Search Legislation

Enterprise Act 2002

Sections 1 and 2 & Schedule 1: The Office of Fair Trading & The Director General of Fair Trading

18.Section 1 establishes a new corporate authority to be known as the OFT. Section 2 abolishes the office of DGFT and transfers the DGFT’s functions, property, rights and liabilities to the OFT. The office of DGFT was established by FTA 1973. The DGFT has a wide range of functions in respect of consumer protection and competition matters.

19.The OFT is to be a body corporate and is to consist of a Chairman and at least four other members. It is intended that the majority of members of the OFT to be non-executive appointments. As a Non-Ministerial Government Department, the OFT will be a Crown body and its staff will be civil servants.

20.The organisation currently known as the OFT is not a statutory body, but simply the administrative support that has grown up around the DGFT to support him or her in the exercise of his or her statutory functions. The OFT name has also traditionally been used when publicising and explaining the work of the DGFT. References in the Act to the OFT are purely to the new corporate authority.

21.In managing its affairs, the OFT is, under section 1, obliged to have regard to any relevant guidance on the governance of public bodies and to such generally accepted principles of good corporate governance as it is reasonable to regard as applicable to it. For example, the OFT would have to have regard to relevant principles in the Combined Code produced by the Hampel Committee on Corporate Governance in 1998.

22.Schedule 1 sets out in more detail the OFT’s internal structure. The Chairman is to be appointed by the Secretary of State. The other members are to be appointed by the Secretary of State in consultation with the Chairman. Members may be removed from office by the Secretary of State only on the grounds of incapacity or misbehaviour.

23.The Secretary of State shall also, after consulting the Chairman, appoint a person to act as Chief Executive of the OFT. The Chief Executive may also be a member of the OFT. During the first two years after this provision comes into force, the Secretary of State may appoint a single person to hold both the post of Chairman and the post of Chief Executive. This is to provide some continuity for the OFT as the new arrangements settle down, and to allow the Government to honour its commitment to John Vickers. Mr Vickers will retire as Chairman and Chief Executive in 2005. The Schedule also gives the OFT the power to do anything that it thinks will facilitate or assist with the performance of its functions, and sets out its powers of delegation.

24.Schedule 1 also requires the OFT to publish a summary of its rules and procedures for dealing with conflicts of interest. It must consult the Secretary of State on these rules and procedures.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources