Changes to RECC Bye-Laws - October 2018
To bring the Bye-Laws in line with the Code:
- reference to Related Products has been added throughout. Specific points are highlighted below where this directly affects a Code Member’s obligations; otherwise this reference extends the scope of the Bye-Laws to cover Related Products as well as Energy Generators; and
- reference to Assignment of Rights (AOR) has been added throughout, where it is relevant to a Code Member who has become or intends to become an AOR Investor.
- New Definitions
Code Membership Year, Data Protection Laws, Due Diligence Check, Honouring Agreement, Connected Contractor, Primary Contact, Assignment of Rights Investor, Individuals Closely Associated, Memorandum of Understanding, Ofgem Registered Investor, and RECC Use of Personal Data Notice.
- Updated Definitions
Audit, Code Member, Compliance Check, Consumer, and Personnel (previously Employee).
- Deleted Definitions
Non-Compliance Panel Meeting and Primary Authority.
Clause 3: Becoming a Code Member
The following amendments have been made to Clause 3 regarding Applications:
- Clause 3.2 provides that an applicant must now declare if it is a Connected Contractor on its application form, and provide RECC with any relevant information it may request. RECC may require an applicant to sign an Honouring Agreement in respect of a current or former Code Member, to whom the applicant is a Connected Contractor.
- The processes for dealing with a change of name (clause 4.4) and a change of legal entity (clause 3.3) have been separated, and the requirements for both have been streamlined. On the transfer of legal entity, a second Code Membership fee will no longer be charged but an application fee will be payable. Where a Code Member is changing its name but there is no change to its legal entity, the process will be dealt with under clause 4 (obligations of Code Members).
- RECC (clause 220.127.116.11) and the Applications Panel (clause 3.14.3) can impose Conditions on a new applicant which must be fulfilled within a specific timeframe before it is admitted as a Code Member.
- Clause 3.12 confirms that an applicant only becomes a Code Member once it has been issued with a Code Membership Certificate.
- Clause 3.13.6 provides that RECC can refuse an application where a condition of the Memorandum of Understanding (between RECC and other CTSI Consumer Codes) applies to the applicant at the point of application.
The following amendments have been made to Clause 3 regarding Temporary Code Membership:
- Clause 3.15 provides that, during a Period of Temporary Code Membership, RECC may terminate a Code Member without reference to the Applications Panel, where conditions set by the Applications Panel have not been met by that Code Member within the specified timeframe.
- Clause 3.20 clarifies the status of a Code Member at the end of a period of Temporary Code Membership. So long as the Code Member makes a renewed application for Code Membership before the end of its period of Temporary Code Membership, it will remain a Code Member until a final decision is made on its application by RECC or the Applications Panel.
Clause 4: Obligations of Code Members
The following amendments have been made to clause 4:
- Clause 4.2.1 confirms that membership fees will either be available on the RECC website or provided upon request.
- Clause 4.2.3 provides that, at the discretions of RECC, the Code Membership Fee can be charged on the basis of a Calendar Year or on a 12 month basis starting on the date the applicant becomes a Code Member.
- Clause 4.2.5 confirms that the applicable Code Membership Fee will either be based on the applicant’s membership category or the business model it operates.
- Clause 4.2.8 provides that RECC may allow a Code Member to pay its Code Membership Fee in staged payments, and that if a staged payment is not paid by the specified date, the entire balance will become payable.
- Clause 4.3 clarifies the rules for renewals and the date on which a Code Member’s Code Membership will come to an end if it has not been renewed.
- Clause 4.6.1 expands the changes which the Code Member is required to keep RECC informed about to include: any changes, or proposed changes to the type of entity that constitutes the Code Member; the truth and accuracy of any Declaration(s) made as part of an application or otherwise provided during its period of Code Membership; and changes to the Code Member's Ofgem Registered Investor status (where applicable).
- Clause 4.8.4 extends the requirement for Code Members to arrange deposit and advanced payment insurance, and workmanship warranty insurance, to include cover for any Related Products where an adequate insurance product is ‘reasonably available’.
- Clause 4.9.9 gives RECC the power to terminate a Code Member where, as an AOR Investor, it fails to register with Ofgem within 6 months of approval, or subsequently ceases to be registered with Ofgem.
- The section on the Primary Authority has been removed.
- Reference to the name of the Code Member’s Primary Contact appearing on the Code Membership Certificate has been removed.
- Clause 4.7 stipulates how and where the RECC and CTSI logos must be used.
- Clause 4.8.3 provides that Code Members are required to provide RECC and its consumers with its public liability insurance details when requested to do so, and reference to minimum cover has been changed from 1 to 2 million to bring this in line with the Code requirements.
- Clause 18.104.22.168 confirms that a complaint administration fee may be charged and that provisions for such charging will be set out on the RECC website.
- Clause 4.12.2 provides that RECC must inform a Code Member when a micro-business consumer decides to apply to the independent Micro-Business Arbitration Scheme.
- Clause 4.10.15 provides that, in respect of contracts entered into whist it was a Code Member, a Code Member’s obligations to cooperate with the Dispute Resolution Process continue after its Code Membership comes to an end.
- Clause 4.13.4 expands the triggers for selecting a Code member for audit.
- Clause 4.13.10 expands the list of circumstances in which RECC can take disciplinary action on account of an audit.
- Clause 4.13.11 provides that RECC may terminate a Code Member’s Code membership if it fails to comply with certain obligations as part of its audit.
- Clause 4.14.1 provides examples of circumstances within which RECC may refuse to accept a Code Member’s resignation from Code Membership.
- Clause 4.14.2 provides that Code Membership Fees are non-refundable once paid.
Clauses 8: Disciplinary procedure: Consent Orders
The following change has been made to clause 8:
- Clause 8.8 sets out the circumstances in which a Code Member will not be permitted to resign its Code Membership, once RECC has invited it to agree to a Consent order.
Clause 9: Disciplinary procedure: invoking non-compliance action
The following change has been made to clause 9:
- Clause 22.214.171.124 provides that RECC may request a Code Member to agree to a Consent Order following the end of a Period of Enhanced Monitoring, if RECC is not satisfied that Conditions have been fulfilled.
Clause 10: Disciplinary procedure: Non-Compliance Panel
The following changes have been made to clause 10:
- The provision for Non-Compliance Panel Meetings to be held has been removed.
- Clause 10.5 provides that, where a Code Member has been referred to a Hearing of the Non-Compliance Panel and missed a deadline related to that Hearing, RECC may immediately terminate the Code Member’s Code Membership or the Code Member may be deemed to have admitted the charges against it. The circumstances which determine which of these options will be applied will be set out in the Non-Compliance Panel Rules.
- Clause 10.20 provides that where Conditions imposed by the Non-Compliance Panel have not been fulfilled, RECC may convene a Hearing of the Non-Compliance Panel and that, where reasonably practicable, that Panel will be made up of the same Panel Members who imposed the Conditions.
Clause 11: Disciplinary procedure: Appeals Panel
The following changes have been made to clause 11:
- Clause 11.2 (previous version of the Bye-Laws) has been removed.
- Clause 11.2 now provides that, where a Code Member has appealed a determination of the Non-Compliance Panel, and fails to meet a deadline specified by the Appeals Panel in relation to that Appeal, RECC may immediately terminate a Code Member’s Code Membership.
- Clause 11.3.2 references the appeals fee which is £3,500 plus VAT.
Clause 12: Disciplinary procedure: Non-compliance action costs
The following change has been made to clause 12:
- Clause 12 sets out the rules around VAT for costs relating to the disciplinary procedure.
Clause 14: Termination of Code Membership
The following changes have been made to clause 14:
- Clause 14.1 includes further circumstances in which RECC can terminate a Code Member’s Code membership without reference to the Non-Compliance Panel.
- Clause 14.5 confirms that the Code Member’s ongoing obligations at the end of Code Membership include cooperation with the Dispute Resolution Process.
Clause 17: Other Panels
The following change has been made to clause 17:
- Clause 17.3 provides that Panel Members appointed by the Joint Protocol Signatories may sit on any or all of the Panels (Applications Panel, the Non-Compliance Panel, and the Appeals Panel).
Clause 19: Data protection
A new clause 19 has been added to the Bye-Laws (previously Intellectual Property Licences which is now at clause 20):
- This clause has been added to take account of the General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018, covering how RECC will process data and how Code Members must process data.
- Clause 19.6 requires Code Members to provide consumers with the RECC Use of Personal Data Notice at the time their personal data is collected.
- Clause 19.7 sets out how the Code Member will indemnify RECC for failures to comply with the provisions of clause 19 and General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018.