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TSI national trading standards conversation powerpoint

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  • The consumer protection system in the UK is far from perfect. The words of the NAO will ring true with many colleagues. The landscape changes offer us a chance to look again at regional infrasturctues, intelligence flows, how we measure detriment so we are able to mobilise resource to where it is needed.
  • The proposed structure will be simplified so that there are just 2 bodies responsible for consumer policy going forward: Trading Standards & Citizens Advice Service
  • Campaigns will go to Citizens Advice Direct Education will stay with local authorities Business education will go to Trading Standards
  • Consumer codes will go and will not be replaced like for like Could be replaced with ‘kite mark’ or some other solution such as primary authority approval.
  • TSPB for England and Wales but Wales may drive their own solution following the Simpson Review.
  • Option 3 strikes the right balance between competition and consumer. We would want to see the CMA / OFT retain some consumer powers to be used only for structural market failures. Option 3 would give clarity as to the lead body responsible for intervention.
  • The TSPB will need a strong Chair, possibly an existing Head of Service but the time demands on the Chair may dictate a full time role is necessary. Local Councils taking on large cases in the national interest comes with risks – how do we mitigate these? Insurance, indemnity fund?
  • Ntsc for web 1

    1. 1. Empowering and Protecting Consumers Certificate No. FS 570376
    2. 2. National Audit Office VFM Study <ul><li>“ Consumers in this country believe that they are well-protected but the reality does not support this view. The system for enforcing consumer law is fragmented and significantly underequipped to tackle a whole range of serious consumer scams.” </li></ul><ul><li>Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office </li></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    3. 3. p Certificate No. FS 570376
    4. 4. Rationale <ul><li>Reduce complexity of consumer landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen the front line </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer services to be delivered more cost-effectively </li></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    5. 5. Current Landscape Certificate No. FS 570376
    6. 6. Proposed Model Certificate No. FS 570376
    7. 7. Information, advice and education <ul><li>Education falls into 3 categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raising awareness of consumer rights, scams, rogues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct education of public through teachers and community groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educating businesses of their obligations on consumer facing issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responsibility for campaigns to fall to Citizens Advice working closely with trading standards </li></ul><ul><li>Local Authorities to deliver education but co-ordinated by TSI with its Consumer Education Liaison Group and Trading Standards Policy Board together with guidance and materials </li></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    8. 8. Information, advice and education <ul><li>Consumer Direct to transfer to Citizens Advice / Citizens Advice Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery model being prepared </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely to lose the ‘Consumer Direct’ brand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transitional arrangements for continuity of service / phone number will be in place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely to include a ‘virtual network’ of Citizens Advice bureaux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Successor arrangements in place by April 2012 </li></ul></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    9. 9. Certificate No. FS 570376
    10. 10. Certificate No. FS 570376
    11. 11. Consumer Code Approvals <ul><li>OFT Consumer Codes approval process to be discontinued </li></ul><ul><li>Currently ten approved codes – no proposal to replace on a like-for-like basis </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Business Innovation and Skills ‘consumer welfare standard’ / kite mark? </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Authority relationship with a code promoter? </li></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    12. 12. Consumer Advocacy <ul><li>Consumer advocacy representation of consumers interests and defence of their rights – currently carried out by a range of organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal is to transfer most of the consumer-related research and advocacy functions of Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Focus to Citizens Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Single Regulated Industries Unit </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer of statutory powers and functions to a charity? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Straight transfer with protections and duties; or transfer powers to a public body e.g sectoral regulators to be used at request of Citizens Advice / Citizens Advice Scotland. </li></ul></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    13. 13. Enforcement <ul><li>Government concerned small Local Authority Trading Standards Services can only deal with local threats creating an ‘enforcement gap’ for larger cases </li></ul><ul><li>England- a new Trading Standards Policy Board and Wales? </li></ul><ul><li>Funding from Office of Fair Trading enforcement budget and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills consumer funding </li></ul><ul><li>Similar mechanism in Scotland involving COSLA and SCOTSS? </li></ul><ul><li>Trading Standards Policy Board role to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tackle national threats – large and complex cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish priority mechanisms with Scotland and Department of Enterprise and Trade Northern Ireland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much work performed by expanded regional teams or lead authorities with specialisms </li></ul></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    14. 14. Enforcement <ul><ul><li>Options: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All enforcement functions transfer to trading standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All cross-boundary enforcement to be carried out by Competitive Markets Authority, CMA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transfer most functions to trading standards but CMA retains some consumer powers for structural market issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Joint Enforcement Board (CMA and trading standards) </li></ul></ul></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    15. 15. The Trading Standards Policy Board <ul><li>Chairman </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent, existing Heads of Service? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Secretariat </li></ul><ul><li>Representation from each Region </li></ul><ul><li>Links with CMA & other stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Funding £12m-£18m? (3-4 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Risks to councils (indemnity fund) </li></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    16. 16. Some of the Duties <ul><li>Estate Agents / Anti Money Laundering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enforcement / negative licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Civil / Criminal one stop shop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice, training, guidance, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CRW / register of convictions </li></ul><ul><li>International enforcement & policy </li></ul><ul><li>Unfair Contract Terms </li></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
    17. 17. Next Steps <ul><li>Briefings </li></ul><ul><li>PowerPoint sharing </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Events </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation closes 27 September 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>Certificate No. FS 570376
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