We are the UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

Statement following consultation on the 14th Code of Practice

10 March 2016

PhonepayPlus is today publishing its statement following consultation on the 14th edition of the Code of Practice.

In April 2015 it was formally announced at PhonepayPlus’ industry forum that we 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 between 23rd November 2015 and 1st February 2016.

Responses to the consultation on the 14th Code were generally supportive of our 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. We agree that there needs to be a mechanism for dealing with errors of fact or law, even though we consider they should be rare, particularly in view of the improvements in our processes contained in the new Code. As such we have 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.

The documents published today are:

We are publishing a latest draft of the Supporting Procedures to the Code, which set out how investigations are conducted because it contains the changes we have made following our consideration of consultation responses.

Next steps
Ofcom will shortly issue their 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. 

If the Code, is assessed as passing the tests set out in in the Communications Act 2003, and there are no comments arising from the EU standstill period, we will then publish the new Code with a view to bringing it into force in July 2016.

Further information about next steps is included in the Code Statement.

1Finalised Supporting Procedures will be published alongside the finalised Code of Practice