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Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household ...

2.11 Eligible persons

2.11 Eligible persons residing in nursing homes, social housing or people renting would also be entitled to conversion assistance. However, external antenna and cabling work remained the responsibility of the building owner. The provision of assistance to only maximum rate pension and payment recipients was designed to minimise costs, while addressing the practical difficulties this target group would encounter when converting to digital television. 2.12 As part of DBCDE’s scheme administration responsibilities, the department was required to develop an MoU with DHS that outlined the responsibilities of each party for the delivery of HAS services. In particular, the MOU was also to enable the identification of potentially eligible customers, administration of invitation letters, operation of the call centre and provision of customer details and data to the service contractors and DBCDE. 2.13 DBCDE was also required to conduct a series of open tenders to procure equipment and services for the Scheme, with government‐approved service contractor(s) separately contracted in each region to be responsible for providing the necessary services to ensure that those who opt‐in to the Scheme are successfully converted to digital television. HAS guidelines 2.14 In September 2009, DBCDE commenced developing the HAS guidelines. The guidelines were to outline the operation of the Scheme to installers, householders and relevant stakeholders in the Mildura/Sunraysia, Regional South Australia and Broken Hill, Regional Victoria and Regional Queensland television licence areas. The guidelines were developed in consultation with DHS, DVA and DBCDE’s internal legal group. 2.15 The guidelines provide an overview of HAS and outline: � roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of DBCDE, DHS, DVA and the government‐approved service contractors; � participation in HAS—eligibility, assistance provided, procedures for an eligible customer to receive assistance; � privacy and confidentiality provisions; � DBCDE, DHS, DVA and the service contractors’ complaints management processes; ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 50

Scheme Design and Implementation � DBCDE review processes and avenues of review through the Commonwealth Ombudsman; and � contact information for DBCDE, DHS, DVA, the service contractors and the Commonwealth Ombudsman. 2.16 As the guidelines were intended for public release on the switchover website, DBCDE consulted with the Consumer Expert Group (CEG) 42 and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office to gauge the appropriateness, clarity and accessibility of the guidelines to target groups. The feedback from the consultation process was generally positive, with DBCDE incorporating relevant feedback. 2.17 Since June 2010, DBCDE has published the HAS guidelines on the Digital Ready website and has reviewed and updated the guidelines to take account of changes to the Scheme. Only minor amendments have been made to the guidelines throughout the Regional South Australia and Broken Hill, Regional Victoria and Regional Queensland rollouts. DBCDE has obtained Ministerial approval for each update to the guidelines. Policy position papers 2.18 In January 2010, prior to the pilot rollout in Mildura/Sunraysia region, the HAS Branch 43 requested formal approval from the DBCDE Executive on key operational policy parameters for HAS. A set of policy position papers were developed to provide further clarification on the Scheme’s eligibility criteria and outlined strategies and potential scenarios that may arise throughout the implementation of HAS. The Executive formally approved 11 policy papers. 44 42 CEG was created by DBCDE’s DST to provide expert advice around consumer issues associated with switchover, including HAS. CEG advises on requirements of special needs groups, and effective ways to target switchover information throughout the community. CEG comprises 13 technology and consumer experts, as well as advocates and representatives of vulnerable or disadvantaged persons. External observers and associate members also attend meetings held in Sydney. 43 DBCDE established a branch within the department to administer the Scheme, with responsibilities including policy development, liaison with stakeholders, procurement and contract management. 44 The 11 approved policy papers included scenarios that covered: multiple televisions to be converted in a household; residential and respite aged care facilities; moving house; couples; definition of a household; encouraging landlords to upgrade external antennae and cabling; assurance of staff character by service providers; home ownership; upgrading external antennae; television ownership; and unforseen and unexpected circumstances. ANAO Audit Report No.55 2011–12 Administration of the Digital Television Switchover Household Assistance Scheme 51

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