2013 Review of the Franchising Code of Conduct

On 4 January 2013 the Australian Government announced 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 provided secretariat support to Mr Wein throughout the review.  

Mr Wein presented his review report to the Government on 30 April 2013.

Government Response

On 24 July 2013, the Government announced its response to the review of the Franchising Code. The Government has accepted, or accepted in principle most of Mr Wein’s recommendations.

Download a copy of the Government’s response |

Consultation paper

On 17 June 2013 the Australian Government released a consultation paper to seek input on options that could be implemented in response to the review report recommendations.

Download a copy of the consultation paper | 

This consultation process has been finalised, the closing date for written comments on the paper was Tuesday 9 July 2013. Responses to the Consultation Paper are confidential.

The Minister for Small Business issued a media release on 11 July 2013 regarding responses to the Consultation Paper.

Confidentiality of Responses

Subject to the disclosures referred to below, the Department will treat responses to the request for comments on the Consultation Paper as confidential.

The Department may disclose the responses to its advisers and employees and to other Commonwealth Agencies for the purposes of considering options for implementing the review report and for related administration. The Department may also disclose some or all of the information in the responses: to the responsible Minister; in response to a request by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia; where information is authorised or required by law to be disclosed (including without limitation as required under the Freedom of Information Act 1982); and where the information is in the public domain otherwise than by a Department disclosure.

Privacy Notice

The Department is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 and the Information Privacy Principles contained in section 14 of that Act. Any personal information you provide in your response will only be disclosed to the persons and for the purposes set out in the paragraph above and will not be disclosed to any other body or agency unless authorised or required by or under law.  

Review report

The review report was presented to Government on 30 April 2013.

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 franchisingcodereview@innovation.gov.au.

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). The Government response to the Matthews review 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) (the Government response to the Joint Committee report was released in November 2009); and a report from a Government Expert Panel (Strengthening statutory unconscionable conduct and the Franchising Code of Conduct, February 2010), 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 was 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 was 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 was 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 was 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 was 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.

Discussion Paper

A Discussion Paper - Review of the Franchising Code of Conduct was prepared to assist with the development of submissions to the review.

Submissions

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.

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