KPMG will assess the funding model employed by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the telco watchdog announced today, as TIO revenue drops on the back of decreased complaints from consumers.
The TIO is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the telco industry. Telcos are charged depending on the volume and severity of complaints registered with the TIO.
The intent is for the review to ensure the TIO “continues to be funded in an effective, consistent and sustainable way,” a statement from the organisation said.
KPMG will present a report to the TIO board in March.
In FY15 the TIO recorded an operating deficit of $294,000, based on revenue of $27.9 million. The deficit was primarily due to a drop in complaints, the organisation said.
In FY14 it recorded a deficit of $189,000.
During FY15 the TIO cut its staff from 242 to 185 and made other operational changes that reduced recurring costs by $2.5 million.
“The process for reviewing the funding model will be comprehensive with alternative funding models requiring careful financial modelling,” the TIO said.
“If a decision is made to replace the current model the implementation would then need to be carefully planned to ensure operational continuity is maintained.”
The TIO 2015 annual report revealed it had received 124,417 complaints, representing a 10.5 per cent drop in new complaints in 2014-15.
The drop was part of a four year trend attributed by the TIO to increased investment by telcos and the 2012 revamp of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code.