Enterprise Act 2002 Explanatory Notes

Sections 224 and 225: OFT & Other enforcers

562.These sections provide the OFT, other general enforcers and designated enforcers who are public bodies, with a statutory power to require information (including documents) by means of a notice served on any person.

563.These enforcers will be able to request this information for the purpose of enabling them to consider whether to exercise their functions under this Part (section 224(2)(a) and section 225(3)(a)). This may be the case, for example, where it is not possible on the basis of ad hoc complaints from consumers to determine whether the cause of complaint is the result of an accidental mistake or part of a deliberate pattern of unlawful conduct (e.g. mail order companies sending out goods different from those that were ordered).

564.These enforcers will also be able to request information for the purpose of monitoring compliance with enforcement orders (including interim enforcement orders) and undertakings, to enable them to decide whether to bring further proceedings under section 220 to enforce a court order or an undertaking given to the court or, in the case of undertakings given to an enforcer, to make an application for an enforcement order (including an interim enforcement order) under section 215. A general enforcer other than the OFT or a designated enforcer that is a public body can only use this power to enable it to exercise any functions it has under this Part (such an enforcer may be designated only in respect of certain kinds of infringement) or to monitor compliance with an enforcement order or undertaking made in proceedings it has brought or with an undertaking given voluntarily to it. No such restriction applies in relation to the OFT, in part because the OFT will have the power to bring a further application to enforce a court order or undertaking given to the court in proceedings brought by any enforcer (section 224(2)(d) and section 225(3)(b)).

565.Neither designated enforcers that are private bodies nor Community enforcers will have a statutory power to request information themselves. The OFT will therefore have power to request information on behalf of these enforcers to enable them to consider whether to exercise their functions under this Part (section 224(b) and (c)).

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