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1(1)In deciding whether to approve a redress scheme, OFCOM must have regard to—E+W+S+N.I.
(a)the provisions of the scheme,
(b)the manner in which the scheme will be operated (so far as that can be judged from the facts known to OFCOM),
(c)the interests of users of postal services (including, in particular, the number of other redress schemes which are, or are likely to be, approved), and
(d)applicable best practice.
(2)“Applicable best practice” means the principles—
(a)which, in OFCOM's opinion, constitute generally accepted principles of best practice in relation to schemes for providing redress to consumers, and
(b)which it is reasonable to regard as applicable to the scheme.
(3)OFCOM must not approve a redress scheme unless—
(a)the membership of the scheme is open to all postal operators,
(b)the independent adjudicator may require members of the scheme to provide complainants with the minimum types of redress (whether or not other types of redress are available), and
(c)OFCOM consider that the scheme makes satisfactory provision about the matters listed in sub-paragraph (6).
(4)Sub-paragraph (3)(a) is not to be read as preventing OFCOM from approving a redress scheme that contains provision as to the expulsion of its members.
(5)The minimum types of redress are—
(a)providing an apology or explanation,
(b)paying compensation, and
(c)taking such other action in the interests of the complainant as the independent adjudicator may specify.
(6)The matters are—
(a)the matters about which complaints may be made (which may include contravention of a code of practice or other document),
(b)the independent adjudicator's duties and powers in relation to the investigation and determination of complaints (which may include power to decide not to investigate or determine a complaint),
(c)the enforcement of any requirement to provide redress imposed on a member of the scheme,
(d)the acceptance and handling of complaints transferred from redress schemes which have their approval withdrawn under paragraph 2, and
(e)the provision of information by the independent adjudicator to the persons within sub-paragraph (7) (and, in the case of persons within sub-paragraph (7)(e) and (f), for the purposes mentioned there).
(7)The persons are—
(b)persons carrying out functions under other redress schemes that apply to postal operators,
(c)the National Consumer Council,
(d)the Secretary of State,
(e)the Office of Fair Trading, for the purposes of any public consumer advice scheme supported by it, and
(f)persons who operate a public consumer advice scheme supported by the Office of Fair Trading, for the purposes of that scheme.
(8)In this paragraph “the independent adjudicator” means the person mentioned in section 52(2) who investigates and determines the complaints.
2(1)An application for approval of a redress scheme must be made in such manner, and be accompanied by such information, as OFCOM may determine.E+W+S+N.I.
(2)The person who administers an approved redress scheme must notify OFCOM of any change to the scheme.
(3)That notification must be given before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the day on which the change is made.
(4)OFCOM may withdraw their approval of a redress scheme, and may do so generally or in relation to complaints of a description specified by OFCOM.
(5)OFCOM may, in particular, specify complaints by reference to the date on which they were made.
3(1)Before refusing or withdrawing their approval of a redress scheme, OFCOM must give the person who administers the scheme (“the scheme administrator”) a notice—E+W+S+N.I.
(a)stating that they propose to refuse or withdraw approval,
(b)giving the reasons for the proposed refusal or withdrawal, and
(c)specifying a period within which representations about the proposed refusal or withdrawal may be made.
(2)That period must be at least one month beginning with the day after the day the notice is given.
(3)OFCOM must give notice (a “decision notice”) to the scheme administrator of—
(a)OFCOM's decision on a proposal to refuse or withdraw approval, and
(b)the reasons for their decision.
(4)If the decision is to withdraw approval, OFCOM must also give notice of their decision and the reasons for it to the Secretary of State.
(5)The scheme administrator must give a copy of a decision notice to each member of the scheme.
(6)If OFCOM decide to withdraw approval, the withdrawal has effect in accordance with, and from the date specified in, the decision notice.
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