12th Code Review Statement and the proposed AIME positions

AIME is to submit a response to the recent PhonepayPlus statement on the 12th Code Review.

A full consultation is due in the summer to shape the code amendments and PhonepayPlus has approached AIME for initial views on the key proposals to help with the consultation requests.

The key proposals and AIME’s proposed position are as follows:

–          An increase to Live Service spend cap from £30 to £45, with spend reminders at £15 and a positive opt-in to go beyond £30 – AIME is proposing support for the spend cap, though has concerns over the application of the £15 reminder and there may be flaws in the research which has guided the viewpoint.

–          Introduction of monthly children’s services spend cap (4x the £3.00 service charge, or £20) – AIME supports appropriate protection of minors and favours the £20 option, though believe that there could be allowance for parental override to set higher spending limits if facilities exist. AIME has requested a detailed workshop with PPP to develop stronger and clearer guidance as to the definition of children’s services and how that definition is applied.

–          Removal of some, or all, Prior Permissions regimes by re-housing the requirements into a code appendix – AIME currently supports this as it will improve efficiencies but may need to assist PPP to decide which, if any stay in place.

–          Strengthening of the implementation of the polluter pays principle – AIME has been supportive of the polluter pays principle, where pollution has deliberately occurred, though will request further work and detail around what is meant by “strengthening”.

–          Changes to the ‘Vulnerability’ definition and scope (current Rule 2.3.10) – AIME Members require greater clarity and discussion to ensure balanced interpretation. AIME is currently minded towards a wider set of criteria that needs to be satisfied to determine vulnerability.

–          Changes to power to determine L1 / L2 status (current rule 5.3.8c) – AIME believes the motivation for this change needs to be communicated before we can express an opinion.

–          Oral Hearing only to be available after completion of paper based adjudication – AIME has concerns around the potential impact on access to justice, which need to be addressed before changes to the adjudication process should be considered.

–          Introduction of earlier withholds in Track 2 cases – This would duplicate powers already available via an Emergency Procedure, and would lessen the burden of proof necessary for PP+ to invoke powers. AIME feel that detailed checks and balances through tribunal signoff should remain in place and be re-enforced.

–          Introduction of admin costs for Track 1 cases – this proposal would be in line with the polluter pays  principle, though it currently lacks the necessary detail as to how disputed costs could be challenged without progressing the case to the full track 2 process.

–          Lower barrier for PP+ to seek a case review – This proposal carries the risk of double jeopardy and presently lacks a provision to make PP+ liable for costs if the review fails. Handling of withholds in the event of a review also requires discussion

Members are invited to comment on the proposals and AIME’s suggested positions through the following member survey.

More extensive comments can also be made to info@aimm.co or by calling David Ashman on 07710 762029. Member feedback is urgently needed to assist our response to PPP for 21st March.