Contact us

Phone-paid Services Authority
25th floor, 40 Bank Street,
London, E14 5NR

For general regulatory enquiries only please call us on 020 7940 7474 or email us at enquiries@psauthority.org.uk.

All other email enquiries will not be forwarded to the relevant department.

If you are a service provider and have a query about Registration, please call us on 020 7940 7474 (option 3) or email us at registration@psauthority.org.uk.

For industry enquiries and compliance advice please email us at compliance@psauthority.org.uk.

This policy applies to certain types of whistle-blowing. You may contact us under this policy if you:

  • work in or previously worked in the phone-paid services industry and want to disclose information about the activities of companies or individuals in the industry and/or raise a concern about wrongdoing, risk or malpractice that you are aware of within such companies through your work.
  • wish to report any serious wrongdoing by PSA or its staff that you have witnessed, such as fraud, bribery or corruption.
Disclosures about phone-paid services companies or individuals

If you think a company or individual is involved in wrongdoing within the area of phone-paid or premium rate services, you can report it confidentially in various ways.

Depending upon your circumstances and the nature of your concern, you can report your concern either to us or to Ofcom. To decide which is the most appropriate route for you, please read on.

If you are not a worker, or you are not a current worker in the area of the provision of electronic communications networks and services, or you wish to report a concern about wrongdoing other than one related to your current organisation, please do so using any of the ways listed in the ‘Contacting us’ section below. 

If you are a current worker in the area of the provision of electronic communications networks and services with a concern to disclose which falls under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), you should report your concern to Ofcom in the first instance, in order to protect your employment rights. Please refer to the section “Disclosures by workers about their organisation” below for further details, including how to make a disclosure to Ofcom.

Disclosures by workers about their organisation

Your rights
PIDA provides protection for workers if they are victimised, harmed or dismissed as a result of reporting their concerns (sometimes referred to as “blowing the whistle”) about suspected wrongdoing within their organisation.
 
If you are a worker wishing to make such a disclosure, you should first consider reporting your concern to your employer (or to the person whom you believe is responsible for the relevant conduct). If you do not wish to report your concern to your employer, or if you are not satisfied with their response, you may wish to make a disclosure to the “prescribed person” (see further below).

What types of disclosure can I make?
In order to be protected under PIDA, the disclosure you make must be a “qualifying disclosure”. A qualifying disclosure is one where a worker reasonably believes that it is in the public interest to disclose information which tends to show that one or more of the following has been, is or is likely to be, committed:

  • a criminal offence
  • a breach of legal obligations
  • a miscarriage of justice
  • danger to the health and safety of any individual
  • damage to the environment, or
  • the deliberate concealment of any of the matters above.

The “Prescribed Person” – electronic communications networks and services
The Office of Communications (Ofcom) is the “prescribed person” in respect of disclosures made by current workers in the area of the provision of electronic communications networks and services. Individuals who work in this area and wish to make a disclosure about wrongdoing in their organisation to Ofcom under PIDA should follow Ofcom’s procedure which can be found here.
   
You can contact the Designated Officer at Ofcom as follows:
Telephone: 020 7981 3601
E-mail: corporationsecretary@ofcom.org.uk
Write to: Secretary to the Corporation, Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA.

PIDA does not require Ofcom to investigate every disclosure received. The decision whether or not to investigate is based upon various criteria designed to ensure the most effective use of the resources at Ofcom's disposal in safeguarding the public interest. In addition, the Act does not require Ofcom to consider or judge whether a disclosure qualifies for the protection of the Act. Ofcom's role is to consider the matters disclosed to it. Only an employment tribunal can decide after the event whether or not a disclosure was protected under PIDA. Ofcom does not have power to intervene in employment relations and it cannot provide legal advice.

In addition to making a disclosure to Ofcom you may also wish to raise your concerns with us. Please be aware, however, that your disclosure is unlikely to be protected under PIDA if it has only been made to us and not to Ofcom first. We therefore recommend that, if you are a current worker in the area of the provision of electronic communications networks and services with a concern, you report your concern to Ofcom in the first instance, in order to protect your employment rights.

Reporting your concern to us

If you are not a worker, or you are not a current worker in the area of the provision of electronic communications networks and services, or you wish to report a concern about wrongdoing other than one related to your current organisation, please do so using any of the ways listed in the ‘Contacting us’ section below. 

Disclosures about the PSA

If you believe that the PSA or any of its staff is involved in serious wrongdoing such as fraud, bribery and corruption you can report this to us confidentially and provide us with as much information as possible using any of the ways listed in the ‘Contacting us’ section below.

Fraud occurs where a person unlawfully obtains money or other property belonging to another person or organisation by knowingly giving false information or omitting to declare information. A person may be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 if they make a false representation or if they fail to disclose information where there is a duty to do so, or if they commit fraud by abusing their position. 

Bribery and corruption involves the offering and acceptance of a reward for doing something or perhaps not doing something and would usually occur in connection with contracts or decision making. The Bribery Act 2010 makes it an offence to offer, promise or give a bribe and also makes it an offence to request, agree to receive or accept a bribe. There is also a corporate offence of failure by a commercial organisation to prevent bribery that is intended to obtain or retain business or an advantage in the conduct of business for the organisation. 

We are committed to preventing fraud, bribery and corruption and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter such activity. Where fraud, bribery or corruption is reported, we will thoroughly investigate and deal with the matter appropriately including referring the matter to other relevant bodies or authorities where we consider it to be appropriate. We would therefore encourage anyone who has witnessed such wrongdoing to contact us accordingly.

Contacting us

You can contact us with details of your concern at:

We encourage you to raise an issue with us either openly or confidentially. However, if you are worried about doing this, you can provide the information anonymously.

Raising a concern openly means giving us your name without requesting for it to be kept private or requiring your consent to disclose your identity. 

Raising a concern confidentially is where you give your name on the condition that is not revealed without your consent. However, please note that there are some circumstances where we may be required to disclose information that would enable you to be identified. This is discussed further in the ‘Will my identity be protected’ section below.
You can also raise a concern anonymously. This is where you do not give your name. If you raise a concern anonymously, we will treat the information just as seriously but if you do not tell us who you are it may be harder for us to investigate your concerns. Also, if you are a worker and you choose to report your concerns to us anonymously, it may be more difficult for you to later prove to an Employment Tribunal that you have been victimised as a result of making your disclosure. This is because we will not necessarily be able to confirm to the Employment Tribunal that it was you who made the disclosure.

Will my identity be protected?

As set out above, it is not essential for you to give us your identity or contact details, and you can always choose to be anonymous when reporting your concerns to us. However, it would be extremely useful for us to confidentially hold your contact details, particularly if we need to clarify things or ask you for further information. We will not contact you for further information if you specifically ask us not to. If you ask us to protect your identity, we will take all reasonable steps to maintain your confidentiality. However, we can’t guarantee confidentiality in all cases, for example where the nature of our enquiries makes it possible for the relevant company to identify you, or we’re required by law to disclose information which would enable you to be identified.

Within the PSA, your identity will normally only be disclosed to a limited group of people as appropriate given the nature of your disclosure.

If you confirm that you are happy for us to reveal your identity and/or any information you provide to us, for example to the company you have raised concerns about, or a third party in furtherance of an investigation under our Code of Practice, we will only do so where we believe it will provide strong evidential support for any action we may propose to take. 

What information is useful?

The more detail you can give us, the easier it will be for us to respond and take appropriate action.

It would be helpful if you could provide:

  • the names of any individuals and/or companies involved in the alleged misconduct
  • the type of alleged wrongdoing and means by which it is carried out
  • the dates of the alleged activity or wrongdoing
  • details of any other action you may have already taken in respect of the alleged activity or wrongdoing.
What happens next?

After you report your concern to us, we will start making some inquires and if you have provided us with your contact details, we may contact you to clarify information. We will not encourage you to obtain any further information or new information, as this might infringe privacy rights or other legal requirements. We will assess the information provided and if appropriate, we will consider referring your concern internally for investigation. 

We will also consider if there are other agencies or bodies which may have a legitimate interest in the information you have provided to us. If we believe that other agencies or bodies appear to be more appropriately placed to investigate your concerns, we will either encourage you to contact the relevant agency or body directly, or consider passing on the information to the agency or body ourselves, ensuring that where we do decide to pass on such information it is done in compliance with data protection law.  

Please note that generally we will not be able to update you on the progress or outcome of the issue that you have raised with us. However, we treat any information that you provide to us seriously as it may help us to:

  • issue Warning Notices to relevant service providers in respect of any harm caused to consumers and non-compliance with the PSA Code of Practice. This may lead to sanctions being agreed or imposed against such providers.
  • engage with relevant service providers informally where appropriate, which may provide a swift and simple way for them to bring their activities and/or behaviour into compliance with the PSA Code of Practice without the need for formal action.
  • understand the nature and extent of any wrongdoing that is reported about us such as fraud, bribery and corruption. This will enable us to thoroughly investigate the matter and determine the appropriate course of action to be taken as well as improve our systems and processes to ensure we remain effective in countering such activity.
Further information

If you are unsure of your legal rights as a whistleblower we would strongly recommend that you obtain independent legal advice. In addition, the independent charity Protect  gives free, legal and confidential advice to those wishing to make a disclosure about wrongdoing or malpractice in the workplace: Protect - Speak up stop harm.

Further information on whistleblowing is also available on the government website: Whistleblowing for employees - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Last updated on 22 July 2021