Statement: Ofcom's approach to enforcement – revising the Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines

Published: 24 May 2022
Consultation closes: 19 July 2022
Status: Closed (statement published)

Our Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines set out how Ofcom will approach the enforcement of regulatory requirements and consumer protection law relating to the industries for which we are responsible. Following our consultation on proposed changes to the guidelines in May 2022, we have decided to make some changes to update and simplify the guidelines.

Expanding the Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines to cover new enforcement powers. We have amended the guidelines to cover Ofcom’s enforcement activity in three new areas:

  • obligations placed on video sharing platforms under Part 4B of the Communications Act 2003;
  • requirements imposed on operators of essential services for the digital infrastructure subsector under the Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018; and
  • the revised framework for protecting the security and resilience of telecoms networks and services in the UK as set out in the Telecommunications (Security) Act 2021.

Restructuring the Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines to make them easier to follow. We have moved much of the material previously contained in technical and legal supporting footnotes to regime-specific annexes, to make it easier to understand the application of the range of Ofcom’s different enforcement powers. The section on settlement has also been simplified.

Updating and clarifying the text of the Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines to reflect our experience of running investigations in practice. The breadth of our regulatory duties means that the appropriate procedural approach can vary from case to case. We have made amendments to the guidelines intended to:

  • recognise where the wider range of regulatory powers places different procedural obligations on Ofcom;
  • reflect our day-to-day experience of enforcement investigations; and
  • remove repetition and clarify the procedural steps we intend to follow.

Including information about civil liability for a breach of regulatory requirements. In certain circumstances, persons who sustain loss or damage as a result of a breach of regulatory requirements imposed by Ofcom may bring proceedings directly against the relevant company, but must first gain Ofcom’s consent to do so. The Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines include an explanation of the process for applying for consent and how Ofcom will approach such requests.

Contact information

Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines team
Riverside House
2A Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
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