On 8 December 2016, the Productivity Commission (Commission) released a draft report on the arrangements for administering and enforcing the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The objective of the draft report is to evaluate the effectiveness of the multiple-regulator model in supporting a single national consumer policy framework, and to make findings on how the model can be strengthened. The draft report outlines various ways in which the current model can be improved. These include: • developing a national database of consumer complaints and incidents; • providing all State and Territory ACL regulators with the full suite of enforcement tools; • increasing maximum financial penalties for breaches of the ACL; • exempting interim product bans from Commonwealth regulatory impact assessments; • centralising powers for interim product bans and compulsory recalls in the ACCC; and • improving the transparency of the resourcing and performance of the ACL regulators. The proposed increase to maximum financial penalties for breaches of the ACL has attracted the most attention, with the draft report finding that the current maximum penalties ($1.1 million for a company and $220,000 for an individual) may be insufficient as a deterrent, particularly for large businesses. The draft report also recommends that governments consider aligning maximum financial penalties with penalties for breaches of competition provisions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). The draft report can be accessed here. Submissions are due by 23 January 2017 and can be made to the Commission via the online tool. The final report is expected to be submitted to the Federal Government in March 2017. For more information, please contact Anne-Marie Allgrove, Toby Patten, Matthew Dempsey or Grace Loukides.