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Autumn Industry Forum recap

10 November 2015, Jo Prowse, Chief Executive, PhonepayPlus
November 2015 PhonepayPlus forum

Last week we held our Industry Forum in Canary Wharf. We presented some of the key work PhonepayPlus has undertaken since the last Forum in April including our drive for continued efficiency and smarter working. Our new office building, where the Forum took place, is an example of this, costing us less than staying where we were, a saving of half a million pounds over the life of the lease.

It was great to see so many members of the premium rate services (PRS) industry in attendance and thank you to all who contributed to the sessions and discussions on the day. Slides and my speech from the day are now available for download.

Our new Chairman, David Edmonds CBE, opened proceedings introducing his vision for PhonepayPlus and what good regulation means to him. Sessions included an update on regulatory developments and an industry led panel discussion on key areas of growth and change in the market. The afternoon concluded with a presentation and question and answer session on our review of Part 4 of the Code of Practice.

PhonepayPlus’ key messages
As I highlighted in my speech, we have put in place some tangible changes since our last Forum in April, but our vision and values are still what guide PhonepayPlus’ work. Our vision is that anyone can use premium rate services with absolute confidence in a healthy and innovative market. In supporting a healthy market we are aiming for regulation that is “Right Touch” – that’s right for consumers and right for industry.

Other key areas covered included our consultation on our Business Plan and Budget which is due out next month. The consultation will flag our intention to undertake a comprehensive review of the basis on which we are funded in the coming year looking at whether a different model might provide further fairness and future proofing. For the next financial year we are consulting on an interim approach, to fund the budget without offsetting the levy rate with fine income, to seek benefits of improved transparency and certainty.

Your feedback on the Business Plan and Budget is welcomed so look out for the consultation document when it is published.

Industry innovation
Our panel discussion, led by the new Industry Liaison Panel (ILP) Chair Ann Cook, looked at developments within the industry and the role all areas of the PRS value-chain can play in supporting innovation. There was a lively discussion between panellists and the audience on subjects including the role of networks in supporting innovation. The session re-emphasised our approach to collaborative working as we engage with Ann and her fellow ILP members to make the panel more strategically-focused and industry-led.

Review of part 4 of the Code of Practice
As discussed at the Forum our consultation document on our review of part 4 of the Code of Practice (investigations, sanctions and procedures) is due to be published in the next few weeks. Some of the key changes highlighted at the Forum include streamlining the processes to provide opportunities for earlier resolution of cases and providing more independence, fairness and transparency into the process. A copy of the slides from the day can be found on our website here.

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