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Ofgem Appoints New Enforcement Panel

22 Apr 2014

Ofgem has announced the members of its newly-created body, the Enforcement Decision Panel (EDP). The EDP has been established to take important decisions in contested enforcement cases on behalf of Ofgem. These decisions can involve imposing a significant financial penalty on energy companies when they break regulatory rules.

The EDP will help Ofgem to protect consumers’ interests in dealing with enforcement cases whilst maintaining the separation between its internal investigation team and this independent decision making panel.

John Swift QC, a senior competition lawyer and regulator, has been appointed as Chair of the EDP. The other members of the panel are experienced decision makers from a range of backgrounds, including consumer protection, financial services and competition law.

David Gray, Ofgem Chairman said: “Enforcement is central to Ofgem’s work in protecting consumers. We have a strong track record of dealing with enforcement cases, having imposed over £85m of penalties and redress since 2010 on energy companies who fail to meet their obligations. Our investigations help to secure robust decisions and act as a strong deterrent to prevent future poor behaviour.

“The Enforcement Decision Panel will bring a wealth of experience to the table and help Ofgem as we continue in our role to protect current and future consumers.”

The appointment of the EDP follows Ofgem’s recent review of how it conducts its enforcement activities. As part of that it is consulting on its draft revised Enforcement Guidelines and a draft Statement of Policy on Penalties and Consumer Redress. In addition, Ofgem has announced that it has decided to place a greater emphasis on deterrence when imposing penalties for future breaches. This change will come into effect where evidence of rule breaking comes to our attention on or after 1 June. This is likely to mean a substantial increase from the levels of penalty that it has typically imposed to date.

Story appears courtesy of Ofgem.