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March 14, 2016
In April 2015 it was formally announced at PhonepayPlus’ industry forum that the regulator would be reviewing Part 4 of the Code, and specifically the investigations, adjudications and appeal procedures contained within it.
The recommendations made by the review formed the basis for development of a draft 14th edition of the Code. The proposals were for a much more streamlined and less complex process around investigations and adjudications.
Following this review PhonepayPlus subsequently consulted on the proposed 14th edition of the Code.
PhonepayPlus says that responses to the consultation were generally supportive of its approach and proposals. The majority of concerns focused on the details or implementation of the key changes rather than the principle of the changes themselves.
However, there was feedback regarding the lack of any post-adjudication appeal within the proposed Code. PhonepayPlus says that it agrees that there needs to be a mechanism for dealing with errors of fact or law, even though it considers they should be rare, particularly in view of the improvements in its processes contained in the new Code. As such, it has added a limited grounds post-adjudication appeal to the text of the 14th Code.
Section Two of the Statement sets out a consideration of each of these and any proposed changes, either to the Code or to supporting procedures. This section includes detail of how the post-adjudication review will work.
PhonepayPlus has published the following documents:
- Statement on the 14th Code of Practice;
- Amended 14th Code of Practice; and
- Amended Supporting Procedures to the Code (latest draft).
The regulator says that it is publishing a latest draft of the Supporting Procedures to the Code, which set out how investigations are conducted, because it contains the changes it has made following consideration of the consultation responses.
Ofcom will shortly issue its consultation document to approve the 14th Code. At the same time, it will notify the European Commission of its provisional decision to approve the draft Code. This will begin a statutory three-month standstill period under the EU Technical Standards Directive (2015/1535/EU).
If the Code is assessed as passing the tests set out in the Communications Act 2003, and there are no comments arising from the EU standstill period, PhonepayPlus will then publish the new Code with a view to bringing it into force in July 2016. To access PhonepayPlus’s Statement and amended Code, click here.