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Business units 

We serve the consumers and traders of NSW through the work of a number of business units. Follow the links below to see how each one operates.

Customer Services Group 

The Customer Services Group provides the customer, business and trader access pathways to Fair Trading, including:

  • telephone, web enquiry and information services
  • dispute resolution services
  • licence and rental bonds lodgements and processing
  • web and social media information
  • community liaison and education.

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Community and Industry Grants 

The Community and Industry Grants unit administers the Community and Industry Grants programs. 

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Customer Services 

The Customer Services unit performs the following functions:

  • maintains a network of 24 Fair Trading Centres which provides shopfront access to all Fair Trading services for customers around NSW 
  • provides specialist support services to help customers with real estate and retirement village problems 
  • provides a mediation service to resolve disputes within strata schemes or community schemes
  • provides motor vehicle dispute resolution and compliance services
  • conducts outreach and community liaison programs
  • provides OneGov services offering one-stop-shop access to a range of government services and supports a network of Government Access Centres throughout rural NSW
  • administers compensation funds for the motor vehicle and property services industry.

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Education and Information Services 

Education and Information Services undertakes central co-ordination of Fair Trading's external communications, encompassing:

  • information campaigns
  • print publications
  • Fair Trading website management
  • social media communications
  • ThinkSmart program for culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • Money Stuff youth program and website management
  • sponsorship
  • advertising.

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Fair Trading Information Centre 

The Fair Trading Information Centre provides information and telephone enquiry services to:

  • consumers and traders in relation to their rights and responsibilities under fair trading laws
  • tenants, landlords and real estate agents under residential tenancy laws
  • residents, managers and owners under residential park laws 
  • operators, people living in or owning strata schemes or community schemes under retirement villages laws
  • owners, owners corporations and strata managing agents under strata and community title laws.

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Licensing and Bonds 

Licensing and Bonds performs the following functions: 

  • provides a rental bond lodgement, custody and refund service for tenants, landlords and real estate agents
  • manages a licensing system for a range of property licences and other business licences.

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Registry Services 

Registry Services performs the following functions:

  • registers new co-operatives and funeral funds 
  • incorporates NSW associations 
  • monitors co-operatives, funeral funds, incorporated associations and Co-operative Housing and Starr-Bowkett societies to ensure compliance with the law 
  • maintains a public register of co-operatives, funeral funds and incorporated associations in New South Wales 
  • provides information services for co-operatives, funeral funds and incorporated associations
  • registers limited partnerships.

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Home Building Service 

The Home Building Service performs the following functions:

  • oversees the licensing, regulation and compliance in the home building sector
  • oversees statewide inspection and approvals of plumbing and drainage works and energy and utility consumer safety
  • co-ordinates ongoing reviews of home building laws and the implementation of building reforms
  • assists industry to improve its standards through training and requirements, programs and initiatives.

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Insurance Services 

The Insurance Services unit performs the following functions:

  • administers former Government funded consumer protection insurance schemes 
  • monitors the present Home Warranty Insurance Scheme and provides Secretariat support to the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme Board.

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Licensing 

Licensing performs the following functions:

  • has responsibility for licensing of builders and tradespeople in the home building industry and a number of special trade categories across all industries
  • maintains a public register of licence holders.  

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Mediation Services and Compliance 

Mediation Services and Compliance performs the following functions:

  • provides a dispute resolution system for both consumers and industry
  • conducts compliance and/or technical investigations into licensed and unlicensed home builders and tradespeople and conducts investigations into home building market practices
  • oversees regulatory and compliance operations in the areas of plumbing, electrical and gas consumer safety
  • facilitates prosecutions, civil litigation and other disciplinary enforcement action.  

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Compliance and Enforcement 

Compliance and Enforcement performs the following functions:

  • collects and evaluates marketplace intelligence from internal and external sources in order to identify 'at risk'  trading practices and marketplace sectors
  • conducts investigations into individual businesses and market practices
  • undertakes prosecutions, civil litigation and other disciplinary/enforcement action
  • administers legislation in relation to product safety and consumer electrical and gas appliances
  • contributes to state and national initiatives (including joint investigations) in order to improve marketplace performance.

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Strategy, Governance, Planning and Group Operations 

Strategy, Governance, Planning and Group Operations performs the following functions:

  • provides strategic intelligence services to identify emerging trends in the marketplace and areas of non-compliance and to support compliance initiatives and investigations, both state based and national
  • provides operational intelligence to both whole of Fair Trading and Compliance and Enforcement from a range of internal and external data sources
  • develops and evaluates compliance programs in conjunction with Compliance and Enforcement  
  • provides regulatory operations support to Compliance and Enforcement 
  • co-ordinates and assists Compliance and Enforcement in the preparation of ministerial and executive correspondence and other management information
  • undertakes special projects to enhance compliance, investigation and enforcement performance and support activities within other business units
  • co-ordinates learning and development for Compliance and Enforcement linking in with Fair Trading wide direction and approach
  • co-ordinates Compliance and Enforcement communications, reporting and statistics.

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Policy and Strategy 

Ministerial and Executive Services

Ministerial and Executive Services is the central liaison point between NSW Fair Trading and the Minister’s office. The unit performs the following functions:

  • executive and administrative support for the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Secretary and Commissioner for Fair Trading
  • management of Ministerial, Director-General and Commissioner correspondence, information requests from the Minister’s office and Parliamentary activities/operations
  • preparation of the Minister’s House folder, responses to Parliamentary Questions and co-ordination and review of the Minister’s Parliamentary Estimates Committee briefing folder
  • co-ordination of Ministerial events and meetings including briefing, speech notes and contentious issues briefing notes as required
  • secretariat services to the Minister’s five Advisory Councils (Fair Trading, Motor Vehicle Industry, Property Services, Home Building and Retirement Villages) and the Rental Bond Board
  • co-ordination of Fair Trading’s input into the COAG Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF) and the Consumer Affairs Australia New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • determination of applications made to Fair Trading under Government Information Public Access Act.

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National Reform Agenda 

The National Reform Agenda unit performs the following functions:

  • co-ordinates implementation of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Reform Agenda projects that impact on NSW Fair Trading 
  • monitors and reports on progress in achieving milestones in COAG’s National Partnership Agreement to deliver a seamless national economy
  • manages the Conduct Harmonisation project on behalf of Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).  

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Performance Review  

Performance Review unit performs the following functions:

  • corporate planning - coordinating Fair Trading’s strategic and corporate planning as well as assisting business units with business planning
  • risk management - coordinating the identification, assessment and monitoring of Fair Trading’s strategic risk registers and providing advice to business units on risk management practices
  • business continuity - managing and coordinating Fair Trading’s business continuity plan
  • annual reporting - coordinating and publishing Fair Trading’s various annual reports and summaries
  • statutory reporting - providing an effective evaluation and performance reporting framework, ensuring Fair Trading meets statutory reporting requirements 
  • customer feedback - managing and implementing Fair Trading's customer feedback management policy
  • annual surveys - coordinating and reporting on annual customer satisfaction, shadow shopping, consumer and trader confidence surveys to assess Fair Trading's effectiveness in the marketplace and as a regulator
  • KPI & GoS - developing and monitoring key performance indicators and guarantees of service
  • customer profile - monitoring and reporting on the profile of Fair Trading customers
  • monitoring of recommendations arising from audits, coronial inquiries and other reviews.

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Policy 

Policy performs the following functions:

  • undertakes policy and legislative review and development on fair trading and consumer protection issues
  • undertakes strategic policy projects and initiatives with a whole of Fair Trading or whole of Government focus and brings a consumer protection perspective to across-Government initiatives
  • contributes to the development and implementation of nationally consistent consumer protection and fair trading policies and legislation
  • develops policy on emerging issues, including working with other states and territories on matters of mutual interest
  • undertakes legislative reviews, development of legislation, management of parliamentary process and implementation of legislation
  • analyses and responds to legislative proposals and other Government initiatives
  • provides rapid response work such as analysis of matters being considered by Cabinet or briefings for the Minister's meetings with consumer or industry groups
  • consults with industry, consumers and stakeholder groups on fair trading matters.  

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Legal Services 

The Legal Services unit performs the following functions:

  • conducts and reviews criminal prosecutions; disciplinary and licensing proceedings; and civil litigation for NSW Fair Trading 
  • provides legal advice services to Fair Trading
  • maintains legal records and statistical reporting services
  • provides Fair Trading library information and research services.

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