Raising procedural issues with our Procedural Officer

If you’re involved in one of our Competition Act 1998 cases, you can raise unresolved procedural issues with a Procedural Officer. Find out more about making an application.

A Procedural Officer will be appointed to each formal CA98 investigation the FCA opens, and their name will be notified to the party(ies) under investigation. The Procedural Officer ensures that procedural issues are addressed quickly and efficiently. They are independent from our investigations, case teams and decision makers. 

What the Procedural Officer does

The Procedural Officer may consider significant procedural complaints, in particular, those that relate to: 

  • deadlines for parties to respond to information requests, submit non-confidential versions of documents or to submit written representations on the Statement of Objections, Supplementary Statement of Objections or Draft Penalty Statement 
  • requests for particular treatment of confidential information in documents on our case file, in a Statement of Objections, Draft Penalty Statement or in a final decision 
  • requests for disclosure or non-disclosure of certain documents on our case file 
  • issues relating to oral hearings, for example, the date of the hearing 

The Procedural Officer can’t review our decisions beyond those listed above. For example, decisions on the scope of requests for information or decisions relating to the substance of a case. 

The Procedural Officer will also chair any oral hearing and prepare a report assessing its fairness. They won’t otherwise be involved in the investigation. 

Applications to the Procedural Officer

Aside from their role concerning oral hearings, the Procedural Officer is involved only at the request of a party or third party to an investigation, and only after the party has been unable to resolve the issue with the responsible case team or case sponsor. 

A party wishing to refer an issue to the Procedural Officer should make an application within 5 working days of being notified of the case sponsor’s decision on the issue in question. 

The application should be no longer than 3 sides of A4 paper and should include: 

  • The name and contact details of the applicant.
  • The name and contact details of lawyers acting for the applicant (where applicable).
  • The FCA case name and reference number.
  • The date of the determination of the issue by the case sponsor responsible for the investigation.
  • A short summary of the issue in question, including a summary of the case team’s original decision (where relevant), the decision of the case sponsor responsible for the investigation, the reason that the applicant is applying for a review of that decision and the outcome that the applicant is seeking.

The application must include copies of relevant correspondence between the applicant and the FCA on the issue in question and copies of any relevant information or documents where these are in the applicant’s possession. 

If the applicant has concerns about providing this information to the Procedural Officer, they should raise these with the Procedural Officer before submitting the application. 

On receipt of an application, the Procedural Officer will provide an opportunity for the case team and the party to present their arguments by telephone or in person before issuing a decision.

Making an application

You should apply by emailing the Procedural Officer for your investigation, whose name and contact details you will be informed of at the start of the investigation. Your application email should also include the case team.

The process for each application will be indicated when the application is acknowledged. 

If the nominated Procedural Officer is unable to consider the application, the applicant will be informed of any alternative arrangements put in place. 

Procedural Officer decisions in Competition Act investigations

The Procedural Officer will deal with the application as quickly as possible. They will reach a decision within 20 working days from receipt of the application. However, in most cases decisions will be taken within 10 working days from receipt of the application.  

This timeframe can be extended by no more than 20 working days if there are special reasons to do so. 

The Procedural Officer’s decision will be binding on our case team. We will publish a non-confidential version of the decision, or a summary of it, on our website, generally at the time the decision is made or at the end of our investigation.  

Previous decisions

Procedural Officer decision 2018/1 – Application by Hargreave Hale Limited

About the Procedural Officers

The Procedural Officer for a given CA98 investigation will be appointed from members of a panel of FCA Senior Advisors and members of the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC). The appointment decision will be made by the Chair of the RDC.

If in a specific investigation it is not possible to appoint a suitable member of the RDC, the parties to the investigation will be informed of the alternative arrangements put in place. 

Page updates

: Information changed new PO panel approach
: Editorial amendment Updates to page features for website refresh.
: Editorial amendment General page updates.