The ABC’s 7.30 program has breached the ABC Code of Practice 2011 by failing to give MyBudget, a personal budgeting business, a fair opportunity to respond to allegations of mismanagement and neglect.

The program broadcast on 9 December 2013 was about the rise of commercial debt management firms providing services to people in financial difficulty.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority found a breach of standard 5.3 of the Code as MyBudget was not given the opportunity to provide a response to specific allegations by two former clients that its actions were improper or negligent.

The ACMA found these allegations were in the category captured by standard 5.3, which requires reasonable efforts to be made in the circumstances to provide a fair opportunity to respond.

The ACMA also found no breach of ABC Code obligations relating to accuracy, impartiality and informing participants of the general nature of their participation in its story.

The ABC has undertaken to place an Editor’s Note on the segment transcript, acknowledging the ACMA’s breach finding, as well as on the ABC Corrections and Clarifications webpage.

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