CAT 14
5 May 2005
Judgment on an application by OFCOM to set aside an Order directing OFCOM to reconsider a decision under the Competition Act 1998 within 5 months.
This application followed the Tribunal’s judgment in November 2004 quashing OFCOM’s decision to reject Floe’s complaint under the 1998 Act:  CAT 18.
OFCOM submitted that the Tribunal had no power to make an Order directing reconsideration within a specified time period. The Tribunal dismissed OFCOM’s application holding that it did have power to make the Order.
The Tribunal held that the power to make an Order directing a time period for a further investigation by OFCOM was expressly given to it by paragraph 3(2)(d) of Schedule 8 to the Competition Act 1998 and was covered by the words “give such directions or take such other steps as the OFT could itself have given or taken”. The Tribunal further held that had there been any ambiguity as to the true construction of paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 8 the power to make the Order would, in the circumstances of the case, have been a necessary and incidental implied power and, in accordance with section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998, the relevant provisions should be given effect to in a way that is compatible with Convention Rights (see  CAT 17).
This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.