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Competition Act 1998

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part IGeneral

Interpretation

1In this Schedule—

  • “the 1973 Act” means the [1973 c. 41.] Fair Trading Act 1973;

  • “appeal panel member” means a member appointed under paragraph 2(1)(a);

  • “Chairman” means the chairman of the Commission;

  • “the Commission” means the Competition Commission;

  • “Council” has the meaning given in paragraph 5;

  • “general functions” means any functions of the Commission other than functions—

    (a)

    in connection with appeals under this Act; or

    (b)

    which are to be discharged by the Council;

  • “member” means a member of the Commission;

  • “newspaper merger reference” means a newspaper merger reference under section 59 of the 1973 Act;

  • “President” has the meaning given by paragraph 4(2);

  • “reporting panel member” means a member appointed under paragraph 2(1)(b);

  • “secretary” means the secretary of the Commission appointed under paragraph 9; and

  • “specialist panel member” means a member appointed under any of the provisions mentioned in paragraph 2(1)(d).

Membership of the Commission

2(1)The Commission is to consist of—

(a)members appointed by the Secretary of State to form a panel for the purposes of the Commission’s functions in relation to appeals;

(b)members appointed by the Secretary of State to form a panel for the purposes of the Commission’s general functions;

(c)members appointed (in accordance with paragraph 15(5)) from the panel maintained under paragraph 22;

(d)members appointed by the Secretary of State under or by virtue of—

(i)section 12(4) or 14(8) of the [1991 c. 56.] Water Industry Act 1991;

(ii)section 12(9) of the [1989 c. 29.] Electricity Act 1989;

(iii)section 13(10) of the [1984 c. 12.] Telecommunications Act 1984;

(iv)Article 15(9) of the [S.I. 1992/231 (N.I.1).] Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

(2)A person who is appointed as a member of a kind mentioned in one of paragraphs (a) to (c) of sub-paragraph (3) may also be appointed as a member of either or both of the other kinds mentioned in those paragraphs.

(3)The kinds of member are—

(a)an appeal panel member;

(b)a reporting panel member;

(c)a specialist panel member.

(4)Before appointing a person who is qualified for appointment to the panel of chairmen (see paragraph 26(2)), the Secretary of State must consult the Lord Chancellor or Lord Advocate, as he considers appropriate.

(5)The validity of the Commission’s proceedings is not affected by a defect in the appointment of a member.

Chairman and deputy chairmen

3(1)The Commission is to have a chairman appointed by the Secretary of State from among the reporting panel members.

(2)The Secretary of State may appoint one or more of the reporting panel members to act as deputy chairman.

(3)The Chairman, and any deputy chairman, may resign that office at any time by notice in writing addressed to the Secretary of State.

(4)If the Chairman (or a deputy chairman) ceases to be a member he also ceases to be Chairman (or a deputy chairman).

(5)If the Chairman is absent or otherwise unable to act, or there is no chairman, any of his functions may be performed—

(a)if there is one deputy chairman, by him;

(b)if there is more than one—

(i)by the deputy chairman designated by the Secretary of State; or

(ii)if no such designation has been made, by the deputy chairman designated by the deputy chairmen;

(c)if there is no deputy chairman able to act—

(i)by the member designated by the Secretary of State; or

(ii)if no such designation has been made, by the member designated by the Commission.

President

4(1)The Secretary of State must appoint one of the appeal panel members to preside over the discharge of the Commission’s functions in relation to appeals.

(2)The member so appointed is to be known as the President of the Competition Commission Appeal Tribunals (but is referred to in this Schedule as “the President”).

(3)The Secretary of State may not appoint a person to be the President unless that person—

(a)has a ten year general qualification within the meaning of section 71 of the [1990 c. 41.] Courts and Legal Services Act 1990,

(b)is an advocate or solicitor in Scotland of at least ten years' standing, or

(c)is—

(i)a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland of at least ten years' standing, or

(ii)a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland of at least ten years' standing,

and appears to the Secretary of State to have appropriate experience and knowledge of competition law and practice.

(4)Before appointing the President, the Secretary of State must consult the Lord Chancellor or Lord Advocate, as he considers appropriate.

(5)If the President ceases to be a member he also ceases to be President.

The Council

5(1)The Commission is to have a management board to be known as the Competition Commission Council (but referred to in this Schedule as “the Council”).

(2)The Council is to consist of—

(a)the Chairman;

(b)the President;

(c)such other members as the Secretary of State may appoint; and

(d)the secretary.

(3)In exercising its functions under paragraphs 3 and 7 to 12 and paragraph 5 of Schedule 8, the Commission is to act through the Council.

(4)The Council may determine its own procedure including, in particular, its quorum.

(5)The Chairman (and any person acting as Chairman) is to have a casting vote on any question being decided by the Council.

Term of office

6(1)Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, each member is to hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of his appointment.

(2)A person is not to be appointed as a member for more than five years at a time.

(3)Any member may at any time resign by notice in writing addressed to the Secretary of State.

(4)The Secretary of State may remove a member on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

(5)No person is to be prevented from being appointed as a member merely because he has previously been a member.

Expenses, remuneration and pensions

7(1)The Secretary of State shall pay to the Commission such sums as he considers appropriate to enable it to perform its functions.

(2)The Commission may pay, or make provision for paying, to or in respect of each member such salaries or other remuneration and such pensions, allowances, fees, expenses or gratuities as the Secretary of State may determine.

(3)If a person ceases to be a member otherwise than on the expiry of his term of office and it appears to the Secretary of State that there are special circumstances which make it right for him to receive compensation, the Commission may make a payment to him of such amount as the Secretary of State may determine.

(4)The approval of the Treasury is required for—

(a)any payment under sub-paragraph (1);

(b)any determination of the Secretary of State under sub-paragraph (2) or (3).

The Commission’s powers

8Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, the Commission has power to do anything (except borrow money)—

(a)calculated to facilitate the discharge of its functions; or

(b)incidental or conducive to the discharge of its functions.

Staff

9(1)The Commission is to have a secretary, appointed by the Secretary of State on such terms and conditions of service as he considers appropriate.

(2)The approval of the Treasury is required as to those terms and conditions.

(3)Before appointing a person to be secretary, the Secretary of State must consult the Chairman and the President.

(4)Subject to obtaining the approval of—

(a)the Secretary of State, as to numbers, and

(b)the Secretary of State and Treasury, as to terms and conditions of service,

the Commission may appoint such staff as it thinks appropriate.

Procedure

10Subject to any provision made by or under this Act, the Commission may regulate its own procedure.

Application of seal and proof of instruments

11(1)The application of the seal of the Commission must be authenticated by the signature of the secretary or of some other person authorised for the purpose.

(2)Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply in relation to any document which is or is to be signed in accordance with the law of Scotland.

(3)A document purporting to be duly executed under the seal of the Commission—

(a)is to be received in evidence; and

(b)is to be taken to have been so executed unless the contrary is proved.

Accounts

12(1)The Commission must—

(a)keep proper accounts and proper records in relation to its accounts;

(b)prepare a statement of accounts in respect of each of its financial years; and

(c)send copies of the statement to the Secretary of State and to the Comptroller and Auditor General before the end of the month of August next following the financial year to which the statement relates.

(2)The statement of accounts must comply with any directions given by the Secretary of State with the approval of the Treasury as to—

(a)the information to be contained in it,

(b)the manner in which the information contained in it is to be presented, or

(c)the methods and principles according to which the statement is to be prepared,

and must contain such additional information as the Secretary of State may with the approval of the Treasury require to be provided for informing Parliament.

(3)The Comptroller and Auditor General must—

(a)examine, certify and report on each statement received by him as a result of this paragraph; and

(b)lay copies of each statement and of his report before each House of Parliament.

(4)In this paragraph “financial year” means the period beginning with the date on which the Commission is established and ending with March 31st next, and each successive period of twelve months.

Status

13(1)The Commission is not to be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown or as enjoying any status, privilege or immunity of the Crown.

(2)The Commission’s property is not to be regarded as property of, or held on behalf of, the Crown.

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