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Code 14: what you need to know

21 June 2016, Mark Collins, Head of Regulatory Development
code 14 comes into force

We are introducing a new Code of Practice on 12th July 2016. The Code sets out the rules providers of premium rates services are required to follow. We’re switching from Code 13 to Code 14 for increased transparency, certainty and fairness.

You can access Code 14 here.

 

Practically speaking this means independent oversight at each key decision stage of an investigation and greater opportunities for those under investigation to settle before a formal hearing, which should make investigations more efficient and less costly for the regulator and the industry.

Here are some of the key changes you need to know:

Parts Two and Three are staying the same

Part Two of the Code of Practice outlines the required outcomes and rules for all those operating premium rate services. Part Three outlines general responsibilities on all network operators, and companies which fall into the Code definition of Level 1 and Level 2 providers. Both of these parts remain the same in the new 14th Code of Practice as they were in the 13th Code.

Changes to Part Four and Annex Three

The main changes in the 14th Code are to Part Four and Annex Three, which relate to investigations and adjudicatory procedures and sanctions.

Adjudicatory independence

A new independent Code Adjudication Panel has been established to replace the Code Compliance Panel. The new panel, which will make decisions on suspected breaches of the Code of Practice, does not contain any members of the PhonepayPlus Board.

Supporting procedures

New Supporting Procedures have been published as part of the implementation of the new Code. The Supporting Procedures provide further information on topics including: the purpose of PhonepayPlus’ investigation and enforcement; PhonepayPlus’ remit and interim measures during investigations, and; adjudications by the Code Adjudication Panel.

Transition arrangements between Code 13 and Code 14

Any investigation and enforcement of breaches, from the introduction of the new Code on 12th July 2016, will follow the new 14th Code procedures.
If we believe there has been a breach of the Code, the breach will always be made in respect of rules in the Code in force at the time of the alleged issue. For example, if the date of the alleged issue took place before the launch of the 14th Code, the potential breaches will be raised under the 13th Code. This is dependent on the conduct taking place in the period within which the 13th Code of Practice was in force.

Warning Notice to replace Breach Letter

If we believe there has been a breach of the Code we will send a Warning Notice to the provider of the service. A Warning Notice will be used instead of the breach letter which was used under the 13th Code.

  • The Warning Notice will set out the alleged Code breaches, and also include recommendations about the severity of those breaches.
  • Providers will have the option to have the case heard at a paper-based hearing or at an oral hearing.
  • Both types of hearing will be held by members of the new Code Adjudication Panel.
  • If you have questions about any of the changes please contact us at compliance@phonepayplus.org.uk.

 

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