The Dispute Resolution Adviser (DRA) that mediates disputes under the Oilcode, has released its Annual Report outlining enquiries, disputes and mediations.  While the Report notes that there do not appear to be any emerging patterns of disputes or trends, a review of the Report shows that Fuel Card payments and release of Bank Guarantees high on the list of issues.

The Dispute Resolution Adviser (DRA) is an independent body that is able to provide commission agents, franchisees, suppliers, retailers and distributors in the fuel industry with assistance in dispute resolution under the Oilcode.

The DRA has an established panel of specialist Oilcode mediators based in each State and Territory of Australia and can provide industry participants with neutral, third party mediation to assist parties to arrive at solutions to issues in a confidential and professional environment.

The DRA publishes an Annual Report that details the number and nature of the enquires that have been received from the industry, providing commentary on the nature of the enquires and the outcomes that were realised, while not noting names of individuals or businesses.

The 2016 DRA Annual Report has recently been released and while there has been a slight increase in the number of enquiries received by the DRA a pattern of increase has not been identified.

The DRA Annual Report also allows the DRA to make comment on emerging trends it is seeing based on the nature of the enquiries it receives.  While the DRA has not identified any emerging trend in this years report, a review of the nature of the enquiries puts fuel card payments to retailers and the release of bank guarantees to retailers as high on the list of reasons the DRA was contacted.  Also appearing on multiple occasions is instances of suppliers withholding supply or threatening to withhold supply.  All disputes and issues were resolved to the parties satisfaction without the need for formal mediation.

The DRA exists to assist industry participants in bringing issues and disputes to a close that all parties can live with.  For more information or to contact the DRA see .  For a copy of the 2016 DRA Annual Report click here.