The Senate inquiry into the franchising sector has confirmed the third delay of its final report via an unannounced update to its website yesterday evening.
Following SmartCompany’s story yesterday that the final report into the effectiveness and operation of the franchising code of conduct would be delayed until early-March, the committee has confirmed it will table the report on March 14.
The third delay pushes back publication of the Senate’s findings by a further 29 days, over five months from the committee’s initial reporting deadline of September 30 last year.
The report is being keenly awaited by those in the franchising sector and is expected to deliver a verdict on years of bad behaviour in the sector, following a raft of high-profile scandals revealed by the media.
SmartCompany has been told the Secretariat requested more time to prepare the report.
The inquiry was initially announced in March last year within the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.
It received 300 submissions in total, including allegations of strong business practices in franchise networks such as Domino’s, Retail Food Group (RFG) and Red Rooster.
While those familiar with the timeline of the inquiry have been aware of the impending delay for days, the official change in plans publicised to the APH website on the eve of its scheduled publication was unannounced.
Liberal Party MP Michael Sukkar, who chairs the committee overseeing the inquiry, did not respond to questions about why there was no official announcement regarding the delay.
Labor Senator Deborah O’Neill, deputy chair of the committee, also did not respond to a request for comment.