Ofcom duties of disclosure re businesses and directors increase following enactment of Communications Act 2003 (Disclosure of Information) Order 2014

As of 10 July 2014 when this part of the Communications Act was (finally) enabled, The Office of Communications (Ofcom) is now able to disclose information on the conduct of businesses to the Information Commissioner, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR). Ofcom can also disclose information to the Insolvency Service relating to misconduct during bankruptcy by company directors.

 Background

Ofcom can only disclose information about particular businesses, without the consent of those businesses, when it is to a body authorised by statutory instrument.

Benefits

The Information Commissioner will be assisted in enforcement work, including taking action against companies which make large numbers of unsolicited abandoned and silent calls to consumers in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, SI 2003/2426.

The calls themselves are a matter for Ofcom to investigate using its powers to tackle persistent misuse and levy a monetary penalty if appropriate. Breaches of SI 2003/2426 can also occur in this manner by calling people, either deliberately or inadvertently, who are registered with the Telephone Preference Service, or who have otherwise notified the company concerned that they do not wish to be contacted is a regulatory matter for the Information Commissioner.

Financial services

The FCA and the PSR will find the information provided by Ofcom of assistance in exercising their functions in relation to new payment systems which use mobile telephony. The increasing overlap between electronic communications service providers and financial payments means Ofcom expects the information it collects from or relating to the businesses it regulates to have increasing relevance to the duties of the FCA and the PSR.

 

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