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Postal Services Act 2000 (c. 26)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Postal Services Act 2000

2000 CHAPTER 26

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. Part I

    Introductory

    1. 1. The Postal Services Commission.

    2. 2. The Consumer Council for Postal Services.

    3. 3. Duty of the Commission to ensure provision of a universal postal service.

    4. 4. Provision of a universal postal service: meaning.

    5. 5. Other duties of the Commission in the consumer interest.

  2. Part II

    Licences for Postal Services

    1. Restriction on provision of postal services

      1. 6. Restriction on provision of postal services.

      2. 7. Exceptions from section 6.

      3. 8. Power to modify section 7 by order.

      4. 9. General power to suspend the restriction.

      5. 10. Emergency power to suspend the restriction.

    2. Licences

      1. 11. Licences: general.

      2. 12. Licences: grant.

      3. 13. Licences: conditions and other provisions.

    3. Modification of licences

      1. 14. Modification of licences by agreement.

      2. 15. References to the Competition Commission.

      3. 16. Reports on references.

      4. 17. Modification following report.

      5. 18. Power of intervention of the Competition Commission.

      6. 19. Procedural requirements in relation to modifications.

      7. 20. Application of competition legislation to references etc.

      8. 21. Modification by order under other enactments.

    4. Enforcement orders

      1. 22. Final orders.

      2. 23. Provisional orders.

      3. 24. Confirmation of provisional orders.

      4. 25. Exceptions from duty to make or confirm enforcement orders.

      5. 26. Enforcement orders: main procedural requirements.

      6. 27. Enforcement orders: further procedural requirements.

      7. 28. Validity of enforcement orders.

      8. 29. Effect of enforcement orders.

    5. Financial penalties

      1. 30. Financial penalties.

      2. 31. Statement of policy in relation to penalties.

      3. 32. Imposition of penalties: main procedural requirements.

      4. 33. Penalties: further procedural requirements.

      5. 34. Time-limits on the imposition of penalties.

      6. 35. Interest and payments by instalment.

      7. 36. Appeals.

      8. 37. Recovery of penalties.

    6. Miscellaneous

      1. 38. Register.

      2. 39. Recovery of costs of the Council etc.

      3. 40. Dir

  3. Part III

    Other functions of the Commission and the Council

    1. The Commission

      1. 42. Duties in relation to public post offices.

      2. 43. Duties in relation to social and environmental matters.

      3. 44. Review and information.

      4. 45. Annual and other reports: the Commission.

      5. 46. Publication of information and advice: the Commission.

      6. 47. Power of the Commission to require information.

      7. 48. Information powers: enforcement.

      8. 49. Powers of entry and seizure.

      9. 50. Codes of practice.

    2. The Council

      1. 51. Relevant postal issues.

      2. 52. Provision of advice and information to public authorities and licence holders.

      3. 53. Publication of information to users.

      4. 54. Exercise of functions: general.

      5. 55. Annual and other reports: the Council.

      6. 56. Complaints referred to the Council.

      7. 57. Power of the Council to investigate other matters.

      8. 58. Power of the Council to require information.

    3. The Commission and the Council

      1. 59. Provision of information by the Council to the Commission.

      2. 60. Memorandum of understanding.

      3. 61. Forward work programmes.

  4. Part IV

    Reorganisation of the Post Office

    1. Transfer of property etc.

      1. 62. Transfer of property etc. to nominated company.

    2. The Post Office company etc: government holdings

      1. 63. Government holding in the Post Office company and certain subsidiaries.

      2. 64. Government investment in securities of the Post Office company and its subsidiaries.

    3. The Post Office company etc: restrictions on dealings

      1. 65. Restriction on issue of shares to third parties.

      2. 66. Restriction on disposals of shares to third parties.

      3. 67. Approved disposals.

    4. Financial provisions

      1. 68. Loans by the Secretary of State to the Post Office company and its subsidiaries.

      2. 69. Guarantees by the Secretary of State for the Post Office company and its subsidiaries.

      3. 70. Extinguishment of certain liabilities.

      4. 71. Limit on loans and other arrangements with government.

      5. 72. Reserves of the Post Office company and its subsidiaries.

      6. 73. Statutory accounts of the Post Office company.

      7. 74. Further provisions relating to the capital structure of the Post Office company.

    5. Dissolution of the Post Office

      1. 75. Dissolution of the Post Office.

    6. Supplementary provisions

      1. 76. Accounts of the Secretary of State in relation to loans.

      2. 77. Publicity requirements for certain accounts and reports of the Post Office company.

      3. 78. Information requirements on the Post Office company.

      4. 79. Exercise of functions through nominees.

      5. 80. Shadow directors.

      6. 81. Tax.

      7. 82. Interpretation: Part IV.

  5. Part V

    Offences in relation to Postal Services

    1. Offences of interfering with the mail

      1. 83. Interfering with the mail: postal operators.

      2. 84. Interfering with the mail: general.

    2. Prohibition on sending certain articles by post

      1. 85. Prohibition on sending certain articles by post.

    3. Additional protection for universal postal service

      1. 86. Prohibition on affixing advertisements on certain letter boxes etc.

      2. 87. Prohibition on misleading descriptions.

      3. 88. Obstruction of business of universal service providers.

  6. Part VI

    Universal Postal Service: supplementary

    1. Schemes and limitation of liability

      1. 89. Schemes as to terms and conditions for provision of a universal postal service.

      2. 90. Exclusion of liability.

      3. 91. Limited liability for registered inland packets.

      4. 92. Section 91: supplementary.

      5. 93. Power to modify sections 89 to 92.

    2. Supplementary powers for universal postal service

      1. 94. Power to require carriage of mail-bags by ship or aircraft.

      2. 95. Power to acquire land etc.

    3. Articles in transit

      1. 96. Immunity from prosecution.

      2. 97. Harbour charges on mail-bags.

      3. 98. Mail-bags not to be subject to control by harbour authorities.

    4. Common carriers

      1. 99. Common carriers.

    5. Certain exemptions from postage etc.

      1. 100. Certain exemptions from postage etc.

  7. Part VII

    Miscellaneous and supplementary

    1. Supplementary powers of the Secretary of State

      1. 101. Directions in interests of national security etc.

      2. 102. Power to ensure compliance with the Postal Services Directive.

      3. 103. Subsidy for public post offices.

    2. Inviolability of mails etc.

      1. 104. Inviolability of mails.

      2. 105. Application of customs and excise enactments to certain postal packets.

      3. 106. Power to detain postal packets containing contraband.

      4. 107. Conditions of transit of postal packets.

    3. Evidential provisions

      1. 108. Evidence of amount of postage etc.

      2. 109. Evidence of thing being a postal packet.

      3. 110. Certificates in relation to universal postal service letter boxes.

    4. Postal and money orders

      1. 111. Exclusion of liability in relation to postal and money orders.

      2. 112. Schemes in relation to postal and money orders.

      3. 113. Recoupment of losses on wrongly paid money orders.

      4. 114. Special arrangements with other countries or territories.

    5. Other

      1. 115. Extension of existing powers relating to the Post Office.

      2. 116. The Postcode Address File.

      3. 117. Records of the former Postmaster General's department.

      4. 118. Supplementary provisions relating to the Council.

      5. 119. General restrictions on disclosure of information.

    6. General

      1. 120. Offences by bodies corporate.

      2. 121. Service of documents.

      3. 122. Orders and regulations.

      4. 123. Directions.

      5. 124. General financial provision.

      6. 125. Interpretation.

      7. 126. Index of defined expressions.

      8. 127. General amendments and repeals.

      9. 128. Modifications of local enactments etc.

      10. 129. Transitional provisions etc.

    7. Final

      1. 130. Commencement.

      2. 131. Short title and extent.

  8. Schedules:

    1. Schedule 1

      The Postal Services Commission.

    2. Schedule 2

      The Consumer Council for Postal Services.

    3. Schedule 3

      Transfer to the Post Office company: supplementary provisions.

    4. Schedule 4

      Transfer to the Post Office company: tax.

    5. Schedule 5

      Acquisition of land.

      1. Part I

        Powers of acquisition etc.

      2. Part II

        Procedure, compensation etc (England and Wales).

      3. Part III

        Procedure, compensation etc (Scotland).

      4. Part IV

        Procedure, compensation etc (Northern Ireland).

    6. Schedule 6

      Further provisions relating to land.

    7. Schedule 7

      Disclosure of information.

    8. Schedule 8

      Amendments of enactments.

      1. Part I

        General amendments.

      2. Part II

        Other amendments.

    9. Schedule 9

      Repeals and revocations.

An Act to establish the Postal Services Commission and the Consumer Council for Postal Services; to provide for the licensing of certain postal services and for a universal postal service; to provide for the vesting of the property, rights and liabilities of the Post Office in a company nominated by the Secretary of State and for the subsequent dissolution of the Post Office; to make further provision in relation to postal services; and for connected purposes.

[28th July 2000]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part I Introductory

1 The Postal Services Commission

(1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Postal Services Commission (in this Act referred to as "the Commission").

(2) The functions of the Commission shall be performed on behalf of the Crown.

(3) Schedule 1 (which makes further provision about the Commission) shall have effect.

(4) The body which, immediately before the coming into force of this subsection, was known as the Postal Services Commission and was designated in accordance with Article 22 of the Postal Services Directive as a national regulatory authority for the postal sector in the United Kingdom is hereby abolished.

2 The Consumer Council for Postal Services

(1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Consumer Council for Postal Services (in this Act referred to as "the Council").

(2) The Council shall not be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown or as enjoying any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown and the Council's property shall not be regarded as property of, or held on behalf of, the Crown.

(3) Schedule 2 (which makes further provision about the Council) shall have effect.

(4) The Post Office Users' National Council, the Post Office Users' Council for Scotland, the Post Office Users' Council for Wales and the Post Office Users' Council for Northern Ireland are hereby abolished.

3 Duty of the Commission to ensure provision of a universal postal service

(1) The Commission shall exercise its functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to ensure the provision of a universal postal service.

(2) The Commission may, in particular, impose as a condition of a licence under Part II a requirement that the licence holder provides a universal postal service or part of such a service.

(3) Where the Commission has imposed such a condition, it may include in the licence such conditions and other provisions as it considers appropriate in relation to the provision of such a service (including conditions and other provisions about activities which do not require a licence under Part II).

4 Provision of a universal postal service: meaning

(1) For the purposes of this Act and subject to subsection (2), a universal postal service is provided if--

(a) except in such geographical conditions or other circumstances as the Commission considers to be exceptional--

(i) at least one delivery of relevant postal packets is made every working day to the home or premises of every individual or other person in the United Kingdom or to such identifiable points for the delivery of relevant postal packets as the Commission may approve, and

(ii) at least one collection of relevant postal packets is made every working day from each access point,

(b) a service of conveying relevant postal packets from one place to another by post and the incidental services of receiving, collecting, sorting and delivering such packets are provided at affordable prices determined in accordance with a public tariff which is uniform throughout the United Kingdom, and

(c) a registered post service is provided at such prices.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)--

(a) the interruption, suspension or restriction of any service in cases of emergency, or

(b) the conclusion with customers of individual agreements as to prices,

shall not be taken to preclude the provision of a universal postal service.

(3) References in this Act to a universal service provider shall be construed as references to any person--

(a) whose identity is notified by the Secretary of State to the European Commission in accordance with Article 4 of the Postal Services Directive as that of a person providing a universal postal service or a part of such a service in the United Kingdom, and

(b) on whom the Secretary of State has served a notice informing him of that fact and the fact that he will be treated as a universal service provider for the purposes of this Act.

(4) If no-one falls within subsection (3) because there is no Community obligation to notify the European Commission of the identity of a person providing a universal postal service or a part of such a service in the United Kingdom, references in this Act to a universal service provider shall be construed as references to any person who is treated by the Secretary of State as a universal service provider for the purposes of this Act and on whom the Secretary of State has served a notice informing him of that fact.

(5) The Secretary of State shall take such steps as he considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing to the attention of the public the identity of any person who is a universal service provider for the purposes of this Act.

(6) References in this Act to the provision of a universal postal service shall, in relation to a universal service provider who provides part of a universal postal service, be construed as references to the provision of that part of such a service.

(7) In this section--

  • "access point" means any box, receptacle or other facility provided by a universal service provider for the purpose of receiving relevant postal packets, or any class of relevant postal packets, for onwards transmission in connection with the provision of a universal postal service,

  • "permitted limits", in relation to the dimensions of a postal packet, means the minimum and maximum dimensions laid down in the [Cm 2837.] Convention and the Agreement concerning Postal Parcels adopted by the Universal Postal Union, and

  • "relevant postal packets" means postal packets whose weight does not exceed 20 kilograms and whose dimensions fall within permitted limits.

5 Other duties of the Commission in the consumer interest

(1) Subject to section 3, the Commission shall exercise its functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to further the interests of users of postal services, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition between postal operators.

(2) In performing its duty under subsection (1), the Commission shall have regard to the interests of--

(a) individuals who are disabled or chronically sick,

(b) individuals of pensionable age,

(c) individuals with low incomes, and

(d) individuals residing in rural areas,

but that is not to be taken as implying that regard may not be had to the interests of other descriptions of users.

(3) Subject to section 3 and subsection (1), the Commission shall exercise its functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to promote efficiency and economy on the part of postal operators.

(4) In exercising any of its functions in relation to licence holders under Part II, the Commission shall have regard to the need to ensure that such licence holders are able to finance activities authorised or required by their licences.



Part II Licences for Postal Services

Restriction on provision of postal services

6 Restriction on provision of postal services

(1) Subject to section 7, no person shall convey a letter from one place to another unless--

(a) he holds a licence authorising him to do so, or

(b) he is acting as an employee or agent of a person who is authorised by a licence to do so.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall be liable--

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum,

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(3) No proceedings shall be instituted in England and Wales or Northern Ireland in respect of an offence under subsection (2) except by or on behalf of the Commission or the Secretary of State.

(4) Without prejudice to subsection (2), compliance with subsection (1) shall be enforceable by civil proceedings by or on behalf of the Commission or the Secretary of State for an injunction or interdict or for any other appropriate relief or remedy.

(5) Without prejudice to subsections (2) and (4)--

(a) the obligation to comply with subsection (1) shall be a duty owed to any person who may be affected by a contravention of subsection (1), and

(b) where a duty is owed by virtue of paragraph (a) to any person, any breach of that duty which causes that person to sustain loss or damage shall be actionable at the suit or instance of that person.

(6) Any reference in this section and section 7(1) to conveying a letter from one place to another, or the conveyance of a letter, includes a reference to performing, or the performance of, any of the incidental services of receiving, collecting and delivering a letter.

(7) For the purposes of this Part references to a licence are to a licence under this Part and references to a licence holder shall be construed accordingly.

7 Exceptions from section 6

(1) Section 6(1) is not contravened by the conveyance of a letter--

(a) which is conveyed in consideration of a payment of not less than £1 made by or on behalf of the person for whom it is conveyed, or

(b) which weighs not less than 350 grams.

(2) Section 6(1) is not contravened by--

(a) the conveyance and delivery of a letter personally by the sender,

(b) the conveyance and delivery of a letter by a personal friend of the sender,

(c) the conveyance and delivery of a single letter by a messenger sent for the purpose by either correspondent,

(d) the conveyance of an overseas letter out of the United Kingdom,

(e) the conveyance and delivery of any documents in respect of which a method of service other than by post is required or authorised by law,

(f) the conveyance of letters from merchants who are the owners of a merchant ship or commercial aircraft, or of goods carried in such a ship or aircraft, by means of that ship or aircraft, and the delivery of the letters to the addressees by any person employed for the purpose by those merchants, provided that no payment or reward, profit or advantage of any kind is given or received for the conveyance or delivery of those letters,

(g) the conveyance and delivery of letters by any person which are letters concerning, and for delivery with, goods carried by that person, provided that no payment or reward, profit or advantage of any kind is given or received for the conveyance or delivery of those letters,

(h) the conveyance and delivery to a licence holder of pre-paid letters for conveyance and delivery by that person to the addressees, and the collection of such letters for that purpose,

(i) the conveyance and delivery of letters by a person who has a business interest in those letters, and the collection of letters for that purpose,

(j) the conveyance and delivery of banking instruments from one bank to another or from a bank to a government department, and the collection of such instruments for that purpose,

(k) the collection, conveyance and delivery of coupons or other entry forms issued by authorised promoters,

(l) the collection, conveyance and delivery of Christmas cards by a charity, provided that the activity concerned takes place during the period starting with 25th November in any year and ending with 1st January in the following year,

(m) the conveyance and delivery of letters from one government department to another or within the same government department, and the collection of letters for that purpose,

(n) the conveyance of letters of members of a document exchange from a departure facility for that exchange to an arrival facility for another document exchange by persons who are not members of either exchange, and the collection and delivery by such persons for that purpose of letters delivered to the departure facility concerned,

(o) the conveyance and delivery of brokers' research, during the relevant period and by any person who has printed it, from the business premises where it is printed to the premises of any person who is to convey it onwards,

(p) the conveyance and delivery by any person of brokers' research within the period of 24 hours starting with its delivery to his premises or its collection by him during the relevant period from a collection point, and any such collection.

(3) Nothing in paragraphs (a) to (g) of subsection (2) shall authorise any person to make a collection of letters for the purpose of their being conveyed in any manner authorised by those paragraphs.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (i) of subsection (2) a person has a business interest in a letter if, and only if--

(a) he is an employee of one of the correspondents or of a member of the same group as one of the correspondents and the letter relates to the business affairs of that correspondent, or

(b) he and one of the correspondents are employees of the same person or of different members of the same group and the letter relates to the business affairs of that person or (as the case may be) the employer of that correspondent.

(5) In this section--

  • "arrival facility", in relation to a document exchange, means any box, receptacle or other facility associated with that exchange which is provided for the receipt of letters from members of another document exchange which are conveyed to the facility from a departure facility for that other exchange for collection by members of the first exchange,

  • "authorised promoter" means--

    (a)

    a registered pool promoter, or

    (b)

    a person who is or has at any time been an associate (within the meaning of section 184 of the [1974 c. 39.] Consumer Credit Act 1974) of such a promoter,

  • "bank" means--

    (a)

    the Bank of England,

    (b)

    an institution authorised under the [1987 c. 22.] Banking Act 1987,

    (c)

    a European authorised institution within the meaning of the Banking Coordination (Second Council Directive) Regulations 1992 which has lawfully established a branch in the United Kingdom for the purpose of accepting deposits or other repayable funds from the public,

    (d)

    a building society authorised under the [1986 c. 53.] Building Societies Act 1986, or

    (e)

    the central bank of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom,

  • "banking instrument" means--

    (a)

    any cheque or other instrument to which section 4 of the [1957 c. 36.] Cheques Act 1957 applies,

    (b)

    any document issued by a public officer which is intended to enable a person to obtain payment from a government department of the sum mentioned in the document,

    (c)

    any bill of exchange not falling within paragraph (a) or (b) or any promissory note,

    (d)

    any postal order or money order,

    (e)

    any credit transfer, credit advice or debit advice, or

    (f)

    any list of items, or any copy of an item, falling within paragraphs (a) to (e),

  • "brokers' research" means any printed documentation prepared by persons licensed or authorised to trade on any regulated stock, share, futures, foreign exchange or commodities market which contains research, analysis and information relating to items traded on that market and which has not been prepared for or on the instructions of any particular person to whom it is addressed or delivered,

  • "charity" means a body, or the trustees of a trust, established for charitable purposes only,

  • "collection point" means any business premises where brokers' research is printed or an international airport,

  • "departure facility", in relation to a document exchange, means any box, receptacle or other facility associated with that exchange which is provided for the collection of letters of members of that exchange which are delivered to the facility by those members for conveyance to an arrival facility for another document exchange for collection by members of that other exchange,

  • "document exchange" means a system involving at least three members for the exchange of letters between members of the system,

  • "EEA State" means a State which is a contracting party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 as adjusted by the Protocol signed at Brussels on 17th March 1993,

  • "government department" includes any Minister of the Crown, any part of the Scottish Administration, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly, any Northern Ireland Minister or Northern Ireland junior Minister and any Northern Ireland department,

  • "group" means a body corporate and all of its wholly owned subsidiaries taken together,

  • "overseas letter" means a letter which is directed to a specific person or address outside the United Kingdom,

  • "pre-paid letter" includes any letter which, in pursuance of arrangements made with a licence holder, does not require to be pre-paid,

  • "registered pool promoter" has the meaning given by section 4(2) of the [1963 c. 2.] Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, and

  • "relevant period" means--

    (a)

    in the case of a collection from an international airport, the period starting with 6.00 pm on any day other than Friday or Saturday and ending with 10.00 am on the next day and the period starting with 6.00 pm on any Friday or Saturday and ending with noon on the next day, and

    (b)

    in any other case, the period starting with 6.00 pm on any day and ending with 6.00 am on the next day.

8 Power to modify section 7 by order

(1) The Secretary of State may by order modify section 7.

(2) No such order shall be made except on the recommendation of the Commission.

(3) Before making such a recommendation, the Commission shall consult--

(a) the Council,

(b) licence holders, and

(c) such other persons as the Commission considers appropriate.

(4) Where the Commission makes such a recommendation but the Secretary of State decides not to make an order under this section, the Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a report containing the reasons for his decision.

9 General power to suspend the restriction

(1) The Secretary of State may by order suspend the operation of section 6.

(2) No such order shall be made except on the recommendation of the Commission.

(3) Where the Commission makes a recommendation to make an order under this section but the Secretary of State decides not to make such an order, the Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a report containing the reasons for his decision.

10 Emergency power to suspend the restriction

The Secretary of State may, if he considers it expedient in the national interest, by order suspend the operation of section 6--

(a) for such period not exceeding six months as may be specified in the order, and

(b) to such extent as may be so specified.



Licences

11 Licences: general

(1) The Commission may, on an application by a person under section 12, grant a licence to that person authorising him to do anything which--

(a) would otherwise contravene section 6(1), and

(b) is specified in the licence or determined by or under it.

(2) A licence shall not be valid unless it is in writing.

(3) A licence shall not be transferred.

(4) A licence shall, unless it previously ceases to have effect in accordance with its provisions, continue in force for the period specified in it or determined by or under it.

12 Licences: grant

(1) An application for a licence shall be made in writing to the Commission in accordance with such requirements as the Commission may specify.

(2) The Commission may, in particular, require the application to be accompanied by such reasonable application fee as it may determine.

(3) Before granting a licence the Commission shall--

(a) publish a notice in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the grant,

(b) serve a copy of the notice on the Council, and

(c) consider any representations made in accordance with the notice and not withdrawn.

(4) The notice shall--

(a) state that the Commission proposes to grant the licence and the reasons for so proposing, and

(b) state the period (not less than 28 days starting with the date of publication of the notice) within which representations may be made regarding the proposed licence.

(5) As soon as practicable after granting a licence the Commission shall send a copy of it to the Secretary of State and the Council.

13 Licences: conditions and other provisions

(1) A licence may include such provisions as the Commission considers appropriate; and a provision need not relate to anything authorised by the licence.

(2) The provisions of a licence may, in particular, require a payment to the Commission on the grant of the licence, or payments while the licence is in force, or both, of such amount or amounts as may be specified in the licence or determined by or under it.

(3) Such provisions of a licence as the Commission considers appropriate may be expressed as conditions.

(4) The Commission shall consult any person who is to be granted a licence about any conditions that the Commission proposes to include in the licence (other than any condition which the Commission is required to include in the licence by virtue of this Act).

(5) References in this Act to a condition of a licence are to a provision of a licence which is expressed as a condition.

(6) Subject to subsection (7) no action shall lie or, in Scotland, be competent in respect of a contravention by a licence holder of a condition of his licence.

(7) Subsection (6) does not affect--

(a) a right of action in respect of an act or omission which takes place in the course of the provision of any postal services or the doing of anything else to which the condition relates,

(b) the power to make an order under section 22 or 23, confirm an order made under section 23 or impose a penalty under section 30,

(c) the duty to comply with any such order or pay any such penalty and a power to bring proceedings in respect of such a duty.



Modification of licences

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14 Modification of licences by agreement

(1) The Commission may modify the conditions of a licence if its holder consents to the modifications.

(2) Before making modifications under this section the Commission shall--

(a) give notice of the modifications, and

(b) consider any representations made in accordance with the notice and not withdrawn.

(3) The notice shall state--

(a) that the Commission proposes to make the modifications,

(b) the effect of the modifications,

(c) the reasons for the modifications, and

(d) the period (not less than 28 days starting with the date of publication of the notice) within which representations may be made in relation to the proposed modifications.

(4) A notice under subsection (2) shall be given by--

(a) serving a copy of the notice on the licence holder, the Council and the Secretary of State, and

(b) publishing the notice in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the matters to which the notice relates to the attention of persons likely to be affected by them.

(5) The Secretary of State may, within the period stated under subsection (3)(d), direct the Commission not to make any proposed modification if he considers that the modification should be made, if at all, under section 17.

(6) As soon as practicable after making modifications under this section the Commission shall send a copy of the modifications to the licence holder, the Council and the Secretary of State.

15 References to the Competition Commission

(1) The Commission may make to the Competition Commission a reference requiring the Competition Commission to investigate and report on--

(a) whether any matters, which are specified in the reference and which relate to the provision of postal services whose provision is authorised or required by a licence, operate against the public interest or may be expected to do so,

(b) if so, whether the effects adverse to the public interest which the matters have or may be expected to have could be remedied or prevented by modifying the conditions of the licence.

(2) The Commission may at any time by notice given to the Competition Commission vary a reference by adding to the matters specified in it or by excluding from it one or more of those matters; and on receiving a notice the Competition Commission shall give effect to the variation.

(3) The Commission may, for the purpose of assisting the Competition Commission in its investigation on the reference or the reference as varied, specify in the reference or a variation of it--

(a) any effects adverse to the public interest which it considers that the matters specified in the reference or variation have or may be expected to have,

(b) any modifications of the conditions of the licence by which it considers that those effects could be remedied or prevented.

(4) As soon as practicable after making a reference or variation the Commission shall give notice of it by--

(a) serving a copy of the reference or variation on the licence holder and the Secretary of State, and

(b) publishing particulars of the reference or variation in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.

(5) The Secretary of State may, before the end of the period of 28 days starting with the day on which he receives the copy, direct the Competition Commission not to proceed with the reference or not to give effect to the variation.

(6) The Commission shall, for the purpose of assisting the Competition Commission in carrying out an investigation on a reference under this section, give to the Competition Commission--

(a) any information the Commission has which relates to matters within the scope of the investigation and which the Competition Commission requests,

(b) any information the Commission has which relates to matters within the scope of the investigation and which the Commission considers that it would be appropriate for it to give without a request,

(c) any other assistance which the Commission is able to give in relation to matters within the scope of the investigation and which the Competition Commission requests.

(7) In carrying out the investigation concerned the Competition Commission shall have regard to any information given under subsection (6).

(8) In deciding under this section whether a matter operates, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest the Competition Commission shall have regard to the matters as respects which duties are imposed on the Commission by sections 3 and 5.

16 Reports on references

(1) In making a report on a reference under section 15 the Competition Commission--

(a) shall include definite conclusions on the questions contained in the reference and such an account of its reasons for the conclusions as it considers facilitates a proper understanding of the questions and of the conclusions,

(b) if it concludes that any of the matters specified in the reference operate against the public interest or may be expected to do so, shall specify the effects adverse to the public interest which the matters have or may be expected to have,

Pages: P.1 | P.2 | P.3 | P.4 | P.5 | P.6 | P.7 | P.8 | P.9 | P.10

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