Procedures and Practices Group
Membership and attendance
1. Membership of the Practices and Procedures Group (P&P) consists of:
- The Chairman of the Competition Commission (CC);
- The Deputy Chairmen of the CC; and
- At least two other CC members.
2. The following staff (or where relevant their nominees) will also normally attend:
- • Chief Executive;
- Chief Legal Adviser;
- Another member of the CC legal team;
- Senior Inquiry Director;
- Chief Economist;
- Chief Financial and Business Adviser;
- Two Inquiry Directors;
- Director of Policy; and
- An Inquiry Manager will act as Group secretary.
- Any other staff and CC members may be invited to attend a meeting as required to provide advice, guidance and support; and
- Any member of the Senior Team request to be invited to meeting by notifying the secretary beforehand.
4. Responsibility for the operational support for P&P lies with the Chief Legal Adviser and Senior Inquiry Director.
5. Members of P&P are appointed by the CC’s Chairman. The Chairman will designate one of the members of P&P as its Chair.
6. Appointments last for three years.
7. The activities of P&P are reported to Council through the Chief Executive’s report or, where necessary, through other ad hoc reports.
8. P&P will meet approximately every three months unless otherwise agreed.
9. P&P oversees the CC’s conduct of inquiries and appeals in order to promote efficient and best practice, and, as appropriate, ensure consistent practice across inquiries. P&P does so by:
(a) Providing advice to reference groups where requested;
(b) Keeping under review the CC’s practices and procedures and internal and external procedural guidance in relation to the various types of inquiry the CC conducts;
(c) Keeping under review actions passed to P&P from the Senior Management Team (SMT) or from end of inquiry review meetings; and
(d) Making recommendations and proposing amendments to ensure achievement of its objectives.
10. Under Schedule 7 to the Competition Act the CC Chairman has responsibility for determining the CC’s Rules of Procedure and issuing any guidance to groups. The Council has responsibility for issuing guidance on mergers and market inquiries and a statement of policy on penalties. P&P supports the CC’s Chairman and Council in discharging these responsibilities.
11. Subject to paragraphs 12 and 13 below P&P may determine its own procedures.
12. The operational procedures for P&P will be as follows:
- If the designated Chair is not present, the longest-serving Deputy Chairman is the Chair; if no Deputy Chairman is present, the longest–serving member of the CC who is a member of P&P is the Chair;
- A forward programme of scheduled meetings will be established which may be supplemented, as necessary, with meetings convened at shorter notice by the secretary with the agreement of the Chair;
- Unless otherwise agreed by the Chair in the specific circumstances of a proposed meeting, at least five clear working days’ notice of a meeting shall be given to each member;
- An agenda and papers shall be circulated by the secretary to members and staff attendees of P&P and the Senior Team prior to each meeting;
- Decisions of P&P shall be taken by simple majority of the members, each of those who are entitled to vote having one vote. Only members present or deemed to be present may vote;
- In the case of equality of votes, the Chair has the casting vote;
- Members may attend meetings by using a telephone or video conferencing facility. Members so attending shall be deemed to be present;
- At each meeting the Chief Legal Adviser and Senior Inquiry Director will report back on activity in the areas over which P&P has oversight, listed in paragraph 9;
- Minutes of meetings shall be prepared by the secretary and considered for approval at the following meeting of P&P. Approval of the minutes is not required prior to the taking of any action authorised to be taken at the meeting to which the minutes relate;
- Agendas and minutes will be made available via Landscape;
- A registered file copy of all reports, agendas and minutes will be retained in the CC’s Electronic Document and Records Management (EDRM) system;
- The quorum for meetings will be 3 members.
Conflicts of interest
13. Members of P&P will:
- have regard to the policy of the CC on conflicts of interest, which can be found in the guidance on outside interests (CC Guidance on outside interests) on the CC website;
- review before each meeting whether there are any interests which may conflict with their duties as members of P&P and if so disclose them to the secretary of P&P and, where appropriate, the CC planning team;
- be asked by the Chair of P&P at each meeting to confirm they have carried out such a review and made such disclosure;
- not participate in any activity of P&P in relation to which they believe they have a conflict or possible conflict of interest without the consent of the Chair of P&P.
CC rules and guidance documents