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Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021

Section 13: Investigation policy

34.This section requires the adjudicator to publish the details of its investigation policy. Such a statement must include the criteria that the adjudicator will use when deciding whether to investigate and set out the practices and procedures that will be followed by the adjudicator when investigating. The statement must also set out criteria relating to enforcement decisions and actions and setting levels of financial penalties (see paragraphs 69 to 73). In drawing up the criteria (other than those relating to practices and procedures) the adjudicator must have regard to the impact the behaviour of tied-pub tenants may have on compliance with the code by pub-owning businesses. The criteria (which the adjudicator will adopt in relation to whether to carry out an investigation under section 8 of the Act) must also include time limits within which an investigation may be initiated (therefore ensuring that tenants and pub-owning businesses do not remain subject to, and the adjudicator is not able to take action under, the code indefinitely including, for example, after the tied lease comes to an end).

35.Subsection (2) confirms that the adjudicator must be guided by the statement when investigating and subsection (3) confirms that the adjudicator can amend the statement at any time. As the statement must be published, any changes made to it will therefore be available for all to see. Subsection (4) requires the adjudicator to consult before preparing or amending the statement.

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