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TSI national trading standards conversation powerpoint

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 Ntsc for web 1 Presentation Transcript

  • Empowering and Protecting Consumers Certificate No. FS 570376
  • National Audit Office VFM Study
    • “ 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.”
    • Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • p Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Rationale
    • Reduce complexity of consumer landscape
    • Strengthen the front line
    • Consumer services to be delivered more cost-effectively
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Current Landscape Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Proposed Model Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Information, advice and education
    • Education falls into 3 categories:
      • Raising awareness of consumer rights, scams, rogues
      • Direct education of public through teachers and community groups
      • Educating businesses of their obligations on consumer facing issues
    • Responsibility for campaigns to fall to Citizens Advice working closely with trading standards
    • 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
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Information, advice and education
    • Consumer Direct to transfer to Citizens Advice / Citizens Advice Scotland
    • Delivery model being prepared
      • Likely to lose the ‘Consumer Direct’ brand
      • Transitional arrangements for continuity of service / phone number will be in place
      • Likely to include a ‘virtual network’ of Citizens Advice bureaux
      • Successor arrangements in place by April 2012
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Consumer Code Approvals
    • OFT Consumer Codes approval process to be discontinued
    • Currently ten approved codes – no proposal to replace on a like-for-like basis
    • Department of Business Innovation and Skills ‘consumer welfare standard’ / kite mark?
    • Primary Authority relationship with a code promoter?
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Consumer Advocacy
    • Consumer advocacy representation of consumers interests and defence of their rights – currently carried out by a range of organisations
    • Proposal is to transfer most of the consumer-related research and advocacy functions of Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Focus to Citizens Advice
    • Single Regulated Industries Unit
    • Transfer of statutory powers and functions to a charity?
      • 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.
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Enforcement
    • Government concerned small Local Authority Trading Standards Services can only deal with local threats creating an ‘enforcement gap’ for larger cases
    • England- a new Trading Standards Policy Board and Wales?
    • Funding from Office of Fair Trading enforcement budget and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills consumer funding
    • Similar mechanism in Scotland involving COSLA and SCOTSS?
    • Trading Standards Policy Board role to:
      • Tackle national threats – large and complex cases
      • Coordination of resources
      • Establish priority mechanisms with Scotland and Department of Enterprise and Trade Northern Ireland
      • Much work performed by expanded regional teams or lead authorities with specialisms
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Enforcement
      • Options:
        • All enforcement functions transfer to trading standards
        • All cross-boundary enforcement to be carried out by Competitive Markets Authority, CMA
        • Transfer most functions to trading standards but CMA retains some consumer powers for structural market issues
        • Create a Joint Enforcement Board (CMA and trading standards)
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • The Trading Standards Policy Board
    • Chairman
      • Independent, existing Heads of Service?
    • Secretariat
    • Representation from each Region
    • Links with CMA & other stakeholders
    • Funding £12m-£18m? (3-4 years)
    • Risks to councils (indemnity fund)
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Some of the Duties
    • Estate Agents / Anti Money Laundering
      • Enforcement / negative licensing
    • Civil / Criminal one stop shop
      • Advice, training, guidance,
    • CRW / register of convictions
    • International enforcement & policy
    • Unfair Contract Terms
    Certificate No. FS 570376
  • Next Steps
    • Briefings
    • PowerPoint sharing
    • LinkedIn discussion
    • Regional Events
    • Consultation closes 27 September 2011
    • [email_address]
    Certificate No. FS 570376