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.
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
- looks into claims of inappropriately used trust account money by businesses and licensees in a range of industries
- investigates if a business has broken one of our laws
- prosecutes businesses and licensees in a court or in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)
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
- 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.
This unit does some of the functions of the Complaint and Program Coordination division. It works from our regional offices in:
- Hervey Bay
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
- 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.
- Implements major new policy initiatives
- Takes part in national consumer reform projects
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.
This unit receives and decides on licence applications from:
- property agents
- motor dealers
- security providers
- second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers
- tattoo parlour operators and tattooists
- debt collectors and process servers (commercial agents)
- introduction agents
- inbound tour operators.
- 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.
- 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.