OFT structure

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is a part of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and comprises 6 operational divisions.

We aim to deliver a fair and safe marketplace for Queensland consumers and businesses. This means that we:

  • promote a competitive, fair and informed marketplace
  • run compliance and enforcement activities through the state
  • protect consumers and business from illegal or unethical marketplace activities.

Investigations and Enforcement

These 3 units make up the Investigations and Enforcement division.

Major Investigations

This unit handles large investigations that:

  • involve serious misconduct that causes large-scale loss for consumers
  • suggest that a business is repeatedly offending
  • involve work with other agencies, such as interstate or federal agencies.

Marketplace and Financial Investigations

Consumer product Safety

  • Educates the public about choosing safe products and using them safely
  • Investigates businesses that are selling unsafe products
  • Removes unsafe products from sale

Complaint and Program Coordination

These 3 units make up the Complaint and Program Coordination division.

Case Assessment and Response

  • Processes consumer complaints
  • Offers information and advice to consumers about fair trading issues
  • Gives businesses information and advice to comply with their requirements
  • Sits down with a consumer and business to negotiate a solution
  • Conducts low level investigations

Program Strategy and Development

  • Plans and schedules spot checks and other proactive compliance activities
  • Manages and reports on our complaint database
  • Analyses information from the marketplace
  • Researches matters that affect our compliance program
  • Gives training to our compliance officers

Trust accounts

  • Examine and assess trust account audit reports to determine whether auditors and agents have met their obligations under the Agents Financial Administration Act 2014
  • Conduct low level investigations and issue enforcement
  • Communicate with trust account auditors and/or agents

Regional Operations and Engagement

These 2 units make up the Regional Operations and Engagement division.

Regional Operations

This unit does some of the functions of the Complaint and Program Coordination division. It works from our regional offices in:

  • Cairns
  • Hervey Bay
  • Mackay
  • Maroochydore
  • Rockhampton
  • Southport
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement and Education Team

  • Runs awareness programs for consumers and community groups
  • Visits schools to educate students about consumer laws
  • Educates businesses about how to follow the law

Communication Unit

  • Manages our website and social media
  • Releases our publications
  • Engages with the media

Systems Support and Development

These 2 units make up the Systems Support and Development division.

Online Forms

  • Implements major new policy initiatives
  • Takes part in national consumer reform projects

System Support

This unit provides:

  • application system support
  • statistical reporting for Office of Fair Trading.

Industry Licensing and Registrations

These 3 units make up the Industry Licensing and Registrations division.

Industry Licensing

This unit receives and decides on licence applications from:

  • property agents
  • motor dealers
  • security providers
  • auctioneers
  • second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers
  • tattoo parlour operators and tattooists
  • debt collectors and process servers (commercial agents)
  • introduction agents
  • inbound tour operators.

Registration Services

  • Registers incorporated associations, charities and cooperatives
  • Processes land sales exemptions
  • Handles claims to the Funeral Benefit Trust Fund

Claims and Recoveries

  • Processes any claims made to the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Claim Fund
  • Decides claims or refers them to QCAT for a decision
  • Pays the claim amount to consumers (when a claim is decided in their favour)
  • Acts to recover the money from the business or licensee at fault

Fair Trading Policy

Fair Trading Policy is a standalone unit.

This unit:

  • develops, coordinates and implements changes to fair trading laws
  • publishes discussion papers, draft laws and similar documents
  • consults with a range of parties about proposed changes to laws.

The unit consults with:

  • the judiciary and the magistracy
  • professional associations
  • peak industry and consumer bodies
  • members of the general public.