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Consultation response

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.

Proposal 9: Remote assessments


New paragraph to be inserted - Remote Compliance assessments

The Commission may conduct remote compliance assessments for the purposes of determining whether activities are being carried on in accordance with the conditions of the operator's licence or determining the suitability of the licensee to carry on the licensed activities.

Such assessments may be conducted using video conferencing platforms such as Skype.

During such assessments the Commission may request sight of documents and records held by the licensee, including customer records and the audit trail in relation to customer accounts.

Consultation question

    Q13. To what extent do you agree with the proposed amendment to the Policy to reflect our approach to remote assessments?

Respondents’ views

The majority of responses to this question supported the amendment being proposed. Respondents commented as follows:

  • the Commission must consider, and guarantee, the digital privacy of the operators and their customers
  • face to face meetings are more productive, preferable and assist with the Commission’s visibility
  • assessments conducted in a remote environment allow for items to be lost in translation, talk to be taken out of context and prevent the relevant parties from engaging in open conversation and dialogue
  • why is Skype included?

Our position

In implementing the change as proposed, we have considered the proportionality and legality of using this method of assessment and we are satisfied that we have appropriate controls in place to ensure that laws relating to data protection are complied with.

It is important that we have the flexibility to conduct assessments in a number of ways as we have a diverse range of operators based across the world. We will maintain the option to conduct assessments either face to face or via remote means. We acknowledge comments about preferences and visibility of the Commission and will ensure that we make the best use of the resource we have considering resource and the most appropriate and efficient means for conducting each assessment.

We have conducted many assessments remotely, and since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic most of our work has been conducted remotely using various different technology.

We allow opportunities for those being assessed to provide feedback and clarify anything we have asked. We also ensure that a summary of our findings is provided post an assessment to ensure that a licensee has an opportunity to respond to our findings.

We reference ‘Skype’ only as an example of video conferencing software.

Next section
Proposal 10: Assessment framework
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