission to remain in confidence. Automatically generated confidentiality statements in emails do not suffice for this purpose.
Respondents who would like part of their submission to remain confidential should provide this information marked as such in a separate attachment, and identify the particular information to be kept confidential and provide reasons for the confidentiality. A request made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Commonwealth) for a submission marked ‘confidential’ to be made available will be determined in accordance with that Act.