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PhonepayPlus administrative charges from 9 July 2014

9 July 2014

Following confirmation and announcement of the revised administrative charges on 1 November 2013, PhonepayPlus today announces a change to its administrative charge policy.

PhonepayPlus has a focus on strengthening its “polluter pays” principle. A key component of this is ensuring the targeted and comprehensive recovery of costs incurred by PhonepayPlus during investigations, where breaches of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (‘the Code’) have been found by a Tribunal and sanctions subsequently imposed.

Background
The administrative charge system was introduced in September 1992 to ensure that Network operators and providers found to be in breach of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice made a proportionate contribution towards the costs incurred in bringing their cases to a conclusion. This principle continues into the 12th Edition of the Code under paragraph 4.10, as set out below:

4.10 Administrative charge
4.10.1 “A relevant party found to be in breach of the Code may be invoiced for the administrative and legal costs of work undertaken by PhonepayPlus (‘the administrative charge’).”
4.10.2 “Non-payment of the administrative charge within the period specified by PhonepayPlus will be considered a breach of the Code and may result in further sanctions and/or legal action.”
4.10.3 “PhonepayPlus may instruct a relevant Network operator or Level 1 provider to retain revenue, and/or not to provide further numbers, until the administrative charge is paid.”
4.10.4 “PhonepayPlus may direct the relevant Network operator or Level 1 provider to pass any previously retained funds to it up to the value of the administrative charge owed.”
4.10.5 “If a relevant party considers that an administrative charge invoiced to it is excessive it may challenge the level of the administrative charge by requesting a review in accordance with the process set out at paragraph 4.7 above.”

Change to the administrative charge policy
Currently, PhonepayPlus imposes administrative charges against providers who have been investigated through the Track 2, Emergency procedure or oral hearing processes and found to be in breach of the Code.

Following an ongoing review of the administrative charge policy and our continuing commitment to ensuring that the “polluter pays” principle is maintained, the imposition of administrative charges will now be extended to cover the costs of prohibition proceedings brought against associated individuals under paragraph 4.8.6 of the Code. As these proceedings arise as part of the imposition of sanctions against a provider found to be in breach of the Code, administrative charges related to such proceedings will be imposed on the relevant provider, rather than the associated individual, where a Tribunal finds that the individual was knowingly involved in serious Code breaches.

Providers will continue (as is required by the Code) to be notified of any prohibition proceedings against its associated individuals, including the outcome of such proceedings. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the relevant provider will be sent an invoice for payment of the administrative charges.

This change to the administrative charge policy will apply to prohibition proceedings commencing on, or after 9 July 2014. The administrative charge rates detailed within the update published on
1 November 2013 will remain the same.