Select Committee on Constitution Minutes of Evidence


Legal Bases

  The Enterprise Act 2002 provides the legal basis for much of the OFT's operations. Other legislation which confers specific responsibilities and powers includes:

    —  Competition Act 1998.

    —  Consumer Credit Act 1974.

    —  Estate Agents Act 1979.

    —  Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

    —  Timeshare Act 1992.

    —  Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988.

    —  Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2000.

    —  Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

    —  Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.

Changes in Role

  The Department of Trade and Industry has responsibility for the legal framework of competition and consumer law under which the OFT operates. It is for Parliament itself to make any changes to that framework.

Appointment of Members

  Members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under public appointment rules.

Role and Assessing Effectiveness

  See main paper.

Rights of Appeal

  See main paper.


  See main paper.


  A memorandum of understanding has been drawn up which sets out the respective roles of the OFT and the DTI. This enshrines the OFT's independence and the DTI's responsibility for setting the framework for consumer and competition law.

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