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Postal Services Bill


Postal Services Bill
Part 3 — Regulation of postal services

33

 

54      

General restriction on disclosure of information

(1)   

Information that—

(a)   

is obtained as a result of this Part, and

(b)   

relates to the affairs of an individual or to a particular business,

   

must not be disclosed during the lifetime of the individual or so long as the

5

business is carried on, except as provided by this section.

(2)   

Disclosure is permitted—

(a)   

with the consent of the individual or the person for the time being

carrying on the business,

(b)   

for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by OFCOM of any of

10

their functions,

(c)   

for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by the Secretary of State,

the Treasury or the Competition Commission of any of their functions

under this Act,

(d)   

for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by a prescribed body or

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other person of any functions under a prescribed enactment,

(e)   

in connection with the investigation of any criminal offence or for the

purposes of any criminal proceedings,

(f)   

for the purposes of any civil proceedings brought as a result of this Part

or any prescribed enactment,

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(g)   

in pursuance of an EU obligation, or

(h)   

in any other prescribed circumstances or for any other prescribed

purpose.

(3)   

In subsection (2) “prescribed” means prescribed by an order of the Secretary of

State.

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(4)   

An order under subsection (3) is subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

(5)   

This section does not apply to information that has been made available to the

public by being disclosed in circumstances in which, or for a purpose for

which, disclosure is not precluded by this section.

(6)   

This section also does not apply to information that is subject to the disclosure

30

regime in Part 9 of the Enterprise Act 2002 as a result of—

(a)   

section 393(8) of the Communications Act 2003 (information obtained

by OFCOM in exercise of competition functions), or

(b)   

section 29(3) of the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007

(information obtained by the National Consumer Council).

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(7)   

A person who discloses information in contravention of this section commits

an offence.

(8)   

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)   

on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory

maximum, or

40

(b)   

on conviction on indictment, to a fine or imprisonment for a term not

exceeding two years or both.

 
 

Postal Services Bill
Part 3 — Regulation of postal services

34

 

Appeals

55      

Decisions by OFCOM to impose regulatory conditions, penalties etc

(1)   

For the purposes of this section a “qualifying decision” means—

(a)   

a decision to impose or modify a regulatory condition,

(b)   

a decision to give, modify or withdraw a direction, consent or approval

5

that falls within paragraph 2 of Schedule 6,

(c)   

a decision to impose a penalty, or give or modify a direction, under any

provision of Schedule 4, 7 or 8,

(d)   

a decision to give or modify a direction under section 89A or 116(2A) of

the Postal Services Act 2000 (schemes as to terms and conditions for

10

provision of postal services, and the Postcode Address File), or

(e)   

a decision to give a direction under section 25(5) of the Consumers,

Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 (enforcement of requirements to

give information to the National Consumer Council).

(2)   

A person affected by a qualifying decision may appeal against it to the

15

Competition Appeal Tribunal (“the CAT”).

(3)   

The means of making an appeal is by sending the CAT a notice of appeal in

accordance with rules made under section 15 of the Enterprise Act 2002.

(4)   

The notice of appeal must be sent within the period specified, in relation to the

decision appealed against, in those rules.

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(5)   

In determining an appeal under this section the CAT must apply the same

principles as would be applied by a court on an application for judicial review.

(6)   

The CAT must either—

(a)   

dismiss the appeal, or

(b)   

quash the whole or part of the qualifying decision to which the appeal

25

relates.

(7)   

If the CAT quashes the whole or part of a qualifying decision, it may refer the

matter back to the person who made the decision with a direction to reconsider

and make a new decision in accordance with its ruling.

(8)   

The CAT may not direct the person who made the decision to take any action

30

that the person would not otherwise have the power to take in relation to the

decision.

(9)   

Except in the case of a decision to impose a penalty, or give or modify a

direction, under Schedule 4, 7 or 8, the effect of a qualifying decision is not

suspended by the making of an appeal against the decision under this section.

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56      

Appeals from the CAT

(1)   

An appeal lies to the appropriate court on any point of law arising from a

decision of the CAT under section 55.

(2)   

An appeal under this section may be brought by—

(a)   

a party to the proceedings before the CAT, or

40

(b)   

any other person who has a sufficient interest in the matter.

(3)   

An appeal under this section requires the permission of the CAT or the

appropriate court.

 
 

Postal Services Bill
Part 3 — Regulation of postal services

35

 

(4)   

In this section “the appropriate court” means—

(a)   

in relation to England and Wales and Northern Ireland, the Court of

Appeal, and

(b)   

in relation to Scotland, the Court of Session.

57      

Price control decisions

5

(1)   

A person affected by a price control decision may appeal against it by sending

a notice of appeal to OFCOM within the period of two months beginning with

the day on which the decision is published.

(2)   

The notice of appeal must set out the grounds of appeal in sufficient detail to

indicate the error (or errors) which the appellant contends OFCOM made.

10

(3)   

OFCOM must refer any appeal made in accordance with this section (and with

rules made under section 58) to the Competition Commission (“the

Commission”) as soon as reasonably practicable after it is made.

(4)   

The making of an appeal against a decision does not suspend the effect of the

decision.

15

(5)   

The Commission must determine an appeal before the end of—

(a)   

the period of 4 months beginning with the day on which OFCOM refer

the appeal to it, or

(b)   

if the decision appealed against is not an initial price control decision

and the Commission considers that the circumstances of the case are

20

exceptional, the period of 6 months beginning with that day.

   

If paragraph (b) applies, the Commission must, before the end of the period

mentioned in paragraph (a), publish its reasons for considering that the

circumstances of the case are exceptional.

(6)   

On determining the appeal, the Commission must—

25

(a)   

dismiss the appeal,

(b)   

allow the appeal and make its own decision on the subject matter of the

appeal, or

(c)   

quash the whole or part of the price control decision to which the

appeal relates.

30

(7)   

The Commission may allow the appeal, or quash the whole or part of the price

control decision to which the appeal relates, only if it considers that OFCOM

made a material error.

(8)   

If the Commission quashes the whole or part of a price control decision, it may

refer the matter back to OFCOM with a direction to reconsider and make a new

35

decision in accordance with its ruling.

(9)   

The Commission may not direct OFCOM to take any action that they would

not otherwise have the power to take in relation to the decision.

(10)   

OFCOM must give effect to any decision of the Commission under subsection

(6)(b) as soon as is reasonably practicable after it is made.

40

(11)   

The Commission may investigate any matter or do any other thing for the

purpose of making a decision under subsection (6)(b) or (c).

 
 

Postal Services Bill
Part 3 — Regulation of postal services

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(12)   

Any decision made by the Commission under subsection (6) other than one

relating to an initial price control decision is a qualifying decision for the

purposes of section 55.

(13)   

In this section—

a “price control decision” means—

5

(a)   

a decision of OFCOM as to the tariffs that are to be used as

mentioned in section 35(4) (designated USP condition: tariffs),

or

(b)   

a decision of OFCOM (other than under Part 2 of Schedule 3) as

to prices that may be charged for the giving of access under an

10

access condition, and

an “initial price control decision” means—

(a)   

the first decision of OFCOM within paragraph (a) of the

definition of “price control decision”, or

(b)   

the first decision of OFCOM within paragraph (b) of that

15

definition.

58      

Section 57: supplementary

(1)   

The Commission may make rules about the making, conduct and disposal of

appeals under section 57.

(2)   

The rules may, in particular, impose time limits or other restrictions on—

20

(a)   

the taking of evidence at an oral hearing, or

(b)   

the making of representations or observations at an oral hearing.

(3)   

The rules may make different provision for different cases.

(4)   

The Commission must publish the rules in such manner as it considers

appropriate for the purpose of bringing them to the attention of those likely to

25

be affected by them.

(5)   

Before making the rules, the Commission must consult such persons as it

considers appropriate.

(6)   

The Secretary of State may by order—

(a)   

apply any of sections 109 to 117 of the Enterprise Act 2002

30

(investigation powers of the Commission), with or without

modifications, in relation to appeals made under section 57, and

(b)   

make provision for and in connection with the extension of the period

within which appeals must be determined in cases where requirements

imposed under section 109 of that Act (as applied) have not been

35

complied with.

(7)   

An order under subsection (6) is subject to negative resolution procedure.

Supplementary and consequential provisions

59      

Duties in relation to social and environmental matters

(1)   

The Secretary of State may from time to time give guidance about the making

40

by OFCOM, in the carrying out of their functions in relation to postal services,

of a contribution towards the attainment of any social or environmental

policies set out or referred to in the guidance.

 
 

Postal Services Bill
Part 3 — Regulation of postal services

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(2)   

OFCOM must, when carrying out their functions in relation to postal services,

have regard to any guidance given under subsection (1).

(3)   

Before giving any such guidance, the Secretary of State must consult—

(a)   

OFCOM,

(b)   

the National Consumer Council, and

5

(c)   

such other persons as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(4)   

A draft of any guidance proposed to be given under subsection (1) must be laid

before Parliament.

(5)   

Guidance may not be given under subsection (1) until after the end of the

period of 40 days beginning with the day on which the draft is laid before

10

Parliament.

(6)   

In calculating that 40 day period, no account is to be taken of any time during

which—

(a)   

Parliament is dissolved or prorogued, or

(b)   

both Houses of Parliament are adjourned for more than four days.

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(7)   

If, before the end of that 40 day period, either House of Parliament resolves that

the guidance should not be given, the Secretary of State must not give it.

(8)   

The Secretary of State must publish any guidance given under subsection (1) in

such way as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

60      

UK postage stamps bearing image of Her Majesty

20

(1)   

The Secretary of State may give a direction to a universal service provider

requiring the provider to do either or both of the following—

(a)   

to issue United Kingdom postage stamps bearing the image of Her

Majesty (“relevant stamps”) in cases specified in the direction, and

(b)   

to comply with provision specified in the direction in relation to any

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relevant stamps that the provider is required or proposes to issue.

(2)   

A direction under subsection (1)(b) must include provision for relevant stamps

not to be issued without the approval of Her Majesty.

(3)   

The provision that may be contained in a direction under subsection (1)(b)

includes—

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(a)   

provision in relation to the design or subject-matter of relevant stamps

(including the frequency of designs in any period specified in the

direction), and

(b)   

provision conferring functions on persons (or a committee of persons).

(4)   

A direction under this section must be in writing.

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(5)   

A direction may be varied or revoked by a further direction.

(6)   

A person to whom a direction has been given has a duty to comply with it.

(7)   

That duty is enforceable in civil proceedings by the Secretary of State—

(a)   

for an injunction,

(b)   

for specific performance of a statutory duty under section 45 of the

40

Court of Session Act 1988, or

(c)   

for any other appropriate remedy or relief.

 
 

 
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