Licensing, Compliance and Enforcement Policy: Consultation Response
This response sets out our position in relation to the consultation around proposed changes to our Licensing, Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
- Executive summary
Summary of responses - Licensing changes
- - Proposal 1: Policy position in relation to dual regulation products
- - Proposal 2: Changes to complete applications
- - Proposal 3: Clarification of relevant persons
- - Proposal 4: Timescale for using licence
- - Proposal 5: Clarification of suitability criteria
- - Proposal 6: Clarification of financing arrangements
- - Proposal 7: Addition of new examples to update the Commission about
- - Proposal 8: Minor updates to reflect minor changes to processes in the policy
- Summary of responses - Compliance changes
- Summary of responses - Enforcement changes
Proposal 2: Changes to complete applications
Updated paragraph 3.8
If an application is incomplete or information required to support the application is missing or not provided upon request then, depending on the individual circumstances, the Commission may:
- i. reject the application as incomplete
- ii. seek further information
- iii. determine the application based on the information the Commission has available to it. This may affect the decision on whether a licence can be granted.
The application fee is payable on submission of the application. The Commission will not refund the application fee where an application is rejected for any reason, including where the application is rejected as incomplete.
- Q6. To what extent do you agree with our proposal that including these amendments within the Policy provides greater clarity for applicants (in relation to rejection of incomplete applications and retention of application fees)?
The majority of respondents agreed with the proposal and noted:
- applicants should be given more time to complete the application if a genuine mistake or obvious error has been made
- assuming it is carried out practically and reasonably with some discretion based on what is further needed in an incomplete application, it is an improvement
- where some level of additional information is required, this should not cause the application to be rejected
- the option should be retained by the Commission to reject applications missing substantive information
- dealing with incomplete applications takes up too much time.
Respondents also made the following comments:
- application forms on the website are difficult to navigate or enter appropriate information
- the policy or website should more clearly state what constitutes a complete application
- applicants should be able to engage with the Licensing department prior to and during the application process
- the current rewording is ambiguous and suggests that the Commission might reject an incomplete application or ask for further clarification
- it is unreasonable for the Commission to retain the whole fee for rejected applications when the licence application process needs improvement.
Guidance for the forms is embedded throughout the online application process and is available on our website to prepare for completing and submitting the application. However, the Commission is committed to continuously improving its services and regularly gathers feedback and implements relevant changes. Information about what constitutes a complete application is already available on our website, however it is clear from some of the comments that this could be improved. These improvements will be taken forward in the new financial year.
When an application is considered incomplete, Licensing writes to the applicant, informing them of the information that is missing and giving them 10 working days to provide it. Only if the information is still not provided after that period, do we reject the application as incomplete.
Suggestions that applicants should be able to engage with the Licensing team are noted. Engagement currently takes place through the application process however pre-application support is necessarily limited to general advice. The Commission is responsible for assessing and making decisions about applications and there would be a clear conflict of interest if we assist applicants by providing more detailed support and advice beyond the general advice. The Commission’s current fee structure supports our licensing, compliance and enforcement work but does not extend to pre-application services.
Proposal 1: Policy position in relation to dual regulation products Next section
Proposal 3: Clarification of relevant persons
Last updated: 22 June 2022
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