The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today has published an overview of reports submitted by gas distribution and transmission pipelines against the Annual Compliance Order for 2017-18 and 2018-19 for service providers of covered gas transmission and distribution pipelines.
Pipeline operators are required to report any non-compliance with the National Gas Law (NGL) and National Gas Rules (NGR). During these two reporting periods Multinet Gas Distribution Partnership (Mulitnet Gas) was the only operator to have self-reported any compliance issues. In its 2018-19 report, Multinet Gas reported one instance of non-compliance related to one confidentiality breach. An agent of the service provider made an unauthorised disclosure of personal information, by inadvertently sending an email to a customer that included the site and customer details of an un-associated customer. The AER sought confirmation on remedial action undertaken to prevent the risk of such instances recurring. Multinet Gas has since implemented relevant refresher training and confidentiality obligation performance improvements.
The AER receives annual compliance reports from covered gas pipeline service providers. These reports are submitted in response to an Annual Compliance Order (Order) made by the AER in November 2008 under section 48 of the NGL.
Covered pipeline service providers’ reporting requirements under the Order include:
- the general compliance required for a service provider (such as not hindering access)
- structural and operational separation arrangements (including ring-fencing requirements)
- not disclosing confidential information, and
- compliance with an access determination (if a party to an access dispute).
This reporting framework forms part of the AER’s compliance monitoring framework as well as informing its economic regulatory functions under section 27 of the NGL. The reports are also published to inform stakeholders and ensure transparency.
Any breaches reported by businesses are dealt with in accordance with the AER Compliance and Enforcement Policy.