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Corporate Governance Framework

Our corporate governance framework sets out the necessary responsibilities and procedures that guarantee we operate properly.

Published: 29 October 2021

Last updated: 10 June 2024

This version was printed or saved on: 21 July 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/policy/corporate-governance-framework

Corporate Governance Framework

1 Introduction

1.1 Governance describes how an organisation is led and run. This includes how decisions are made and how standards are defined and met. Good governance underpins well run organisations. It also drives accountability of the organisation and the people within it.

1.2 In this framework the Gambling Commission has set out the governance structures we use to manage our work. We review the whole framework every 3 years to make sure it is still fit for purpose, but we may change parts of it more frequently if needed. The Commission reviewed and approved this version of the framework in February 2024.

1.3 We publish this framework on the Commission website to be transparent about our governance structure.

1.4 We have prepared guidance to help people understand and apply this framework. The guidance does not form part of the Corporate Governance Framework.

2 The Gambling Commission

Purpose

2.1 The Gambling Commission exists to licence and regulate gambling operators, and to regulate the National Lottery.

Legal status

2.2 The Gambling Commission was created by section 20 of the Gambling Act 2005. The Commission took over the National Lottery Commission’s functions on 1 October 2013 when the Public Bodies (Merger of the Gambling Commission and the National Lottery Commission) Order 2013 came into force.

2.3 The Commission is an executive Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This means that we deliver services on behalf of government, and have our own Board. We have been set up in this way so that the Commission’s regulatory decisions are independent of government.

2.4 The Commission is made up of a Chair and other Commission members (known as ‘Commissioners’). Together they are the Board of Commissioners. The Secretary of State appoints the Chair and Commissioners, following guidance issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

2.5 The jurisdiction of the Commission under the Gambling Act 2005 (as amended) covers Great Britain – England, Scotland, and Wales1. With regard to functions under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 (as amended) the Commission’s jurisdiction also includes Northern Ireland. The Commission will establish and maintain appropriate working relationships within each administration, taking account of the differences between them.


1 The following sections of the Gambling Act 2005 also apply to Northern Ireland: chain gifting (section 43), advertising foreign gambling (section 331), and the repeal of ss.9-9B of the 1981 Act (section 340).

Functions and objectives

2.6 The Gambling Act 2005 sets out 3 statutory licensing objectives. These objectives explain how the Gambling Commission should regulate gambling. The Commission should regulate with the aim of:

2.7 The Act also explains that the Commission must permit gambling, in so far as it is reasonably consistent with the pursuit of the licensing objectives.

2.8 The Commission’s main functions under the Gambling Act 2005 are to:

2.9 The Commission delivers these functions by:

2.10 In relation to the National Lottery, with the Secretary of State, the Commission’s overriding statutory duties are to exercise its functions in a manner it considers will secure that:

2.11 Subject to these 2 duties, when exercising their functions under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 (opens in new tab), the Secretary of State and the Commission shall do their best to secure that the net proceeds of the National Lottery are as great as possible.

2.12 The Commission’s main functions under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 are:

2.13 The Secretary of State is also subject to the duties described above and these provide the context for their functions of making regulations and issuing Directions to the Commission under section 11 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. The Commission must comply with those Directions in the exercise of its National Lottery licensing functions.

Structure

2.14 The Gambling Commission’s (the Commission’s) outline governance structure is detailed as follows:

i. Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – sets national policy, provides guidance to the Commission, appoints Commissioners and reviews the Commission’s performance and regularity.

ii. Board of Commissioners – the legal person of the Commission. The Board establishes the Commission’s strategic direction to deliver the statutory objectives and provides organisational oversight.

iii. Board Committees – established by the Board to provide focussed scrutiny and review in particular areas of operation, providing assurance to Board and the Accounting Officer.

iv. Accounting Officer and/or Chief Executive Officer – responsible for organisational delivery and performance to meet the strategy, and accountable for organisational standards. The CEO is supported by Commission employees and internal governance structures.

v. Expert Groups – provide advice to Board and Commission employees to inform regulatory policy and delivery.

Relationships between the Commission's governance

The Board and the Accounting Officer are both accountable to DCMS for the performance and leadership of the Gambling Commission.

DCMS engage with the Board and Accounting Officer to discuss public policy and organisational leadership.

The Board and Chief Executive work together to lead and direct the organisation.

The Board and Accounting Officer receive assurance from the detailed oversight undertaken by Committees.

Expert Groups provide advice and different perspectives to support the Commission’s decision-making.

Accountability

2.15 The Gambling Commission demonstrates its accountability to its stakeholders by publishing the following documents:

2.16 The Commission applies the following standards to our work:

2.17 The Commission takes the following action to ensure we are accountable for our actions:

2.18 The Commission takes the following steps to demonstrate and review effectiveness:

3 People

Introduction

3.1 This section explains the roles of specific posts and groups of people in the Gambling Commission’s (the Commission’s) governance structure. The Commission sets standards of behaviour and conduct for Commissioners, employees, and members of expert groups. These standards include expectations in relation to declaring and managing conflicts of interest and meeting the Principles of Public Life (opens in new tab).

Secretary of State and/or responsible minister

3.2 As the elected representatives responsible for Government policy, the Secretary of State and Responsible Minister establish the framework in which the Gambling Commission operates and are ultimately accountable for the Commission’s delivery of the statutory objectives. Their responsibilities include:

Board of Commissioners

3.3 The Board of Commissioners (the Board) are non-executives appointed by the Secretary of State. The only exception is the CEO, who may also be appointed as a Commissioner, but cannot be the Chair.

3.4 The Chair and other Commissioners are appointed for 5 years or less. If they are reappointed, their full term of office must not be over 10 years. This limit applies even if there have been gaps between periods of appointment.

3.5 The Board (the legal person of the Gambling Commission) establish the Commission’s strategic direction to deliver the statutory objectives and provide organisational oversight by:

Board

The board's responsibilites are:

Chief Executive as a lead executive

The Chief Executive's responsibilities as a lead executive are:

Chief Executive as accounting officer

The Chief Executive's responsibilities as accounting officer are:

3.6 The Board typically discharges its responsibilities by commissioning or receiving reporting, advice and recommendations from officials.

The Chair

3.7 The Chair has a particular responsibility for providing effective strategic leadership on the following matters:

3.8 As senior leader of the Commission, the Chair is also responsible for the following:

3.9 The Chair will ensure that a code of conduct for Commissioners is in place, based on the Cabinet Office's Code of Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies 2019 (opens in new tab). The code will commit the Chair and other Commission members to the Nolan seven principles of public life, and will include a requirement for a comprehensive and publicly available register of interests. The Code of Conduct for Commissioners is Appendix 8 of this Corporate Governance Framework.

3.10 Communications between the Commission and the Secretary of State will normally be through the Chair.

3.11 The Chair holds and leaves office under the terms of their appointment. The Chair may resign by giving notice in writing to the Secretary of State. They will stop being the Chair if they are no longer a Commissioner.

Senior Independent Director

3.12 The Chair, with the agreement of the Commissioners, will appoint one of their number to act as the Senior Independent Director (SID).

3.13 The key responsibilities of the SID are:

Commissioners

3.14 In addition to their corporate responsibilities as a Board, Commissioners also have individual responsibilities as members of a public body:

Personal liability of Commissioners

3.15 Although any legal proceedings initiated by a third party are likely to be brought against the Commission, in exceptional cases proceedings (civil, or in certain cases, criminal) may be brought against the Chair or individual Commissioners. For example, a Commissioner may be personally liable if they make a fraudulent or negligent statement which results in loss to a third party.

3.16 Commissioners who misuse information gained by virtue of their position may be liable for breach of confidence under common law or may commit a crime under insider dealing legislation.

3.17 The Government has indicated that individual Commissioners who have acted honestly and in good faith will not have to meet any personal civil liability which is incurred in the execution, or purported execution, of their Commission functions out of his or her own personal resources. The Commission will indemnify any Commissioner so affected.

The Chief Executive and Accounting Officer

3.18 The Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission is designated as the Commission’s Accounting Officer by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Accounting Officer.

3.19 As the Commission’s Accounting Officer, the Chief Executive is personally responsible for safeguarding public funds, for propriety and regularity in the handling of those public funds and for the operation and management of the Commission.

3.20 The Chief Executive should act in accordance with the terms of the Framework Agreement with DCMS and with the instructions and guidance in Government Accounting. They should also follow other instructions and guidance issued by DCMS, the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. The Chief Executive should ensure they meet the standards set out in Box 3.1 to the Treasury document Managing Public Money (opens in new tab).

3.21 As the Commission’s Accounting Officer the Chief Executive will:

3.22 The Chief Executive is the Principal Officer for the purpose of the handling of cases involving the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. The Principal Officer is responsible for informing the Permanent Secretary at DCMS about any complaints accepted by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (opens in new tab) for investigation and about the Commission’s proposed response to any subsequent recommendations from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Commission employees

3.23 Within the arrangements approved by the Secretary of State (paragraph 6, Schedule 4 of the Gambling Act 2005), the Gambling Commission has responsibility for the recruitment, retention and motivation of its employees.

3.24 The Commission will ensure that:

Individual responsibilities of employees

3.25 The Commission’s position as the regulator of the gambling industry requires that the Commission and its employees are able, at all times, to demonstrate that their actions and behaviour are beyond reproach. The Commission wants to ensure that employees are protected from any situation where they might be seen as vulnerable to personal compromise of any kind, or situations which might lead to the integrity of the Commission being questioned. To support this, the Code of Conduct for employees reflects the Commission’s values and sets out the standards of behaviour that are expected of everyone who works with the Commission, such as employees, contractors or consultants, and the ways in which the Commission will help such people to avoid any unwarranted criticism or pressure.

3.26 The Commission expects the highest standards of behaviour from employees at work and in personal lives where the Commission’s position might be affected. The general principles set out below and the detailed Code of Conduct for employees applies to everyone who works for the Commission. It is the responsibility of each individual to be aware of the standards of conduct expected of them and to apply the Code of Conduct for employees as a general guideline to behaviour. However, employees may encounter particular personal circumstances that are not covered by the Code of Conduct for employees, or where the strict application of the Code may seem unreasonable. Any such circumstance should be discussed with a manager to arrive at a solution which is fair and reasonable for both employee and the Commission.

3.27 The general principles for employees’ conduct are:

Integrity

Employees should conduct themselves in a frank and honest manner and maintain the Commission’s high standards of conduct, whether or not at work. Employees should treat all those they encounter, including colleagues, licensees and the public, courteously and follow the guidance in the Code of Conduct for employees.

Personal and financial affairs

Employees should conduct their financial and other personal affairs in a frank and honest manner that does not leave them exposed to the risk of corruption or improper pressure. Major financial difficulties or changes of circumstances which might make an employee vulnerable, or appear vulnerable, to allegations of impropriety should be disclosed (in confidence) to the Chief People Officer who will undertake an assessment of exposure and take appropriate action to manage the risk.

Confidentiality

Working in the Commission involves access to sensitive and confidential information about individuals, about commercial organisations and their plans and about policy developments. Employees must ensure that such information is not used in any way directly or indirectly for their own benefit or for the benefit of any third party or disclosed to any person (whether Commission employees or otherwise) other than as required by law. This does not prevent employees from exercising any of their other rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (opens in new tab).

Accountability

While safeguarding information that should be kept confidential, employees must remember that the Commission is committed to being open about the way in which decisions are reached and how our business is conducted. Employees must therefore take care to record and make available material to enable our stakeholders to understand our business.

Expert groups

3.28 Members of expert groups are not decision-makers within the Gambling Commission, but they must meet the expectations of any appointees to a public body.

3.29 Each expert group will have its own terms of reference and specific terms of appointment, but all members of advisory groups will be required to:

4 Scheme of delegations

The power to delegate

4.1. The Gambling Commission may delegate a function to a Commissioner, a committee of Commissioners and employees or an employee of the Commission. The role of committees is to exercise functions delegated to them by the Board of the Commission. This may include providing detailed consideration of specific areas of work, advising the Commission, and promoting more effective communication between the Commission and particular stakeholders.

4.2 This section describes the functions which have been reserved to the Commission and the functions which have been delegated to committees or to the Chief Executive under the terms of paragraph 8, Schedule 4 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab). These arrangements are referred to as the Commission’s Delegated Powers. The Board may choose to delegate to the Chief Executive or another specified Commission employee specific matters which would otherwise be reserved to the Board.

Matters which are reserved to the Gambling Commission

4.3 To ensure the Board can fulfil its responsibilities, the following Gambling Commission matters are not delegated and are therefore reserved to the Board:

Matters which are reserved to the Commission
Area of responsibility Ref Reserved matter
Governance 4.3.1 Approval of the Corporate Governance Framework, including delegated powers, standing orders and prime financial policies
Governance 4.3.2 Approval of Board meetings, the composition of Board agendas and approval of minutes of Board meetings
Governance 4.3.3 Scrutiny of reports from Commission Committees
Culture 4.3.4 Approval of Commission values and ways of working
Statutory objectives 4.3.5 Approval (subject to consultation) of the Statement of Principles, Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) and prime regulatory policies established to deliver the statutory objectives
Statutory objectives 4.3.6 Approval of certain functions under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993, including the decision to award the licence to operate the National Lottery
Statutory objectives 4.3.7 Approval of statutory advice provided by the Commission to the Secretary of State
Strategy 4.3.8 Approval of the Commission’s strategy to deliver the statutory objectives
Strategy 4.3.9 Approval of the Commission’s Business Plan, core business objectives and annual budgets to deliver the strategy
Stewardship 4.3.10 Approval of variations to the approved budget where the variation would have a significant impact on the overall approved levels of income and expenditure
Stewardship 4.3.11 Approval of annual report and accounts
Stewardship 4.3.12 Approval of arrangements for performance management
Stewardship 4.3.13 Approval of the Commission’s risk appetite and arrangements for risk management
Organisational leadership 4.3.14 Appointment of the Chief Executive, subject to the Secretary of State’s consent as to the terms and conditions of employment

Delegations to Committees

4.4 The Gambling Commission has established the Committees listed below. Their delegations are listed in their terms of reference, which are published as appendices to this Corporate Governance Framework.

Delegations to committees
Committee name Purpose Terms of reference
Audit and Risk Committee To support the Commission and Chief Executive (as Accounting Officer) to meet their responsibilities for issues of: control and governance, the annual report and accounts, risk, and associated assurance. Appendix 9
Remuneration and Nominations Committee To support the Board and Chief Executive (as appropriate) in their responsibilities for the performance management, bonus and pay of the Executive Team, and senior appointments and departures. Appendix 10
National Lottery Committee To exercise powers in respect of National Lottery matters by way of decisions or advice to the Board of Commissioners (the Board) and the Chief Executive in relation to the exercise of the Commission’s functions under the 1993 Act and provide oversight of National Lottery operator’s stewardship of the National Lottery. Appendix 11

Other delegations

Regulatory decisions under the Gambling Act 2005: delegations to the Regulatory Panel and employees

4.5 Regulatory decisions are subject to delegations from the Gambling Commission. The Commission has established a Regulatory Panel (the Panel). The terms of reference of the Panel and the scheme of delegations appear in Appendix 6.

Financial delegations

4.6 The Commission has established a scheme of financial delegations (Appendix 7).

Delegations to the Chief Executive

4.7 The Gambling Commission has delegated to the Chief Executive all responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Commission.

4.8 Where a matter has not been specifically reserved to the Commission or delegated to a committee or employee in this Corporate Governance Framework, the Chief Executive has authority to act.

4.9 In addition, the Commission authorises the Chief Executive to appoint another employee of the Commission to act on their behalf, and references in this Corporate Governance Framework to the Chief Executive include any person the Chief Executive has designated to act on their behalf.

4.10 The Commission has delegated the handling of complaints to the Chief Executive. The Complaints Policy is Appendix 5 to this document.

Delegations by the Accounting Officer

4.11 The Chief Executive may delegate the day-to-day administration of the Accounting Officer responsibilities to appropriately qualified employees of the Gambling Commission. However, the Chief Executive shall not assign absolutely to any other person any of their Accounting Officer responsibilities. The Chief Executive remains accountable for any delegated responsibilities.

5 Appendices

5.1 This document contains the following appendices:

Appendix 1Framework Agreement between DCMS and the Commission
Appendix 2Rules for the conduct of business
Appendix 3Anti-fraud and corruption policy
Appendix 4Public interest disclosure policy
Appendix 5Complaints policy
Appendix 6Delegation of licensing and regulatory decisions in respect of gambling
Appendix 7Financial regulations and delegations
Appendix 8Code of conduct for Commissioners
Appendix 9Audit and Risk Committee terms of reference
Appendix 10Remuneration and Nomination Committee terms of reference
Appendix 11National Lottery Committee terms of reference

Appendix 1 - Gambling Commission Framework Document

Introduction

1 Purpose of document

1.1. This framework document (the 'framework document') has been agreed between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Gambling Commission (“the Commission”) in accordance with HM Treasury’s handbook Managing Public Money1 (MPM) (as updated from time to time) and has been approved by HM Treasury.

1.2. The framework document sets out the broad governance framework within which the Commission and DCMS operate. It sets out the Commission’s core responsibilities, describes the governance and accountability framework that applies between the roles of DCMS and the Commission, and sets out how the day-to-day relationship works in practice, including in relation to governance and financial matters.

1.3. The document does not convey any legal powers or responsibilities but both parties agree to operate within its terms. 

1.4. References to the Commission include all its subsidiaries and joint ventures that are classified to the public sector and central government for national accounts purposes. If the Commission establishes a subsidiary or joint venture, there shall be a document setting out the arrangements between it and the Commission agreed with DCMS. 

1.5. Copies of the document and any subsequent amendments have been placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament and made available to members of the public on the Gambling Commission website and GOV.UK.

1.6. This framework document should be reviewed and updated at least every three years unless there are exceptional reasons that render this inappropriate that have been agreed with HM Treasury and the Principal Accounting Officer of the sponsor department. The latest date for review and updating of this document is 1 September 2025.


1https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1089622/MPM_Spring_21_with_annexes_040322__1_.pdf

2 Objectives, powers and duties of the Gambling Commission Framework Document.

2.1. The Gambling Commission’s key statutory duty, as set out in the Gambling Act 2005, is to aim to permit gambling in so far as the Commission thinks it reasonably consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives. These are:

2.2. In addition, the Commission is responsible for regulation of the National Lottery by virtue of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. In this, the Commission’s objectives are to manage the lottery provider in a manner most likely to secure:

2.3. To achieve these objectives the Commission and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will work together in recognition of each other’s roles and areas of expertise, providing an effective environment for the Commission to achieve its statutory objectives through the promotion of partnership and trust.

3 Classification

3.1. The Gambling Commission has been classified as a central government organisation by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and HM Treasury Classifications Team.

3.2. It has been administratively classified by the Cabinet Office as a non-departmental public body (NDPB).

Purposes, aims and duties

4 Purposes

4.1. The Gambling Commission was created by section 20 of the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain in partnership with licensing authorities. The Commission took over the National Lottery Commission’s functions on 1 October 2013 with the Public Bodies Order 2013 (Merger of the Commission and the National Lottery Commission) coming into force. As a result, the Commission now regulates commercial gambling and the National Lottery.

5 Aims

5.1. The Gambling Commission’s areas of strategic focus as set out in its corporate strategy are:

5.2. Nothing under this agreement shall prevent the Commission from carrying out its legal duties under its founding legislation or under any other legislation which impacts on its functions, activities or powers.

Governance and accountability

6.1. The Gambling Commission shall operate corporate governance arrangements that, so far as practicable and in the light of the other provisions of this framework document or as otherwise may be mutually agreed, accord with good corporate governance practice and applicable regulatory requirements and expectations.

6.2. In particular (but without limitation), the Commission shall:

6.3. In line with MPM Annex 3.1 the Commission shall provide an account of corporate governance in its annual governance statement including the Board’s assessment of its compliance with the Code with explanations of any material departures. To the extent that the Commission does intend to materially depart from the Code, the sponsor department should be notified in advance.


2 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/corporate-governance-code-for-central-government-departments-2017 3 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/functional-standards

Role of the department

7 The responsible Minister

7.1. The Secretary of State and other members of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) ministerial team are accountable to Parliament for all matters concerning the Gambling Commission.

7.2. The relationship between Ministers and the Commission is set out in the Gambling Act 2005 and National Lottery etc. Act 1993. Ministers’ rights and powers include (but are not limited to):

Gambling Act 2005 (section 23)

Under section 23, the Commission is obliged to prepare a statement setting out the principles to be applied by it in exercising its functions under the Act. Before issuing or revising such a statement the Commission must consult the Secretary of State.

Gambling Act 2005 (section 24)

Under section 24, the Commission is obliged to issue one or more codes of practice about the manner in which facilities for gambling are provided (whether by the holder of a licence under this Act or by another person). Before issuing or revising such a code the Commission must consult the Secretary of State.

Gambling Act 2005 (section 25)

Under section 25, the Commission is from time to time obliged to issue guidance to local authorities as to the manner in which they should exercise their functions under that Act. Before issuing any such guidance, the Commission must consult the Secretary of State.

Gambling Act 2005 (section 26)

The Gambling Commission has a duty to advise the Secretary of State about:

Advice must be given:

The Commission must send a copy of any advice to Scottish Ministers.

Gambling Act 2005 (other rights and powers)

Other relevant rights and powers in the 2005 Act feature in sections 32(2), 66(2), 121(8), 123, 156(3), 234, and paragraphs 5, 6, 11, 13 and 14 of Schedule 4.

National Lottery etc. Act 1993 (section 11)

In exercising its functions under sections 5 to 10A of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993, the Commission must comply with any directions that may be given to it by the Secretary of State.

Such directions may deal in particular:

National Lottery etc. Act 1993 (section 15)

The Commission must provide the Secretary of State with such information relating to the National Lottery or a lottery forming part of it as the Secretary of State directs.

7.3 Nothing in this document affects the rights, powers and duties conferred and imposed on Ministers and the Commission under the Gambling Act 2005 and the National Lottery etc. Act 1993.

Appointments to the Board

7.4. The Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission is appointed by the Board under Schedule 4 of the Gambling Act 2005 in consultation with the responsible Minister and Principal Accounting Officer, as required. The Board’s appointment of a Chief Executive is subject to the Secretary of State’s consent as to the terms and conditions of employment. This appointment is subject to the Public Appointments Order in Council and as such must comply with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

7.5. The Ministers shall have the following appointment and approval rights in relation to the Commission’s Board:

The chairperson and an appropriate number of non-executive members are appointed by the Secretary of State under Schedule 4 to the Gambling Act 2005. These appointments are subject to the Public Appointments Order in Council and as such must comply with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

All such appointments should have regard to the principle that appointments should reflect the diversity of the society in which we live, and appointments should be made taking account of the need to appoint boards which include a balance of skills and backgrounds.

Other Ministerial powers and responsibilities

7.6. The Secretary of State is also responsible for:

The Secretary of State may delegate these functions to an appropriate junior Minister.

8 The Principal Accounting Officer

8.1. The Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) is the Permanent Secretary of the department.

PAO’s specific accountabilities and responsibilities

8.2. The PAO of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) designates the Chief Executive as the Gambling Commission’s Accounting Officer (AO) and ensures that they are fully aware of their responsibilities. The PAO issues a letter appointing the AO, setting out their responsibilities and delegated authorities.

8.3. The respective responsibilities of the PAO and AOs for Arms Length Bodies (ALB) are set out in Chapter 3 of Managing Public Money (MPM).

8.4. The PAO is accountable to Parliament for the issue of any grant-in-aid to the Commission.

8.5. The PAO is also responsible, usually via the sponsorship team, for advising the responsible Minister on:

8.6. The PAO via the sponsorship team is also responsible for ensuring arrangements are in place in order to:

9 The role of the sponsorship team

9.1. The Gambling Commission Sponsorship Lead in the department is the primary contact for the Commission.The responsible senior civil servant for this relationship is the Deputy Director for gambling and lotteries. They are the main source of advice to the responsible Minister on the discharge of their responsibilities in respect of the Commission. They also support the Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) on their responsibilities toward the Gambling Commission.

9.2. Officials of the Commission Sponsorship team in the sponsor department will liaise regularly with Commission officials to review performance against plans, achievement against targets and expenditure against its Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL) and Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) allocations. The Gambling Commission Sponsorship team will also take the opportunity to explain wider policy developments that might have an impact on the Commission. 

10 Resolution of disputes between the Gambling Commission and department

10.1. Any disputes between the department and the Gambling Commission (the Commission) will be resolved in as timely a manner as possible. The department and the Commission will seek to resolve any disputes through an informal process in the first instance. If this is not possible, then a formal process, overseen by the senior sponsor, will be used to resolve the issue. Failing this, the senior sponsor will ask the relevant policy Director General to oversee the dispute. They may then choose to ask the Permanent Secretary to nominate a non-executive member of the department’s Board to review the dispute, mediate with both sides and reach an outcome, in consultation with the Secretary of State.

11 Freedom of Information and other data requests

11.1. Where a request for information is received by either party under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (opens in a new tab), or the Data Protection Act 1998 (opens in a new tab) or 2018, the party receiving the request will consult with the other party prior to any disclosure of information that may affect the other party’s responsibilities.

12 Reporting on legal risk and litigation

12.1. The Gambling Commission shall provide a quarterly update to the sponsor on the existence of any active litigation and any threatened or reasonably anticipated litigation. The parties acknowledge the importance of ensuring that legal risks are communicated appropriately to the sponsor in a timely manner.

12.2. In respect of each substantial piece of litigation involving the Commission, the parties will agree a litigation protocol which will include specific provisions to ensure appropriate and timely reporting on the status of the litigation and the protection of legally privileged information transmitted to the sponsor to facilitate this. Until such time as a protocol is agreed, the parties will ensure that:

The Gambling Commission governance structure

13 The Chief Executive

Responsibilities of the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive as Accounting Officer

13.1. The Chief Executive as Accounting Officer (AO) is personally responsible for safeguarding the public funds for which they have charge; for ensuring propriety, regularity, value for money and feasibility in the handling of those public funds; and for the day-to-day operations and management of the Gambling Commission.

In addition, they should ensure that the Commission as a whole is run on the basis of the standards, in terms of governance, decision-making and financial management, that are set out in Box 3.1 of Managing Public Money (MPM). These responsibilities include the following and those that are set in the AO appointment letter issued by the Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) of the sponsor department.

Responsibilities for accounting to Parliament and the public

13.2. Responsibilities to Parliament and the public include:

Responsibilities to DCMS

13.3 Responsibilities to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) include:

Responsibilities to the board

13.4. The Chief Executive is responsible for:

Managing conflicts

13.5. The Chief Executive should follow the advice and direction of the Board, except in very exceptional circumstances with a clear cut and transparent rationale for not doing so.

13.6. If the Board, or its chairperson, is contemplating a course of action involving a transaction which the Chief Executive considers would infringe the requirements of propriety or regularity or does not represent prudent or economical administration, efficiency or effectiveness, is of questionable feasibility, or is unethical the Chief Executive in their role as AO should reject that course of action and ensure that the Board has a full opportunity to discuss the rationale for that rejection.

13.7. Such conflicts should be brought to the attention of the PAO and the responsible Minister as soon as possible.

13.8. Furthermore, and if agreed with the responsible Minister, the AO must write a letter of justification to the chair of the Board setting out the rationale for not following the advice and recommendation of the board and copy that letter to the Treasury Officer of Accounts.

13.9. If the responsible Minister agrees with the proposed course of action of the Board it may be appropriate for the Minister to then direct the AO in the manner as set out in MPM paragraph 3.6.6 onwards.

14 The Board

Composition of the Board

14.1. The Gambling Commission will have a board in line with good standards of corporate governance and as set out in in its establishing statute and in guidance as set out in Annex A. The role of the Board shall be to run the Commission, and to deliver the objectives, in accordance with the purposes as set out above, their statutory, regulatory, common law duties and their responsibilities under this framework document. Detailed responsibilities of the board shall be set out in the Board terms of reference. Remuneration of the Board will be disclosed in line with the guidance in the Government Financial Reporting manual (FReM).

14.2. The Board will consist of a chairperson, together with an appropriate number of non-executive Commissioners that have a balance of skills and experience appropriate to overseeing the Gambling Commission’s business. The Board may include a Chief Executive. For the Commission there should be Commissioners who have experience of its business, operational delivery, corporate services such as HR, technology, property asset management, estate management, communications and performance management. There will be an appropriately qualified Finance Director as described in Annex 4.1 of Managing Public Money (MPM) who will attend the Board. Other members of the Executive may attend the Board in a non-voting capacity.

Board Committees

14.3. The Board may set up such committees as necessary for it to fulfil its functions. As a minimum this should include an Audit and Risk Committee chaired by an independent and appropriately qualified non-executive member of the Board as detailed as follows.

14.4. While the Board may make use of committees to assist its consideration of appointments, succession, audit, risk and remuneration it retains responsibility for, and endorses, final decisions in all of these areas. The Chair should ensure that sufficient time is allowed at the board for committees to report on the nature and content of discussion, on recommendations, and on actions to be taken.

14.5. Where there is disagreement between the relevant committee and the Board, adequate time should be made available for discussion of the issue with a view to resolving the disagreement. Where any such disagreement cannot be resolved, the committee concerned should have the right to report the issue to the sponsor team, the Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) and responsible Minister. It may also seek to ensure the disagreement or concern is reflected as part of the report on its activities in the annual report.

14.6. The Chair should ensure board committees are properly structured with appropriate terms of reference. The terms of each committee should set out its responsibilities and the authority delegated to it by the Board. The Chair should ensure that committee membership is periodically refreshed and that individual independent non-executive directors are not over-burdened when deciding the chairs and membership of committees.

Duties of the Board

14.7. The Board is specifically responsible for:

14.8. The Board should ensure that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance and internal control.

14.9. The Board should make a strategic choice about the style, shape and quality of risk management and should lead the assessment and management of opportunity and risk. The Board should ensure that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance over the design and operation of risk management, governance and internal control in line with the Management of Risk – Principles and Concepts (The Orange Book) (opens in a new tab). The Board must set up an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee chaired by an independent and appropriately qualified non-executive member to provide independent advice and ensure that the department’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee are provided with routine assurances with escalation of any significant limitations or concerns. The Board is expected to assure itself of the adequacy and effectiveness of the risk management framework and the operation of internal control.

15 The Chair’s role and responsibilities 

15.1. The Chair is responsible for leading the board in the delivery of its responsibilities. Such responsibility should be exercised in the light of their duties and responsibilities as set out in their contract of employment and appointment letter, the priorities in the chair’s letter issued to them by the sponsor team, the statutory authority governing the Gambling Commission (the Commission), this document and the documents and guidance referred to within this document.

15.2. Communications between the Commission’s Board and the responsible Minister should normally be through the Chair. The Chair’s performance will be reviewed annually, conducted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

15.3. The Chair is bound by the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies (opens in a new tab), which covers conduct in the role and includes the Nolan Principles of Public Life (opens in a new tab).

15.4. In addition, the Chair is responsible for:

15.5. The Chair has the following leadership responsibilities:

15.6. The Chair also has an obligation to ensure that:

16 Individual board members’ responsibilities 

16.1. Individual board members should:

Management and financial responsibilities and controls

17 Delegated authorities

17.1 The Gambling Commission’s delegated authorities are set out in the delegation letter attached to this framework document. This delegation letter may be updated and superseded by later versions which may be issued by the sponsor department in agreement with HM Treasury.

17.2 In line with Managing Public Money (MPM) Annex 2.2 these delegations must be reviewed on an annual basis.

17.3 The Commission shall obtain the department’s, and where appropriate, HM Treasury’s prior written approval before:

18 Spending authority

18.1 Once the budget has been approved by the sponsor department and subject to any restrictions imposed by statute, the responsible Minister’s instructions, this document, HM Treasury settlement or delegation letters, the Gambling Commission has authority to incur expenditure approved in the budget without further reference to the sponsor department, on the following conditions:

19 Banking and managing cash

19.1 The Gambling Commission must maximise the use of publicly procured banking services (accounts with central government commercial banks managed centrally by Government Banking).

19.2 The Commission should only hold money outside Government Banking Service accounts where a good business case can made for doing so and HM Treasury consent is required for each account to be established. Only commercial banks which are members of relevant UK clearing bodies may be considered for this purpose.

19.3 Commercial accounts where approved should be operated in line with the principles as set out in Managing Public Money (MPM).

19.4 The Accounting Officer is responsible for ensuring the Commission has a banking policy as set out in MPM and ensuring that policy is complied with.

20 Procurement

20.1 The Gambling Commission shall ensure that its procurement policies are aligned with and comply with any relevant UK or other international procurement rules and in particular the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

20.2 The Commission shall establish its procurement policies and document these in a Procurement Policy and Procedures Manual.

20.3 In procurement cases where the Commission is likely to exceed its delegated authority limit, procurement strategy approval for the specific planned purchase must be sought from the department’s sponsor team.

20.4 Goods, services, and works should be acquired by competition. Proposals to let single-tender or restricted contracts shall be limited and exceptional and a quarterly report explaining those exceptions should be sent to the department.

20.5 Procurement by the Commission of works, equipment, goods, and services shall be based on a full option appraisal and value for money (VfM), such as the optimum combination and whole life costs and quality (fitness for purpose).

20.6 The Commission shall:

20.7 The Commission shall comply with the requirements set out in Annex A.

21 Disposal of Assets

21.1 The Gambling Commission requires the Secretary of State’s approval for any disposal of land regardless of value.

21.2 The Commission should seek approval from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for the disposal of all other assets (excluding fixtures and fittings) above the maximum value as defined in their annual delegation letter.

21.3 The sale or lease of assets at below market value is regarded as a gift. If the difference between the market value and the amount received (the gift) exceeds £300k, HM Treasury (HMT) approval is required.

21.4 Unless a specific delegation limit is awarded to the Commission, HMT approval is required for all retention of receipts arising from asset disposals regardless of value.

22 Risk management

22.1 The Gambling Commission shall ensure that the risks that it faces are dealt with in an appropriate manner, in accordance with relevant aspects of best practice in corporate governance, and develop a risk management strategy, in accordance with the Treasury guidance Management of Risk: Principles and Concepts (opens in a new tab).

23 Counter fraud and theft

23.1 The Gambling Commission must adopt and implement policies and practices to safeguard itself against fraud and theft.

23.2 The Commission must act in line with guidance as issued by the Counter Fraud Function and in compliance with the procedures and considerations as set in Managing Public Money Annex 4.9 and the Counter Fraud Functional Standard (opens in a new tab). It must also take all reasonable steps to appraise the financial standing of any firm or other body with which it intends to enter a contract or to provide grant or grant-in-aid.

23.3 The Commission must keep records of and prepare and forward to the department an annual report on fraud and theft suffered by the Commission and notify the sponsor department of any unusual or major incidents as soon as possible. The Commission must also report detected loss from fraud, bribery, corruption and error, alongside associated recoveries and prevented losses, to the counter fraud centre of expertise in line with the agreed government definitions as set out in Counter Fraud Functional Standard.

24 Staff

Broad responsibilities for staff

24.1 Within the arrangements approved by the responsible Minister and the Treasury the Gambling Commission will have responsibility for the recruitment, retention and motivation of its staff. The broad responsibilities toward its staff are to ensure that:

Staff costs

24.2 Subject to its delegated authorities, the Gambling Commission shall ensure that the creation of any additional posts does not incur forward commitments that will exceed its ability to pay for them.

Pay and conditions of service

24.3 The Commission’s staff are subject to levels of remuneration and terms and conditions of service (including pensions) within the general pay structure approved by the sponsor department and the Treasury. The Commission has no delegated power to amend these terms and conditions.

24.4 If civil service terms and conditions of service apply to the rates of pay and non-pay allowances paid to the staff and to any other party entitled to payment in respect of travel expenses or other allowances, payment shall be made in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code (opens in a new tab) and the annual Civil Service Pay Remit Guidance, except where prior approval has been given by the department and HM Treasury to vary such rates.

24.5 Staff terms and conditions should be set out and provided to the department together with subsequent amendments.

24.6 The Commission shall abide by public sector pay controls, including the relevant approvals process dependent on the organisations classification as detailed in the Senior Pay Guidance (opens in a new tab) and the Public Sector Pay and Terms Guidance (opens in a new tab).

24.7 The Commission shall operate a performance-related pay scheme that shall form part of the annual aggregate pay budget approved by the department, general pay structure approved by the department and the Treasury, where relevant with due regard to the Senior Pay Guidance.

24.8 The travel expenses of board members shall be tied to the rates allowed to senior staff of the Commission. Reasonable actual costs shall be reimbursed.

Pensions, redundancy and compensation

24.9 Compensation scheme rules and pension scheme rules should reflect legislative and HM Treasury guidance requirements regarding exit payments.

24.10 The Commission staff shall normally be eligible for a pension provided by the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. Staff may opt out of the occupational pension scheme provided by the Commission, but that employers’ contribution to any personal pension arrangement, including stakeholder pension, shall normally be limited to the national insurance rebate level.

24.11 Any proposal by the Commission to move from the existing pension arrangements, or to pay any redundancy or compensation for loss of office, requires the prior approval of the department. Proposals on severance must comply with the rules in chapter 4 of Managing Public Money.

Business plans, financial reporting and management information

25 Corporate and business plans

25.1. The Gambling Commission shall submit annually to the sponsor department a draft of the corporate plan covering at least the year ahead. The draft should be submitted in such time as to allow meaningful consideration and feedback before final adoption by the Gambling Commission board. The Commission shall agree with the department the issues to be addressed in the plan and the timetable for its preparation. The plan shall reflect the Commission’s statutory and/or other duties and, within those duties, the priorities set from time to time by the responsible Minister (including decisions taken on policy and resources in the light of wider public expenditure decisions). The plan shall demonstrate how the Commission contributes to the achievement of the department’s medium-term plan and priorities and aligned performance metrics and milestones.  

25.2.The first year of the corporate plan, amplified as necessary, shall form the business plan. The business plan shall be updated to include key targets and milestones for the year immediately ahead and shall be linked to budgeting information so that resources allocated to achieve specific objectives can readily be identified by the department. Subject to any commercial considerations, the corporate and business plans should be published by the Commission on its website and separately be made available to staff. 

25.3.The following key matters should be included in the plans: 

26 Budgeting procedures

26.1. Each year, in the light of the updated draft corporate plan, the department will send to the Gambling Commission by May or June: 

26.2.The approved annual business plan will take account both of approved funding provision and any forecast receipts. It will include a budget of estimated payments and receipts together with a profile of expected expenditure and of draw-down of any departmental funding or other income over the year. These elements form part of the approved business plan for the year in question. 

27 Fees, Grant-in-Aid and any ring-fenced grants

27.1. The Gambling Commission will, for functions undertaken in relation to the Gambling Act 2005, and in accordance with that Act, operate on a net running costs basis under which fee income received by the Commission is used to fund its work directly, rather than surrendered to the Government. Fees to fund these functions will be determined on a full cost recovery basis in accordance with the Treasury’s Fees and Charges guidance. Any funds that are unused by the end of any given financial year require the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) approval to be utilised in any following year. Forecasts should be provided by the Commission that are taut, realistic and consistent, and consistent with Managing Public Money (MPM).

27.2. Subject to periodic review, the Commission may retain non-grant-in-aid income for spending in connection with the achievement of the Commission’s strategic aims. The Commission seeks to establish fees on a full cost recovery basis, taking one year with another where unforeseen surpluses or deficits occur, ensuring that fees remain appropriate and proportionate over the duration of the corporate strategy.

27.3.Review of the Commission’s fees is at the discretion of the Secretary of State, to be exercised in accordance with the principles of MPM. The Commission and DCMS will carry out an annual health check to determine whether fee levels remain appropriate or whether a further comprehensive review is required.

27.4.The annual check will consider any significant changes to legislation or the number and complexity of regulated operators. It will also take into account levels of inflation, efficiency savings made by the Commission and whether changes to industry structures or patterns of risk have significantly altered the focus of its regulatory effort. The outcome of this consideration will be recorded and signed off by the Director of Finance or the Head of Gambling and Lotteries in DCMS and by the Chief Executive or Chief Operating Officer of the Commission. The annual check may be brought forward and a comprehensive review of fees initiated by DCMS if it is clear that this will be required.

27.5.Grant-in-Aid is the amount payable by the DCMS to the Gambling Commission in each year, primarily in relation to National Lottery regulation, and is distinct from the budget.

27.6.Any grant-in-aid provided by the department for the year in question will be voted in the department’s Supply Estimate and be subject to parliamentary control. 

27.7. The grant-in-aid will normally be paid in monthly instalments on the basis of written applications showing evidence of need. The Commission will comply with the general principle that there is no payment in advance of need. Cash balances accumulated during the course of the year from grant-in-aid or other Exchequer funds shall be kept to a minimum level consistent with the efficient operation of the Commission. Grant-in-aid not drawn down by the end of the financial year shall lapse. Subject to approval by Parliament of the relevant Estimates provision, where grant-in-aid is delayed to avoid excess cash balances at the year-end, the department will make available in the next financial year any such grant-in-aid that is required to meet any liabilities at the year end, such as creditors. 

27.8. In the event that the department provides the Commission separate grants for specific (ring-fenced) purposes, it would issue the grant as and when the Commission needed it on the basis of a written request. The Commission would provide evidence that the grant was used for the purposes authorised by the department. The Commission shall not have uncommitted grant funds in hand, nor carry grant funds over to another financial year. 

28 Annual report and accounts

28.1. The Gambling Commission Board must publish an annual report of its activities together with its audited accounts after the end of each financial year. A draft of the report should be submitted to the department two weeks before the proposed publication date. The Commission shall provide the department its finalised (audited) accounts by May or early June each year in order for the accounts to be consolidated within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  The accounts should be prepared in accordance with the relevant statutes and specific accounts direction issued by the department as well as the Treasury’s Financial Reporting Manual (FReM). 

28.2. The annual report must: 

28.3. Information on performance against key financial targets must be included within the annual report and made subject to the auditor’s consistency opinion. The report and accounts shall be laid in Parliament and made available on the Commission website, in accordance with the guidance in the FReM. 

29 Reporting performance to the department 

29.1. The Gambling Commission shall operate management, information and accounting systems that enable it to review in a timely and effective manner its financial and non-financial performance against the budgets and targets set out in the corporate and business plans. 

29.2. The Commission shall inform the sponsor department of any changes that make achievement of objectives more or less difficult. It shall report financial and non-financial performance, including performance in helping to deliver Ministers’ policies, and the achievement of key objectives quarterly. 

29.3.The Commission’s performance shall be formally reviewed by the department 4 times a year. 

29.4. The responsible Minister will meet the Chair once a year.

29.5. The Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) will meet the Chief Executive at least once a year. 

30 Information sharing

30.1.The Gambling Commission will allow reasonable access by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to the Commissions records and personnel where this is necessary for the proper discharge of the Secretary of State’s responsibilities in respect of the Commission – except where they relate to access to specific documents or personnel that could compromise the ability of the Commission to exercise its functions independently of Government influence or interference. 

30.2.The Commission shall provide the sponsor department with such information about its operations, performance, individual projects or other expenditure as the sponsor department may reasonably require.

30.3.The department and HM Treasury may request the sharing of data held by the Commission in such a manner as set out in central guidance except insofar as it is prohibited by law. This may include requiring the appointment of a senior official to be responsible for the data sharing relationship.

30.4. As a minimum, the Commission shall provide the department with information monthly that will enable the department satisfactorily to monitor: 

Audit

31 Internal audit

31.1. The Gambling Commission shall: 

32 External audit

32.1.The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) audits the Gambling Commission’s annual accounts and lays them before Parliament, together with their report on those accounts.  

32.2. In the event that the Commission has set up and controls subsidiary companies, the Commission will in the light of the provisions in the Companies Act 2006 ensure that the C&AG has the option to be appointed auditor of those company subsidiaries that it controls or whose accounts are consolidated within its own accounts. The G Commission shall discuss with the sponsor department the procedures for appointing the C&AG as auditor of the companies. 

32.3. The C&AG: 

32.4.The C&AG may carry out examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the Commission has used its resources in discharging its functions. For the purpose of these examinations the C&AG has statutory access to documents as provided for under section 8 of the National Audit Act 1983. In addition, the Commission shall provide, in conditions to grants and contracts, for the C&AG to exercise such access to documents held by grant recipients and contractors and sub-contractors as may be required for these examinations; and shall use its best endeavours to secure access for the C&AG to any other documents required by the C&AG which are held by other bodies. 

Reviews and winding up arrangements

33 Review of the Gambling Commission’s status

33.1 The Gambling Commission will be reviewed as part of the wider Public Bodies Reviews programme, at a time determined by the department’s ministers and their PAO.

34 Arrangements in the event that the Gambling Commission is wound up

34.1 The sponsor department shall put in place arrangements to ensure the orderly winding up of the Gambling Commission. In particular it should ensure that the assets and liabilities of the Commission are passed to any successor organisation and accounted for properly. (In the event that there is no successor organisation, the assets and liabilities should revert to the sponsor department.) To this end, the department shall:

34.2 The Commission shall provide the department with full details of all agreements where the Commission or its successors have a right to share in the financial gains of developers. It should also pass to the department details of any other forms of claw-back due to the Commission.

Annex A: Guidance

Corporate governance

The Gambling Commission shall comply with the following guidance, documents and instructions for issues related to corporate governance:

Financial management and reporting

The Commission shall comply with the following guidance, documents and instructions for issues related to financial management and reporting:

Management of risk

The Commission shall comply with the following guidance, documents and instructions for issues related to the management of risk:

Commercial management

The Commission shall comply with the following guidance, documents and instructions for issues related to commercial management:

Public appointments

The following are relevant where public bodies participate in public appointments processes:

Staff and remuneration

The Commission shall comply with the following guidance, documents and instructions for issues related to staff and remuneration:

General

The Commission shall comply with the following guidance, documents and instruction for general issues:

Appendix 2 – Rules for the conduct of business

Introduction

1. Under Schedule 4 to the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) (the Act), the Board of Commissioners (the Board) is required to establish arrangements for the conduct of its proceedings and to publish them. This appendix outlines the rules for the conduct of business the Gambling Commission has implemented to meet this requirement.

Place of business

2. The principal place of business of the Commission is:

Fourth Floor
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham
B2 4BP

Calling meetings of the Board of Commissioners

3. Meetings are normally held in Birmingham, but may be held outside Birmingham if that is considered appropriate.

4. The Board will normally meet six times per year, planned well in advance. The frequency of meetings can be increased, if necessary, when the level of business requires. These meetings are the ‘ordinary’ meetings of the Board.

5. In addition to the ordinary meetings, an ‘extraordinary’ meeting of the Board may be called by the Chair, by the Chief Executive, or if necessary, by a Commissioner.

Notice of meetings

6. Save for urgent business, the Chief Executive, or a nominated officer acting on his/her behalf, will send to each Commissioner a written notice of the time and place of an ordinary or extraordinary meeting of the Board, and of the business to be transacted, at least five clear working days (a working day excludes Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holidays and other days when the Commission offices are closed) before any such meeting.

7. Notice of meetings will be sent electronically to Commissioners’ email addresses. Notice of the meeting sent electronically shall be deemed to be a written notice.

8. The accidental omission to give notice to, or the non-receipt of notice by, any Commissioner shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting, provided that at least five Commissioners are served with notice of the meeting.

Meetings by telephone or video conference

9. Meetings of the Board may be conducted at face-to-face meetings, or by telephone or video conference.

Business to be transacted

10. The Chair is responsible for drawing up the agenda of meetings in consultation with the Board and the Chief Executive.

11. No business other than that specified in the notice of the meeting shall be transacted at that meeting, unless the business is of an urgent nature or required by statute to be transacted and not less than two-thirds of the Commissioners present decide that the business shall be transacted.

12. A Commissioner wishing a matter to be included on an agenda shall make his/her request in writing for the Chair to consider at least ten clear days before a meeting. Requests made less than ten days before a meeting may be considered for inclusion on the agenda at the discretion of the Chair.

13. Agendas for meetings shall include declarations of interest as a standing item.

Quorum

14. The quorum for a meeting of the Board will be three Commissioners including the Chair or Senior Independent Director. Commissioners participating via telephone or video conferencing shall be deemed to be present at that meeting.

15. If a Commissioner has been disqualified from participating in a discussion or resolution to be taken about any matter by reason of the declaration of a conflict of interest, he/she shall no longer count towards the quorum. If a quorum is then not available for the discussion or resolution to be taken about any matter, that matter may not be subject to a decision. The minutes of the meeting shall record such a situation.

Record of attendance

16. The names of all Commissioners present at a meeting of the Board shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Chairing of meetings

17. If the Chair is not present at a meeting, those Commissioners present will appoint one of their number to chair that meeting.

18. The Chair determines the detailed procedure for the conduct of business at meetings of the Board and the Chair’s decision on questions of order will be observed at the meeting, subject to these provisions and to any decision of the Board to the contrary.

Voting

19. Wherever possible, the Board will reach a consensus on a matter under consideration. Where there is a consensus, there is no need for a vote to be carried out.

20. Exceptionally, where there is not a consensus, the matter shall be determined by a majority of the Commissioners present. A Commissioner absent at the time of the vote may not vote by proxy. In the event of an equality of votes, the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.

21. The procedure for voting shall be a matter for the Chair at the meeting, subject to any decision of a majority of the Board to the contrary, including:

Adjournment

22. Any meeting of the Board may be adjourned from time to time and from place to place at the discretion of the Chair. Reasonable notice shall be given where practical of the date and time of the reconvening of the adjourned meeting, save that where a meeting has been adjourned for 30 days or more, notice of the reconvening of the adjourned meeting shall be given as for an ordinary meeting of the Board.

Minutes

23. Minutes of the meetings of the Board will be published on the Commission’s website, subject to the deletion of material the disclosure of which would be inappropriate. Examples of such material include: market sensitive information; information that is subject to a duty of confidentiality; information which could hinder the performance of the Commission; and information about individuals such as Commissioners, or the employees of the Commission, or individual operating or personal licence holders.

Urgent business

24. Urgent business is deemed to be any matter requiring a decision of the Board before the date when an ordinary or extraordinary meeting of the Board can be convened. In such cases the Chief Executive should take all practicable steps to consult with the Chair and as many other Commissioners as the Chief Executive considers appropriate (and if at all possible no fewer than four Commissioners).

The Chief Executive should seek Commissioners’ views as to:

25. The Chief Executive should decide in the light of Commissioners’ views what action to take, notify as many Commissioners as practicable of the proposed action and allow as much time as he/she considers reasonable in the circumstances for Commissioners to comment on the proposals. He/she should then act as is considered appropriate.

26. The exercise of such powers shall be reported to the next meeting of the Board which will consider whether further action is required.

Non-contentious business

27. If in the opinion of the Chair and the Chief Executive any matter requiring a decision of the Board is unlikely to be contentious, the Chief Executive, or a nominated officer acting on his/her behalf, may give notice of a proposed resolution, together with any necessary explanation and information, to all Commissioners of the Board by way of email to his/her notified email addresses.

28. A resolution under paragraph 27 shall be valid and effective without a meeting of the Board provided that by the end of the sixth working day following the day on which notice was sent, no Commissioner of the Board who would be entitled to attend and vote on the matter at a meeting has indicated dissent. In the event of such dissent, the matter shall be referred to the next meeting of the Board for decision.

29. Such a resolution shall be reported in the next available minutes of the Board as having been made on the last day of the period referred to in paragraph 27.

Committees

30. The Board has appointed four advisory committees:

These committees operate according to agreed terms of reference, which are reviewed annually by the Board.

31. The Board has also established a committee, which will exercise certain regulatory functions under the Gambling Act 2005 (the Regulatory Panel) and the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 (opens in new tab).

32. The Board may from time to time establish other committees and panels.

33. The appointment of Commissioners and employees to committees and advisory groups shall be a matter for the Chair, and effective following the approval of the Board (except where an advisory group is established by the Chair).

34. Dates and venues of committee meetings shall be set in advance and notified to all Commissioners. Such meetings shall be known as ordinary committee meetings. An extraordinary committee meeting may be called at any time by the Chair of the committee. Details of all business to be transacted at committee meetings shall be sent to any Commissioner of the Board who has specifically requested them. Any Board Commissioner shall be entitled to attend any committee meeting of which he/she is not a Commissioner as an observer.

35. The Chair of any committee shall report the minutes of committee meetings to the next appropriate meeting of the Board.

Declaration of interests

36. Commissioners must declare any involvement in any personal or business interests which may conflict with his/her responsibilities as Commissioners of the Commission and ensure that he/she complies with the Commission’s rules on: links with individuals or organisations with which the Commission conducts business; shareholdings and other private investments; and gaming club membership and gambling.

37. Commissioners must declare any such interests to the Head of Governance (who will maintain the register of interests) as soon as he/she is aware of them (and in any event within 14 days of becoming so aware) and discuss any concerns about potential conflicts with the Chair or Chief Executive.

38. A Commissioner should also disclose any such interests of which he/she is aware of close family members (which includes partners and dependants). He/she should also consider whether there is a need to disclose relevant interests, known to them, of any other persons or organisations which members of the public might reasonably think could influence his/her judgement.

39. Commissioners should not participate in the discussion or determination of any matters in which he/she has a direct significant pecuniary interest. When an interest is not of a direct pecuniary kind, he/she should consider whether his/her participation in the discussion or determination of a matter might reasonably be considered to suggest any risk of bias, in the sense that Commissioners might, unwittingly or otherwise, unfairly regard with favour or disfavour the case of a party to the matter under consideration.

40. In considering whether any danger of bias might be perceived to exist, Commissioners should assess whether he/she, a close family member, a firm, business or organisation with which he/she is connected is likely to be affected more than the generality of those affected by the decision in question. Where a Commissioner declares a possible conflict arising from an indirect interest, it will be for the Commissioners at the meeting to determine whether that conflict is sufficient to require the Commissioner to withdraw from the meeting for that item.

41. Where, in accordance with the above, a Commissioner does not participate in a discussion, he/she will normally withdraw from that part of the meeting. This is because the continued presence of someone who has declared a direct interest, or who was deemed to have an indirect interest, might be thought likely to influence the judgement of the other Commissioners.

Appendix 3 – Anti-fraud and corruption policy

Introduction

1. The Gambling Commission requires all employees to act honestly and with integrity at all times, and to safeguard the resources for which he/she is responsible. The Commission is committed to ensuring that opportunities for fraud and corruption are reduced to the lowest possible level of risk and will not accept any level of fraud, corruption, or other criminal activity. Consequently, any suspected irregularity will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with appropriately.

2. The Commission’s policy is to report all suspected fraud and corruption to the police. The Commission will follow police advice and support police investigations where the police choose to be involved. If the police do not choose to pursue a case, the Commission will take appropriate action on its own account in line with its response plan in Annex A.

What is fraud and corruption?

3. The Fraud Act 2006 (opens in new tab) introduces a statutory single offence of fraud which can be committed in three different ways:

For practical purposes fraud can be defined as dishonest conduct with the intention to make gain, cause a loss, or cause the risk of a loss to another.

4. Existing offences such as theft, corruption, false accounting, forgery, counterfeiting and blackmail continue to be offences under previous relevant legislation.

5. ‘Corruption’ is defined as the offering, giving, soliciting, or acceptance of an inducement or reward which may influence any person to act inappropriately. Employees should be aware that they may be exposed to corrupt activity in a variety of ways, for example the offer of bribes, coercion, blackmail and false accounting. The nature of the Commission’s work means that employees need to be aware of the risk of allegations of corruption and for this reason the Commission has strict rules for giving and receiving any hospitality and gifts. These are set out in the Code of Conduct for Commissioners in Appendix 8 and the Code of Conduct for Employees.

6. The Bribery Act 2010 (opens in new tab) creates four principal offences:

There is a defence if an organisation can prove it has adequate procedures to prevent bribery. Penalties associated with these offences are severe and include penalties for management who turn a blind eye.

Avenues for reporting fraud

7. The Commission has avenues in place for reporting suspicions of fraud. The detailed response plan is in Annex A. Employees should report any such suspicions in the first instance to their resource manager, or, if that is not appropriate, directly to the Chief Finance Officer, the Chief Executive, to any member of the Commission’s Audit and Risk Committee, a Commissioner or to the Internal Auditors.

8. All matters will be dealt with in confidence and in strict accordance with the terms of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (opens in new tab), which protects the legitimate personal interests of employees. Vigorous and prompt investigations will be carried out into all cases of actual or suspected fraud discovered or reported. Those reporting suspicions of fraud may be required as witnesses in any criminal proceedings.

Responsibilities

9. Guidance to Non-Departmental Public Bodies in relation to fraud are set out in chapter 5 of Government Accounting.

The Accounting Officer and Chief Finance Officer

10 The Chief Executive, as Accounting Officer, is responsible for establishing and maintaining a sound system of internal control that supports the achievement of Commission policies, aims and objectives. The system of internal control is designed to respond to and manage the whole range of risks that the Commission faces. The system of internal control is designed to identify the principal risks facing the Commission at organisational and departmental level, to evaluate the nature and extent of those risks and to manage them effectively. Managing fraud risk is seen in the context of the management of this wider range of risks.

11 Overall responsibility for managing the risk of fraud and corruption within the Commission has been delegated to the Chief Finance Officer.

The responsibilities of the Chief Finance Officer role include:

12 Managers are responsible for:

13 Internal Audit is responsible for:

14 Every employee is responsible for:

Fraud and corruption response plan

15. The Commission has a Fraud and corruption response plan that sets out how to report suspicions, and how investigations will be conducted and concluded. This plan forms part of this policy in Annex A.

Conclusion

16. The circumstances of individual frauds and corrupt activities will vary. The Commission takes fraud and corruption very seriously. All cases of actual or suspected fraud will be vigorously and promptly investigated and appropriate action will be taken, including referral to the police.

Annex A: Fraud and corruption response plan

Introduction

1. The Gambling Commission has developed this plan to support its Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy. The plan sets out how employees should report suspicions of fraud, and how investigations will be conducted and concluded.

2. Given the nature of the Commission’s functions, and with consistent application by management and employees of the designated systems of internal control and management practices, the risk of fraud occurring within the Commission is considered to be low. Complacency should be avoided and it is important for all employees to remain vigilant in addressing this risk. However, such vigilance should be kept in perspective, and not lead to the creation of an unproductive climate of suspicion in the workplace.

3. The Commission considers that there is a higher risk of corrupt practices, or the perception of corrupt practices, given the nature of its activities. For this reason, the Commission has strict rules governing the receipt and giving of gifts and hospitality. These rules are set out in the Employee and Commissioner Codes of Conduct. The underlying presumption is that employees should not accept hospitality from operators or potential operators or from significant contractors or potential contractors.

4. This response plan has been tailored to the Commission’s circumstances and reflects the likely nature and scale of losses which may occur through fraud and corruption.

Identifying fraud and corruption

5. More than half of all fraud and corruption is identified through the operation of normal system controls which exist within an organisation and information from third parties typically accounts for another 30 percent of proven cases. Other means of discovery include accident, internal and external audit, confession, employee changes and suspicion.

6. There is a range of warning signs which may lead to an initial suspicion that fraud or corruption may be taking place. Although the following list is not comprehensive, these signs include employees who:

Action required at the point of discovery

7. In the event that employees discover, or have suspicions that fraud or corruption is occurring within the Commission, they should immediately inform their resource manager in the first instance.

Failing that, Chief Finance Officer, the Chief Executive, a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, a Commissioner, or the Internal Auditors, in accordance with the procedures specified in the Commission’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy should be informed. The Public Interest Disclosure Policy is set out in Appendix 4 of the Corporate Governance Framework.

8. It is important that the employee who has identified the suspected fraud or corruption does not take any action which may forewarn the alleged perpetrator. Instead, efforts should be directed, in conjunction with the appropriate development manager, towards ensuring that any readily available evidential material is secured for the investigation process. Under no circumstances should the employee attempt to investigate the suspected fraud or corruption personally.

Investigation

9. The Chief Executive, as Accounting Officer will decide how the investigation of the suspected fraud will proceed. The Chief People Officer will normally be informed of any such investigation involving Commission employees.

The investigation process will include:

Securing evidence

10. Resource managers should, following information from an employee or other source about suspicious activity, take immediate steps to secure any available evidence which is considered to substantiate the alleged fraud or corruption. Where possible, advice should be taken from the Commission’s legal advisers on procedures to preserve that evidence for any potential legal proceedings. The gathering of any additional evidence should only be undertaken with the advice and agreement of the investigator.

11. In order to secure the evidence in a legally admissible form consideration should first be given to photographing the relevant documents in the location where found. Thereafter they should be preserved in their original state, as they may need to be fingerprinted or otherwise tested, and stored in a secure place. A record should be maintained of precisely where, when and by whom they were found and of anyone handling the evidence.

Dealing with employees under suspicion

12. It is important to ensure that any employee(s) under suspicion of committing fraud or corruption are treated fairly. Any action taken by management to suspend or dismiss an employee in this situation will only be taken in conjunction with the Chief People Officer and Director of Legal. If the decision is made to allow the employee(s) under suspicion to remain in the workplace, additional pre-authorised checks may be necessary, including, for example, a search of the work area, filing cabinets and computer files.

Interviewing employees under suspicion

13. If the police have decided to pursue an investigation, they must be involved at an early stage in accordance with this policy and they will make any decisions regarding interviews. Otherwise, the decision to interview any employee(s) under suspicion of committing fraud is to be made by a Director or Executive Director.

14. Any such interviews must be conducted under the provisions of Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (opens in new tab) and under properly controlled conditions in order to ensure that any statement taken, which may be subsequently used as evidence in a court case, will not be rejected as inadmissible. The investigator will be responsible for ensuring the appropriate guidelines and codes of conduct are followed in interviewing suspects.

Recovery of the assets

15. The Commission will seek to recover all assets lost or misappropriated as a result of fraud, theft or corruption. The process of recovery will depend upon the nature and circumstances surrounding the loss, and whether the fraud results in criminal charges.

16. Once the size and extent of the loss has been confirmed, action will be taken to trace and freeze the lost assets, where possible, so that the recovery process can be commenced. The recovery process may take several forms:

17. Recovery arrangements agreed with third parties will be handled by the Commission’s legal advisers.

Contacts for advice and guidance

18. The following will be contacted for advice as appropriate.

Contacts for advice and guidance.
Advisor Name Contact details
Head of Legal Razwana Kausar rkausar@gamblingcommission.gov.uk
Finance Director Helen Gibson hgibson@gamblingcommission.gov.uk
Police Head of Economic Crime Unit 0845 113 5000
Internal audit Ben Connor (PWC) benjamin.e.connor@pwc.com
National Audit Office Robert Buysman robert.buysman@nao.org.uk

Communications

19. All internal and external communications about any event covered by this policy being investigated internally will be handled by the Commission’s Corporate Affairs team. Given the sensitivity surrounding such events and the need to ensure consistency in the release of any information about the event, the Corporate Affairs team will deal directly with the media if necessary, taking advice from Commission’s legal advisers (and the police where they are involved) as to what information can be released, and in what form.

Applying the lessons learnt

20. The Commission is committed to ensuring that the threat of fraud and corruption is properly managed through the implementation and application of sound systems of internal control and supporting employee management processes.

21. In the event that fraud or corruption is discovered and subsequently acted upon by the police or internally, the Commission will take steps to ensure the lessons learnt from the event are applied to existing policies and practices. This may require:

22. In addition, the dissemination of the lessons learnt from a particular fraud event will provide a valuable learning opportunity for the Commission as a whole.

Reporting losses

23. The Agreements between DCMS and the Commission set out the requirements for Fraud and Theft Reporting. All losses resulting from frauds and/or thefts are to be recorded and reported in an annual return to DCMS by 30 April of each year.

24. The details of losses experienced by Non-Departmental Public Bodies through fraud and/or theft are incorporated in DCMS’s annual return to Treasury.

Appendix 4 – Speak Up (Whistleblowing) policy

Speak Up (Whistleblowing) policy

Foreword from the Chair and CEO

The Board and the Executive want Gambling Commission employees to speak up whenever they have concerns about something they see or hear at work. Not only is speaking up OK, but it is something we actively welcome.

We know speaking up can feel difficult to do, so we have set out this policy to explain how to do it.

Marcus Boyle, Chair and Andrew Rhodes, CEO.

1. Introduction

Anyone can have concerns about things that are happening at work. Usually, these concerns can be easily resolved. If concerns are not dealt with or when they relate to serious issues like possible unlawful conduct, fraud, risks to the public or the environment, or other malpractice, it can be difficult to know what to do.

People in this situation may worry about reporting their concerns. This could be because the concern is only a suspicion or because they feel it is ‘none of their business’. They may feel that they are being disloyal to colleagues or to the Commission. They may also have concerns about being branded a troublemaker or worry about their job security or prospects.

These fears are understandable but unnecessary. The Commission welcomes people raising concerns. This policy is intended to give you information about the protections offered by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) and the process you can use to speak up.

2. Policy Statement

You can raise a concern at any time. You can speak up about conduct or an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or you believe will happen.

We will treat all concerns sensitively. We will endeavour to keep your concern confidential, but we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality in circumstances where that would hamper our ability to properly investigate the issue you raise.

Concerns raised under this policy are protected disclosures. This means that the Commission will not tolerate the detrimental treatment of anyone because they have raised a concern under this policy. As long as you are acting in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest, it does not matter if it turns out you were mistaken.

This policy does not replace our Grievance policy. You should read the Grievance policy to understand if your concern is of ‘public interest’ (dealt with under this policy), or a ‘private’ concern relating to your own treatment (usually more suitable for the grievance policy).

How to speak up

Take the following steps to speak up:

Raise your concern with your manager. You can do this verbally or in writing.

If you do not feel able to go to your manager, for whatever reason, you can raise your concern with:

If your concern relates to a member or members of the Executive Team, including the CEO you can raise the concern directly with a Commissioner or the Chair.

If your concern relates to a Commissioner you can raise the concern directly with the Chair or CEO.

If your concern relates to the Chair, you can raise the concern directly with the Senior Independent Director (SID) or our sponsor body, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

You can speak to an adviser using the confidential Dignity at Work hotline (which is run by a separate company on behalf of the Commission) for support on how to report and escalate a concern.

What happens next

The person you have raised your concern with will take appropriate action. This is likely to involve taking advice from relevant Commission teams, for instance, People Services, Finance, Governance or Legal. You may be asked how you think the matter should be resolved.

The person you have raised your concern with must notify the Head of Governance that a disclosure has been made to ensure it can be recorded.

If you have asked for a written response, we will write to you within 10 working days of the date you raised your concern. We will summarise your concern and set out how we propose to handle it. We will tell you who is dealing with the matter, the expected timeline of the process, and outline whether your further assistance may be needed.

If we decide that a formal investigation is needed, it will normally be the responsibility of the Executive Director of People Services or the Head of Governance to make the appropriate arrangements. The Commission may, where appropriate, appoint an external body to investigate and report their findings to the Commission. The Commission remains responsible for receiving the report, deciding on the action to be taken, and reporting the decision and outcome.

If you have asked to be kept informed, we will give you as much feedback as we can. We may not be able to tell you the precise action we take or provide full details of the investigation where this would infringe on a duty of confidence owed by us to someone else or undermine our regulatory functions.

What to do if you are unhappy with the outcome

If you are unhappy with our response or with the outcome of speaking up, you can write to the Chair of the Board or the SID. If the response came from the Chair or SID, you can contact DCMS.

You are encouraged to escalate your concerns as soon as possible after we tell you what action has been taken. It is helpful to explain why you are unhappy with the result, and what action you think should be taken.

The Chair or SID will consider your concerns. They will confirm how the matter will be taken forward, and the expected timeline for response. The outcome will be confirmed to you in writing. While we cannot guarantee that we will respond to all concerns in the way that you might wish, we will handle the matter fairly and properly.

3. Scope

The Speak Up policy applies to employees of the Commission or agency workers temporarily working at the Commission. It can be used to report a concern which threatens the interests of any person or the Commission.

Concerns relating to interpersonal behaviour, like workplace bullying, may fall in scope of this policy or you may be directed to the Dignity at Work policy and Grievance policy. This will depend on the behaviour and its context. The protections of this policy will still apply to your initial disclosure even if it is handled under a different policy.

Anonymous disclosures are not in scope of this policy. We will still consider anonymous reports, but we cannot offer the full protection of this policy to those who do not identify themselves. If you do not tell us who you are, it is much more difficult for us to look into the matter, protect your position, or give you feedback.

This policy does not apply to anyone found to have maliciously made allegations they know to be untrue. To do so may lead to disciplinary action.

Whistleblowing disclosures about organisations or individuals we regulate, or other third-party organisations are not covered by this policy. The Gambling Commission is not a prescribed body under the PIDA legislation. We will manage information received by individuals whistleblowing within the industry using the principles of a prescribed body and all information will be treated in confidence. These disclosures can be made to our Intelligence Team on 0121 230 6655.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

The Board of Commissioners own this policy.

The Accounting Officer is responsible for ensuring this policy is applied effectively.

The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) is responsible for scrutinising reporting of disclosures and tracking action taken as a result.

All employees are responsible for understanding their responsibilities in the event that a disclosure is made to them.

The Head of Governance is responsible for:

5. Advice and guidance

If you are still unsure whether to use this procedure, you can get independent legal advice through Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work). Protect are an independent charity and a leading authority on public interest disclosures. They can be contacted on 020 3117 2520 and through the Protect website (opens in new tab).

A qualifying disclosure is protected if you make it as part of getting legal advice. You should seek an appointment with a reputable legal adviser.

Further information is contained within the Guide to the Public Interest Disclosure Act (opens in new tab) available on Protect’s website.

For further information about this policy or how to use it, please contact the Director of People Services or the Head of Governance.

The Board champion for this policy is the Senior Independent Director.

There is a factsheet and FAQ document that sit alongside this policy.

6. Policy Review

Planned for annual review, with the option of more frequent revisions if deemed essential.

Next review date due February 2025.

7. Version History

Version history record.
Version Author and/or reviewer Date Description of change
1 Head of Governance September 2023 Creation of Document
2 Board of Commissioners February 2024 Approval of Board

Appendix 5 – Complaints policy

The complaints policy is published within the policies and procedures section of our publication scheme.

Appendix 6 – Delegation of licensing and regulatory decisions in respect of gambling

Delegation of powers pursuant to paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 to the Gambling Act 2005 (as amended)

1. The Gambling Commission hereby establishes a Committee of Commissioners, on which any Commissioner may sit, to be known as the Regulatory Panel.

2. The quorum for conduct of any business by the Regulatory Panel shall be two Commissioners, although normally the Panel will comprise three Commissioners.

3. Meetings of the Regulatory Panel or hearings before an Executive Director may be conducted by telephone or video conference.

4. The Chair of the Commission shall, if present, preside at all meetings of the Regulatory Panel. If the Chair is not to be present, they may designate a Commissioner to chair the meeting. If there has been no such prior designation the Commissioners present at the meeting shall elect a Chair for the duration of the meeting.

5. The Chief Executive may designate such staff as they consider appropriate to attend meetings of the Regulatory Panel or hearings before an Executive Director to assist or advise the decision makers, but those staff may not take part in the decision making process of the Regulatory Panel or Executive Director.

6. Subject to the provisions of the following two paragraphs, the Commission hereby delegates the powers and functions annexed hereto, to the persons respectively. Any other decisions to grant a licence or take regulatory action which are not otherwise specifically delegated under this resolution are hereby delegated to the Chief Executive or an Executive Director (for the purposes of delegated decision making the term ‘Executive Director’ includes the Commission’s General Counsel).

7. Where it is considered appropriate by the Chair, or any Commissioner, or the Chief Executive, or a member of staff nominated in the annexed section, a case may be referred to a more senior member of staff or the Regulatory Panel who will determine that case instead of the persons otherwise delegated to carry out that function.

8. These arrangements shall supersede all previous delegation arrangements hitherto authorised by the Commission.

Delegations of functions under the Gambling Act 2005 (the 2005 Act)

Licensing decisions: grant or refusal of applications for licenses

Function

Determination of applications for operating or personal licences under section 69 of the Gambling 2005 Act (opens in a new tab), including the attachment of any condition under section 77 required to define the category of operating licence but subject to what is said in the following as to licensee specific conditions.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

Assistant Regulatory Caseworkers or above may grant applications for personal functional licences, where there are no issues to be resolved about the suitability of the applicant or where the applicant has previously held an operating or personal licence under section 69 of the 2005 Act and there are no issues to be resolved about the suitability of the applicant.

Regulatory Caseworkers or above may grant applications for non-remote operating licences and remote licences, ancillary remote licences and linked licences (remote and non-remote), and personal management and functional licences where no issues have been identified or where any issues have been satisfactorily resolved.

A Regulatory Manager or above may grant an application for an operating licence or a personal licence, except for applications that are reserved to, or referred to the Regulatory Panel for consideration.

Minded to refuse cases: Where the conclusion of staff is that an application should be refused a 'minded to refuse' letter will be sent to the applicant.

Where, in response to such a letter, the applicant for a personal licence requests a hearing, this will be before an Executive Director, who will determine the case, otherwise a Regulatory Manager or above may decide to refuse the application.

Where, in response to such a letter, the applicant for an operating licence requests a hearing, this will be before a Regulatory Panel, the Panel will determine the case, otherwise a Regulatory Manager or above may decide to refuse the application.

Function

Imposition of a condition attached to a licence under section 77 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) (including that section applied by section 128) specific to the licensee.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Regulatory Manager or above may decide to attach a condition to a licence.

Where the conclusion of staff is that an application should be granted with a condition, a ‘minded to grant with condition’ letter will be sent to the applicant.

Where, in response to such a letter, the applicant for a personal licence requests a hearing, this will be before an Executive Director who will determine the case, otherwise a Regulatory Manager or above may decide to attach the condition.

Where, in response to such a letter, the applicant for an operating licence requests a hearing, this will be before a Regulatory Panel who will determine the case, otherwise a Regulatory Manager or above may decide to attach the condition.

Licensing: continuance applications

Function

Determining an application under section 102(2)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) that the operating licence shall continue to have effect following a change of corporate control; or alternatively that the licence should be revoked.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

Continuance:

Regulatory Caseworkers and above where no issues have been identified or where issues have been satisfactorily resolved may grant an application.

A Regulatory Manager or above may consider an application where issues remain unresolved.

Revocations: Where the conclusion of staff is that the licence should be revoked a 'minded to revoke’ letter will be sent to the licence holder.

Where, in response to such a letter, the licence holder requests a hearing before the Regulatory Panel, the Panel will determine the case, otherwise a Regulatory Manager or above may decide to revoke the licence.

Function

Determination of a request that the five-week period under section 102(5) should be extended after it expires under section 102(6)(b).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Regulatory Manager or above may grant requests.

Revocations: Where the conclusion of staff is that the request should be refused and the licence revokes under section 102(5) a ‘minded to revoke’ letter will be sent to the licence holder.

Where, in response to such a letter, the licence holder requests a hearing, this will be before an Executive Director who will determine the case, otherwise a Senior Manager or above may take the decision.

Licensing: variation applications

Function

Determination of an application to vary a licence under section 104 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) (including personal licence).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

Applications made under sub-section (1)(a) (add, amend, remove a licensed activity) may be determined by the person delegated to grant applications for licences as set out previously. In addition, Assistant Regulatory Caseworkers or above may determine applications made under sub-section (1)(b) (amend another detail of the licence).

A Regulatory Manager or above may determine an application falling under sub-section (1)(c) (add, amend, remove a condition attached under section 77).

Minded to refuse cases: Where the conclusion of staff is that an application should be refused a 'minded to refuse' letter will be sent to the applicant.

Where, in response to such a letter, the applicant requests a hearing before the Regulatory Panel, the Panel will determine the case, otherwise a Regulatory Manager or above may decide to refuse the application.

Licensing: single-machine supply and maintenance permit applications

Function

Determination of an application for a single-machine supply and maintenance permit under section 250 of the Gambling Act (opens in a new tab).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

Assistant Regulatory Caseworkers or above may grant applications for a single machine permit, where there are no issues to be resolved about the suitability of the applicant or where the applicant has not previously been issued with a single machine permit and there are no issues to be resolved about the applicant.

Regulatory Managers or above may grant applications for a single machine permit where no issues have been identified or where any issues have been satisfactorily resolved or where the applicant has previously been issued with a single machine permit.

Minded to reject cases: Where the conclusion of staff is that an application should be rejected a 'minded to reject' letter will be sent to the applicant. Where, in response to such a letter, the applicant makes representations, if the representations are such that the application can be granted, a Regulatory Manager or above may grant the application. If the representations are such that the application may still be rejected, these will be put before an Executive Director, who will determine the case, otherwise a Regulatory Manager or above may decide to reject the application.

Licensing: administrative suspensions and/or revocations

Function

Deciding whether an operating or personal licence should be suspended under section 118(3) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) on the grounds that: the licensee has failed to comply with a requirement of regulations under section 101 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) (notification of change of circumstances); or the licensee has failed to submit the licence to the Gambling Commission for amendment in accordance with section 105 (amendment) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision.

Function

Deciding whether an operating or personal licence should be revoked under section 119(2) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) on the grounds that: the licensee has failed to comply with a requirement of regulations under section 101 (notification of change of circumstances); or the licensee has failed to submit the licence to the Commission for amendment in accordance with section 105 (amendment).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

Where the conclusion of staff is that a licence should be revoked, a 'minded to revoke’ letter will be sent to the licence holder.

Where, in response to such a letter, the licence holder requests a hearing before the Regulatory Panel, the Panel will determine the case, otherwise a Director and/or Head of Function or above may decide to revoke the licence.

Licensing: annual fees

Function

Decision to disapply section 119(3) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) (otherwise automatic revocation for non-payment of annual licence fee).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Regulatory Manager or above may take the decision.

Regulatory decisions: lapse

Function

Deciding whether an operating licence or personal licence has lapsed on the grounds that the licensee is incapable of carrying on the licensed activities by reason of mental or physical incapacity per section 114(1)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

Where staff reach a provisional view that the licensee is incapable of carrying on the licensed activities by reason of mental or physical incapacity a notice to that effect shall be sent to the licensee.

Where, in response to such a notice, the licensee requests a hearing before the Regulatory Panel, the Panel will determine the case, otherwise a Director and/or Head of Function or above may decide that the licence has lapsed.

Regulatory decisions: deciding to conduct a licence review

Function

Institution of licence reviews under section 116(1) or 116(2) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Senior Manager or above may decide that a licence review should be commenced.

Function

Suspension of licences at the time of deciding to conduct, or during the course of a review, under section 118(2) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab), on the grounds that the Commission suspects that any of the conditions specified in section 120(1) of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) applies.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision to suspend a licence.

The Regulatory Panel may review the decision to suspend the licence.

Decisions following a review of an operating or personal licence

Function

Deciding whether or not to:

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

Where the conclusion of staff is that the Commission should exercise its powers under section 117 of the Gambling Act 2005, a 'minded to’ letter will be sent to the licence holder to inform them of that preliminary conclusion.

Where, in response to such a letter, the personal licence holder requests a hearing, this will be before an Executive Director who will determine the case, otherwise a Senior Manager or above may take the decision.

Where, in response to such letter, the operating licence holder requests a hearing, this will be before a Regulatory Panel, the Panel will determine the case, otherwise a Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision or a Senior Manager or above may take the decision to the issue a warning, attach, remove or amend a condition.

Function

Deciding to revoke a licence following a review requested by the Horserace Betting Levy Board under the Gambling Act 2005 (Horserace Betting Levy) Order 2007 (opens in new tab)

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Senior Manager or above may take the decision.

Other decisions

Function

Imposing a financial penalty under section 121 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) without a licence review.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision.

Function

Deciding to disapply the stay pending appeal under section 145 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision to disapply the stay pending appeal.

The Regulatory Panel may review the decision to disapply the stay in respect of operating licences.

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may review the decision to disapply the stay in respect of personal licences.

Function

Agreeing regulatory settlements, including payments in lieu of a financial penalty.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

An Executive Director or above may take the decision

Voiding decisions

Function

Deciding whether to make an order under section 336 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) to void a bet.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

An Executive Director or above may take the decision.

Function

Deciding whether to make an order under section 338 of the Gambling Act 2005 (interim moratorium) (opens in a new tab), to extend the period of moratorium under any such order or to cancel such an order.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

An Executive Director or above may take the decision.

Decisions in relation to premises licence applications

Function

Deciding whether to exercise the right under section 161 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) to make representations on a premises licence application.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision.

Function

Deciding whether to exercise the power under section 197 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) to seek a review of a premises licence.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision.

Function

Deciding whether to exercise the power under section 221 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab) to give notice of objection to a temporary use notice.

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

A Director and/or Head of Function or above may take the decision.

Prosecution decisions

Function

Deciding whether to prosecute or caution a person for an offence under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab).

Person to whom the function is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested

An Executive Director or above may take the decision.

Appendix A: Delegation of decisions of the Gambling Commission as a competent authority under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 (as amended) (the Regulations)

Delegation of powers pursuant to paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 to the Gambling Act 2005 (as amended)

1. Subject to the provisions of the following paragraph, the Commission hereby delegates the powers and functions set out in the following table to the persons nominated. In the table the term ‘Executive Director’ includes the Commission’s General Counsel.

2. Where it is considered appropriate by the Chief Executive, or a member of staff nominated in the following table, a case may be referred to a more senior member of staff or the Commission’s Regulatory Panel who will determine the matter instead of the person otherwise delegated to carry out the particular function.

Delegation of functions under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulation 2015 (as amended)

Function

Approval of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) applicant as an ADR entity under regulation 9 of the Regulations.

Person to whom the function is delegated

A Senior Manager or above.

Function

Review of information provided to the Commission by an ADR entity pursuant to regulation 11(3) of the Regulations.

Person to whom the function is delegated

A Senior Manager or above.

Function

A decision to give an ADR entity notice pursuant to regulation 13(1) of the Regulations.

Person to whom the function is delegated

A Senior Manager or above.

Function

Withdrawal of the approval of an ADR entity pursuant to regulation 13(3) of the Regulations.

Person to whom the function is delegated

An Executive Director or above.

Appendix 7 – Financial regulations and delegations

Introduction

1. To conduct its business efficiently, the Gambling Commission (the Commission) needs to ensure that it has sound financial management policies in place to which the organisation strictly adheres. Part of this process is the establishment of these financial regulations that set out the high level financial policies of the Commission. It is the responsibility of the Accounting Officer (AO) to ensure the organisation has sound financial management policies.

2. The financial regulations have been prepared with reference to the relevant agreements between the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) (opens in new tab) and the Commission. It should be noted that, as a public body, the Commission currently has to operate in accordance with government and Treasury guidance on accounting and financial control procedures.

3. These financial regulations are supported by detailed financial procedures which set out the day to day operation of finance activities.

Financial planning

4. The Commission shall ensure the ongoing solvency of the organisation and that sufficient levels of reserves are maintained.

5. The Commission shall set and agree a budget annually before the beginning of the next financial year. This budget will reflect the corporate and business plan objectives and enable their delivery.

6. The annual budget includes estimates of income, revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, reserves, cash flow forecasting and any representations to be made to DCMS in respect of the fee level. Indicative budgets and a financial plan will be projected for the following two financial years to support medium-term planning.

Budgetary control

7. The Chief Executive shall ensure there is an effective budget monitoring process in place.

8. The AO delegates budget to Executive budget holders who must operate within this budget subject to the rules on virement. In the event of a change in circumstances the Board and AO will consult with Executive budget holders to ensure the Commission operates within the net original budget or agree any variance with DCMS. Any variations will supersede the original budget.

9. The inclusion of items in approved annual revenue or capital budgets shall constitute authority to incur such expenditure, unless the Commission has placed a reservation on such items. In such circumstances expenditure cannot be incurred until such a reservation is removed. In all cases expenditure must comply with procurement regulations.

10. Amounts provided for specific activities cannot be diverted to other purposes except as agreed under the virement delegations.

Changes to the annual budget

11. During the course of a financial year, some original budget estimates will need to be amended to reflect changes in circumstances. Changes must be authorised as set out by the rules on virements within the Budgetary Control policy.

Financial reporting

12. The Board shall approve the Annual Financial Statements for signing by the Chief Executive.

13. The Board shall receive regular summary reports on the finances of the organisation.

14. Executive Group shall regularly receive and review the management accounts.

External audit

15. Under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab), the Commission’s accounts are subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The Comptroller and Auditor General has arranged for the National Audit Office (NAO) to conduct the Commission’s audit on their behalf.

Internal audit

16. An independent internal audit service shall be secured to carry out an examination of accounting, financial and other operations of the Commission on a regular cycle, in accordance with standards set out in the Government Internal Audit Manual.

17. Internal auditors will be selected and appointed by the Audit and Risk Committee in compliance with the Commission’s procurement procedures. Currently the Commission’s internal audit is supplied by the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA). PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Accounting

18. The Commission maintains proper accounting records and produces financial statements in accordance with any directions issued by the Secretary of State and Government Accounting guidance (namely the Government Financial Reporting Manual, Managing Public Money, Accounts Directive and Accounting Standards issued or adopted by the Accounting Standards Board, Dear Accounting Officer letters and any other relevant guidance issued by Treasury).

19. As Accounting Officer, the Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring compliance with this, and may delegate the task to other employees as appropriate.

20. Controls, checks and balances will be put in place when designing financial procedures, to reduce the risk of error and fraud consistent with the Commission’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy.

21. The Chief Executive is responsible for determining accounting policies and ensuring that they are applied consistently.

22. The Chief Executive is responsible for determining the accounting procedures and records for the Commission.

23. The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that the annual financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Accounts Direction and the requirements of Government Accounting.

Risk management

24. The Commission will ensure that an appropriate system of risk management is in place and regularly reviewed. The Audit and Risk Committee will be responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of the system.

Preventing fraud and corruption

25. The Commission has a policy in place for preventing fraud and corruption.

26. Commissioners and employees shall comply with this policy.

27. It is an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889-1916, for Commissioners or employees to corruptly accept any gifts or consideration as an inducement or reward for doing, or refraining from doing, anything in his or her official capacity, or showing favour or disfavour to any person in his or her official capacity.

In addition, the Bribery Act 2010 (opens in new tab) creates four principal offences:

Treasury management and banking

28. The Commission shall establish and approve a treasury management policy.

29. The Chief Executive has delegated responsibility for implementing and monitoring the policy, and for recommending the treasury management strategy to the Commission.

30. The Chief Executive controls all money in the hands of the Commission and all decisions on borrowing, investment or financing shall be delegated to the Chief Executive, acting in accordance with the treasury management policy statement and the treasury management strategy.

Banking and cash

31. The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that the Commission’s banking arrangements are in accordance with the requirements of Government Accounting. 32. The opening of all new bank accounts, and nomination of authorised signatories, can only be undertaken following the specific authority of the Board of Commissioners.

33. The Chief Executive has delegated responsibility for opening any bank account in the name of the Commission.

34. The banking arrangements of the Commission shall be reviewed at regular intervals of approximately three years.

35. The Chief Executive must advise the bankers in writing of the conditions under which the accounts are to be operated.

Procurement

36. All purchases made by the Commission will take into account the need to secure value for money and exercise propriety when expending Commission resources. This will include competitive and transparent tendering procedures at appropriate levels of expenditure.

37. The Commission delegates the establishment of procurement procedures to the Chief Executive who should ensure that such procedures are operated effectively and reviewed periodically.

38. Goods and services procured must be for the purposes and within the financial limits set out in the Annual Budget and Corporate Plan.

Authorisation levels

39.Commitment of expenditure of £500,000 and above must be approved by the Board, and all deeds must be approved by the Board before they are signed.

40. The responsibility of authorising purchases below £500,000 is delegated by the AO according to the delegated authority policy.

41. All purchases must have sufficient budget provision previously agreed.

42. Contracts or purchase orders should be in place before the supply of the goods or service takes place.

43. Contract value is defined as being over the whole life of the contract, which should not normally be more than five years.

44. Purchase orders are legal contracts and the same levels of approval apply.

45. Budget holders have agreed a list of designated posts for delegated approval. Changes to the listed posts require Chief Executive Officer (CEO) approval.

Signing of contracts

46. New contracts with a value of £50,000 and above which are outside of the Government framework shall be reviewed by the Commission’s legal advisers.

47. The Commission is responsible for the determination of authorised persons who may sign or execute documentation on behalf of the Commission, and delegates this responsibility to the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive will set out any further delegations in detail within the financial procedures.

Procurement processes

48. The Commission ensures that its procurement processes comply with the public procurement regulations, and are updated to comply with the most recent regulations.

49. While value for money and competition will form the basis for procurement procedures, all purchases equal to or greater than £10,000 shall be subject to at least three quotations and all purchases equal to or greater than £25,000 shall be subject to tender or public procurement as applicable.

50. A schedule of financial levels for obtaining quotes and tenders is included within the Procurement Policy.

Externally funded activities

51. The Commission may receive external funding for specified activities, subject to the following:

  • the activity is within the Commission’s powers and it contributes towards its corporate objectives, and there are sufficient resources to deliver the activity without detriment to existing activities
  • there is a written agreement or contract which is reviewed by the Commission’s legal advisers
  • income contracts are signed by the Chief Executive, or in his or her absence a director may authorise contracts, submitting a notification to the Chief Executive of those contracts signed.

52. Acceptance of additional funding is delegated in accordance with the thresholds set out in the budgetary control section, under new activities.

53. All external funding shall be used for the purpose for which it was granted and no other and external terms and conditions must be complied with.

Insurance

54. Central government organisations should not normally buy commercial insurance to protect against risk. In certain circumstances, the Chief Executive as Accounting Officer may choose to purchase commercial insurance to protect certain parts of the organisation’s portfolio or for items where insurance is legally required. On behalf of the Chief Executive as Accounting Officer, the Senior Manager - Finance shall ensure that appropriate insurance cover is in place, in accordance with the policy determined by the Commission and in accordance with guidance issued by Treasury, contained in Managing Public Money Annex 4.5 Senior Responsible Owner Accountability.

Indemnities and guarantees

55. The Commission shall not give indemnities or guarantees, except by specific agreement of the Board and by prior agreement of the Secretary of State as required.

Commissioners’ expenses scheme

56. The Commission will establish a scheme for the payment of expenses to Commissioners, which shall be approved by the Commission and by the Secretary of State.

57. All claims for a financial year are to be submitted within two months of 31 March each year.

General business conduct

58. Commissioners must comply with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners.

59. Employees and others working for the Commission must comply with the Employees Code of Conduct.

Appendix 8 – Code of conduct for Commissioners

Introduction

1. The Gambling Commission must ensure that Commissioners are supported to make good decisions about the probity of their actions and how those actions might be perceived by others. This Code of Conduct is an important part of that support. The Code reflects best practice and the Commission’s ways of working. It sets out the standards of behaviour that are expected of Commissioners. Following the advice and requirements in this Code will help avoid misunderstandings about actions or behaviour.

Ways of working

Outcome-focussed

To be outcome-focussed we:

  • put consumers at the heart of everything we do
  • take responsibility for an issue and moving it forward
  • deliver results through working collaboratively.

Reaching for ways to improve

To reach for ways to improve we:

  • encourage feedback and ideas
  • are committed to continuous improvement and are open to trying different ways of working
  • celebrate successes and take responsibility when things go wrong.

Respectful

To be respectful we:

  • recognise every colleague’s contribution
  • give each other timely constructive feedback
  • all encourage challenge.

Communicate well

To communicate well we:

  • are clear and concise
  • listen and check our understanding
  • explain the reasons for decisions.

Making this a great place to work

To make the Commission a great place to work we:

  • all help to make the Commission a great place to work
  • value and support each other
  • demonstrate a positive attitude.

2. We expect everyone who works with us to behave with utmost integrity. This means avoiding not only actual impropriety but any perception of impropriety. By ‘propriety’ we do not just mean compliance with rules, although that is important. We also mean conduct and behaviour in carrying out actions or engaging with stakeholders. Failure to maintain high standards of behaviour may not be intentional. However, there is always a risk that what we do or how we do it could be – or could be seen as – impropriety.

3. This Code sets out the framework for conduct for Commissioners. If you wish to discuss any matters arising under the Code, you can speak with the Governance Team, or with the Chair, if you prefer.

4. Commissioners are required to confirm that they have understood this Code.

The Seven Principles of Public Life

5. The Seven Principles of Public Life (known as the Nolan Principles) apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes all those who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in the civil service, local government, the police, courts and probation services, non-departmental public bodies (such as the Commission), and in the health, education, social and care services. All public office holders are both servants of the public and stewards of public resources. The principles also have application to all those in other sectors delivering public services.

The Seven Principles of Public Life

Selflessness

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

Integrity

Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

Objectivity

Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

Accountability

Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

Openness

Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

Honesty

Holders of public office should be truthful.

Leadership

Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

The role of the Chair

6. The Chair is responsible to the Secretary of State for ensuring that the Commission fulfils its statutory purpose as set out in our founding legislation, and that the Commission’s affairs are conducted with probity. The Chair also has a number of leadership responsibilities:

  • formulating the Board’s strategy for discharging its statutory duties
  • encouraging the highest standards of propriety
  • ensuring that the Board, in reaching decisions, takes proper account of guidance provided by the responsible minister or the Department
  • supporting the Accounting Officer in promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources
  • supporting the Accounting Officer in delivering high standards of regularity and propriety
  • representing the views of the Board to the general public.

7. The Chair should ensure that:

  • the performance of the Board and its individual members are reviewed annually and operate effectively and to instigate remedial action should this not be the case
  • the Board has a balance of skills appropriate to directing the Commission’s business, consistent with the Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance in central government departments1
  • Board members are fully briefed and understand their terms of appointment, duties, rights and responsibilities
  • when required, he or she, together with the other Board members, receives appropriate training on financial management and reporting requirements and on any differences that may exist between private and public sector practice
  • the responsible minister is advised of the Commission’s needs when Board vacancies arise, including the skills and capabilities needed for the Commission to fulfil its statutory purpose, consistent with the requirements of the Governance Code on Public Appointments2
  • he or she assesses the performance of individual Board members when being considered for re-appointment
  • there is a code of practice for Board members in place consistent with the Cabinet Office Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies.

8. The Chair should ensure that the Commissioners meet regularly throughout the year and that the minutes of meetings accurately record the decisions taken.

9. The Chair will ensure that, when new Commissioners take up office, they are fully briefed on their terms of appointment and on their rights, duties and responsibilities as a Commissioner.

10. The Chair will encourage Commissioners to participate in induction and development activities as appropriate.


1 Corporate governance code for central government departments (opens in new tab)

2 Governance Code for Public Appointments (opens in new tab)

Responsibilities of Commissioners

11. Commissioners have collective responsibility for ensuring that the Commission fulfils the aim and objectives set out in legislation and complies with any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds.

12. Commissioners should:

  • ensure high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times
  • promote an inclusive and diverse culture in the Commission, acting in a way to help create an environment where different perspectives and backgrounds are encouraged and valued
  • establish the overall strategic direction of the Commission within the relevant statute and the policy and resources framework, agreed with the responsible minister
  • ensure the Commission operates within the limits of its statutory authority and any delegated authority agreed with DCMS (opens in new tab) and in accordance with any other conditions and standards relating to the use of public funds
  • ensure that, in reaching decisions, the Commission takes appropriate account of any guidance issued by DCMS
  • ensure the Commission takes responsibility for sustainable development and operates within the framework of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy.

Individual Responsibilities of Commissioners

13. Commissioners also have individual responsibilities as members of a public body:

  • comply at all times with this Code of Conduct which reflects the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies3, and with the rules relating to the use of public funds and to conflicts of interest
  • act in good faith and in the best interests of the Commission
  • not misuse information gained in the course of their public service for personal gain or for political profit, nor seek to use the opportunity of public service to promote their private interests or those of connected persons or organisations
  • comply with the Commission’s rules on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality and of business appointments.

14. As a Board member, you should respect the principle of collective decision-making and corporate responsibility. This means that, once the Board has made a decision, you should support that decision.

15. You should treat Commission staff with courtesy and respect at all times. It is expected that staff will show you the same consideration in return.

16. Communications between Commissioners and the responsible Minister will normally be through the Chair, except where the Commissioners have agreed that another Board member should act on the Chair’s behalf.

17. However, as a Commissioner you can approach Ministers on any matter which you believe raises important issues relating to your duties as a Commissioner. In such cases, the agreement of the rest of the Board would usually be sought.

18. The legislation under which Commissioners are appointed (Schedule 4 to the Gambling Act 20054) allows the Secretary of State to remove any Commissioner from office if, in the Secretary of State’s opinion, a Commissioner is unable, unfit or unwilling to perform their functions.


3 Code of conduct for board members of public bodies (opens in new tab)

4 Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab)

Political activity

19. You should not occupy paid party political posts or hold particularly sensitive or high profile unpaid roles in a political party. Subject to these restrictions, you are free to engage in political activities, provided that you are conscious of your general public responsibilities and exercise proper discretion.

The role of the Chief Executive

20. The Chief Executive, as Accounting Officer for the Commission, is accountable to Parliament and to the DCMS (opens in new tab) Accounting Officer for the resources under the Chief Executive’s control, consistent with the requirements of Managing Public Money5.

21. This role carries with it personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of the Commission’s finances; for the keeping of proper accounts; for prudent and economical administration; and for the efficient and effective use of resources. The Commission’s Accounting Officer also has responsibility to see that the Commissioners are appropriately advised on these matters.

22. The Chief Executive or another employee who is authorised to act on behalf of the Commission will usually be responsible at strategic level for the relationship between the Commission and DCMS.

23. The Chief Executive must maintain current knowledge of all relevant requirements in relation to leadership of a public body, including the specific duties and responsibilities of an Accounting Officer.


5 Managing public money (opens in new tab)

Delegation

24. The Board is accountable for everything the organisation does. The Board may delegate responsibility for specified matters to individual Commissioners, a committee consisting of Commissioners or Commissioners and staff, or a member of staff, within a clearly-understood and transparent framework of delegation and control.

Accountability and efficiency

25, You have a duty to ensure that funds are properly safeguarded and that, at all times, the Commission conducts its business as economically, efficiently and effectively as possible. To be clear, this applies equally to licence fee funded activities and to any activities funded by other means.

26. So far as reasonably possible, you are responsible for ensuring the Commission does not exceed its powers and functions, whether set out in statute or otherwise, to incur expenditure which should not be incurred.

27. You should ensure that a full statement of resources and their use is included in the Annual Report and Accounts. The Chief Executive as Accounting Officer will advise you on these matters.

28. You must comply with rules about allowances and expenses. Where income tax is deducted directly from your remuneration as part of the payroll process, it is your responsibility to ensure that the correct tax treatment is applied and that you comply with HM Revenue and Customs (opens in new tab) requirements.

Confidentiality

29. As part of your work you will have access to sensitive information, including commercial, political and personal information. You must not share or make use of any such information, except for the proper delivery of your duties.

30. Failure to follow this requirement will be regarded as a serious matter and will be notified to the Chair and to the Chief Executive as Accounting Officer.

31. In addition, you should aim to prevent the unauthorised publication or disclosure of such information by another person. If you believe that an unauthorised disclosure has taken place, or might do so, you should discuss your concerns immediately with the Chair and the Chief Executive as Accounting Officer.

Information security

32. You must comply with public sector guidance around the classification and handling of information. The majority of information the Commission handles is classified as ‘Official’ which means it should be handled with routine security.

33. Some information, however, is particularly sensitive. This means that loss or insecure handling could lead to damaging consequences for the organisation or for individuals, or might lead to action by third parties if release of this information has impacts on them.

34. To highlight these risks, we use the classification ‘Official Sensitive’ in email headers and on documents. This means that the information should be handled with particular care, such as not forwarding an email inappropriately or reading a document where it can easily be seen by others.

35. In addition, there are restrictions on the use of private email accounts and devices. Where information is stored in private email accounts, it is on servers that are outside of our control. We do not know where or how it is kept, or who has access to it. Commercial cloud storage services and private email accounts are prone to attack by cyber criminals and others. Commission email accounts and equipment have layers of security and active monitoring which may not be present in other services.

36. All documents, email messages, social media posts and texts can be subject to Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation where they relate to Commission business and fall in scope of a request. Full details of these legislative requirements can be provided by the Information Security Team.

Openness and responsiveness

37. You should work in an open and responsive way, ensuring compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (opens in new tab), consistent with the nature of the Commission’s business and the confidentiality requirements in this Code.

Gambling and National Lottery play by Commissioners

38. Gambling is a legitimate leisure activity, so a total ban on gambling by Commissioners would be unduly restrictive. It could also cut Commissioners off from knowledge and experience of the sector they regulate.

39. However, because we are the industry regulator, we have to place restrictions on the gambling that you can undertake. This is to protect you and the Commission from the risk, actual or perceived, of bias, lack of objectivity, or impropriety. In addition, any large wins or losses could lead to speculation about the integrity of regulatory processes and might place an uncomfortable focus on personal financial information. This might particularly be the case in physical premises where you would have direct contact with an operator’s staff.

40. In remote gambling (which means online, by phone or interactive television), we think the risks of participation by Commissioners are lower. This is because in remote gambling there is a clear audit trail for transactions, which can be used to investigate any allegations. There is also far less potential for contact with operator staff.

41. You should bear in mind that no gambling of any kind is permitted on Commission premises. No gambling of any kind is permitted using Commission equipment.

42. To manage the risk of actual or perceived impropriety, you are required to comply with some common sense restrictions on gambling:

  • you cannot play the National Lottery or any other lottery licensed by the Commission. This includes any game offered as part of the National Lottery or other lottery
  • you cannot personally accept winnings from any lotteries licensed by the Commission
  • you cannot gamble in non-remote bingo halls, casino’s or bookmakers’ premises in Great Britain
  • you cannot gamble with on-course bookmakers.

43. You may gamble remotely, (for example by phone, telephone or internet) as we believe that probity and reputational risks can be mitigated more easily where an audit trail for play is readily available. However, given your position as Commissioners there are things you must do to manage any risk of actual or perceived impropriety.

44. You must notify the Commission’s Intelligence lead of any significant wins or losses (for example above £500).

45. You must notify the Commission’s Intelligence lead if any remote gambling account in your name is hacked or otherwise compromised, whether or not that leads to unauthorised gambling on your account.

46. You must provide any additional information about your remote gambling that we may require. Any information you provide will be held in confidence, but will be made available to any relevant investigation. You will be informed if this takes place.

Financial circumstances

47. If you have financial problems that may make you vulnerable to potential allegations of impropriety, you must inform the Chair as soon as possible and seek appropriate assistance.

48. You must also inform the Chair of any bankruptcy, current police investigation, unspent criminal conviction or disqualification as a company director.


Formatting changes.

Visits to gambling premises

49. A ban on visiting gambling premises would be counter-productive. It would restrict the ability of Commissioners to gain insight into the sector. However, a considered approach to visits is needed, for the same reason that restrictions are placed on your ability to gamble.

50. You may visit non-remote bingo halls, casinos, or bookmakers premises in Great Britain, however, if you visit in an official capacity, to prevent your presence from being misconstrued you should make your presence known to the operator’s staff. As public appointees and representatives of the regulator, you should be watchful for any perception that you have had an unauthorised interaction with an operator.

51. It is not necessary to make yourself known when visiting in a private capacity.

52. You must notify the Commission’s Intelligence lead if your visit constitutes more than just a brief casual visit. Any official visits are accompanied by a member of staff, preferably the relevant Compliance Manager for that premises or a member of the senior team.

53. When visiting such premises, remember that frontline operator staff may not have detailed knowledge of how the Commission works and may not understand your role as a Commissioner. If asked, you should be prepared to signpost operator staff to sources of information.

54. You must not visit such premises if you are aware of an impending regulatory decision which affects those premises or the operator of those premises. You should make every effort to stay up to date with impending regulatory decisions, to avoid inadvertently visiting somewhere which is subject to ongoing action.

55. You may visit horse and greyhound racetracks. If you visit these premises in an official capacity, then the considerations above apply.

56. If you visit gambling premises in any capacity, whether in Great Britain or abroad, you must ensure that neither you nor anyone with you receives privileges (such as memberships or gifts), preferential treatment (such as the style of service offered), nor any hospitality that is not generally available to other visitors to the premises.

Gifts and hospitality

57. We encourage Commissioners to build an understanding of the sector. This includes developing contacts with a range of organisations, for example consumer groups, trade bodies, operators and investors. In doing so, you should maintain high standards of honesty and integrity.

58. Key to this is compliance with rules on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality. As well as complying with the requirements of this Code of Conduct, you should also be aware of the provisions of the Bribery Act 20106 and ensure that your actions do not place you or the Commission at risk of any accusation that the law has been breached. If you are in any doubt about this, you should contact the Governance Team in the first instance.

59. To avoid any suggestion of impropriety, Commissioners must not accept any gifts, however modest, unless there are political (for example, dealing with a foreign government) or cultural reasons where refusal would be regarded as offensive. If you accept a gift for this reason, you should advise the Governance Team. Any such gifts remain the property of the Commission, not of individual Commissioners.

60. These requirements do not apply to low-value, practical items which are given out freely, such as bags, pens or stationery items provided as part of attendance at a conference.

61. A common sense approach should be taken to offers of hospitality. In a number of settings, such as routine meetings, establishing new contacts, or undertaking wider stakeholder engagement, acceptance of hospitality would not be problematic. For example, lunch or light refreshments, where these are incidental to engagement with stakeholders.

62. The questions you should consider are whether acceptance of hospitality creates, or could be perceived to create, an obligation, and whether a reasonable person might think that your acceptance of hospitality could influence your judgement in relation to a regulatory or other decision. It could be unwise, for example, to accept hospitality from prospective contractors or suppliers to the Commission. You are not permitted to accept hospitality that might generally be regarded as unduly lavish, such as preferential access to cultural or sporting events.

63. If you have any doubts about issues around giving or receiving hospitality, you should speak with the Governance Team in the first instance. No gift or hospitality should be accepted if it would place you under any obligation, or compromise you in any way, or if it might appear to do so. To be clear, a subsequent offer to pay for any such gift or hospitality does not put right the situation if you should not have accepted in the first place. Whether or not your actions would be acceptable in another sector is not a material factor.

64. It is your personal responsibility to ensure that a record is paced in the gifts and hospitality register of the Commission to list any gifts or hospitality received, usually by asking a member of the Governance Team to do so.


6 Bribery Act 2010 guidance (opens in new tab)

Third party invitations and services

65. It is likely that whenever you attend a conference or other event, you will subsequently receive invitations from marketing or public relations firms about further events or services.

66. Licensees and trade bodies will often use such companies to handle engagement and promotional activity. You should treat such third party invitations with caution, as they may in fact be for sales events or involve industry-sponsored hospitality, where it would not be appropriate for you to attend.

67. Where the Commission has interest in attending an event, this will be coordinated centrally by the Communications Team. When you receive an invitation and you are unsure whether the Commission should be represented at an event, or whether other Commissioners or staff have been invited, you should not accept the invitation until you have checked the position with the Communications Team. The Governance Team can advise on who to speak with.

68. As well as guarding against accusations of impropriety, this also helps ensure coordinated attendance and effective, good value use of resources.

Dealing with the media and speaking engagements

69. The Commission’s work regularly features in the media and it is important that media enquiries are handled accurately and consistently. You should pass on any media enquiries to the Communications Team. You should not comment to the media, even in a private capacity, without agreement of the Chief Executive. Remember that your position as a Commissioner might lead to perceptions that any private comments reflect official policy.

70. Care should be taken about invitations to speak at conferences or elsewhere. You should consult the Chief Executive about whether to accept such invitations. Where you do accept speaking engagements, you should ensure you are fully briefed on policy decisions and current issues. You must avoid making public statements on matters where policy has not yet been determined.

Social Media

71. Social media is a public forum and the same considerations, including the provisions of this Code of Conduct, apply as would to speaking in public or writing something for publication, either officially or in a personal capacity. When engaging with social media you should at all times respect confidentiality, financial, legal and personal information.

72. Where any personal social media accounts used by you make reference or link to your public role, you should take care to ensure that it is clear in what capacity you are acting.

Conflicts of interest

73. We recognise that you will have a range of interests outside the Commission. However, you should be aware that how you conduct these interests may give rise to actual or perceived conflicts with your role as a Commissioner.

74. You should ensure that any potential or perceived conflicts of interest are identified at an early stage and appropriate action taken to resolve them. If need be, you should discuss the position with the Chair as soon as possible.

75. The potential or perceived conflicts of interest include those of close family members and persons living in the same households as close family members.

76. You must declare to the Chair existing or new interests and these must be included in a register of interests maintained by the Gambling Commission. You must ensure that your entries are kept up to date. Should a particular matter give rise to a conflict of interest, you must withdraw from discussions or consideration of the matter. Your appointment as a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission may be terminated if any such interests are considered incompatible with your position as a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission.

77. You must inform the Chair, who will inform DCMS (opens in new tab) of the offer of any new public appointments which may impinge on your duties as a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission. Your appointment as a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission may be terminated if any such position is considered to be incompatible and you proceed to accept it.

Private interests and public duty

78. As a public office-holder you must uphold the principles of public life and ensure that your behaviour is above suspicion.

79. You must not use information gained in your work as a Commissioner to advance your private financial or other interests, or to advance the interests of other persons. You are reminded that in some circumstances, using information in this way could be regarded as insider dealing and an offence under the Criminal Justice Act 1993 (opens in new tab). An example of this would be dealing on a regulated market in securities the price of which would be significantly affected if information you have access to were to be made public.

80. You must not participate in the taking of any decision which could affect the value of your private financial or other interests, or the financial or other interests of those to whom you had given investment advice. Such a conflict could result in legal action, against the Commission and against you.

81. You should also consider whether you should disclose the interests of any other persons or organisations (for example, investments by a charity where you are a trustee) where a reasonable person might think that those interests could influence your judgement.

Shareholdings

82. You are not permitted to have direct shareholdings or to trade in companies operating in the gambling industry, whether or not those companies are licensed by the Commission. This restriction extends to your close family. The restriction on shareholding does not include investments through funds where the precise composition of holdings in the fund at a given time is not visible to investors or where investors have no direct control on individual investment decisions.

83. Where you hold shares in third party companies which might bid to supply products or services to the gambling industry, you should consider carefully whether any conflict might arise or be perceived to arise, owing to potential influence over business decisions in the industry. As a broad example, influence over business decisions is less likely with a maintenance or payroll contractor, say, but could be more likely with a computer hardware or data services provider.

84. Where you hold shares in other leisure sector businesses, such as pub chains, hotels or theme parks, you should consider the potential for any interaction with the gambling industry and whether any conflicts might arise.

Business interests and other employment

85. You must not engage in activities which might conflict with the interests of the Commission or which are inconsistent with your position as a Commissioner.

86. You should ensure that your other interests or employment allow sufficient time to deliver your agreed commitment to Commission business. When timing conflicts arise, you should inform the Governance Team as soon as you are aware of this.

87. If, in the course of other activities, you become aware of information which could be material to the Commission’s interests, you should inform the Chair or Chief Executive. This should help to mitigate any potential accusations of impropriety at a later time. You should disclose anything which a reasonable person might think could influence your judgement.

Political Activity

88. In your public role you should be, and should be seen to be, politically impartial. You shall not occupy paid party political posts or hold particularly sensitive or high roles in a political party.

89. You must inform the Chair and DCMS (opens in new tab) if you intend to accept a prominent position in any political party and understand that your appointment as a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission may be terminated if such a position is considered to be incompatible and you take up the position.

90. Subject to paragraphs 88 and 89, you are free to engage in political activities provided that you are aware of your general public responsibilities (as described in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies) and exercise proper discretion.

91. This is particularly important where political activity may be generally perceived as controversial. On matters directly affecting Commission work, you should not make political speeches or engage in other political activities.

92. These restrictions do not apply to Commissioners who are elected members of a parliament or assembly in the UK, local councillors, or a Peer in relation to conduct in the House of Lords.

Offers of employment

93. If you receive an offer of employment in or related to the gambling industry you should inform the Chair as soon as possible. If you intend to pursue such an offer, then it is likely that you will be asked to resign from the Commission.

Acceptance of employment after leaving the Commission

94. You should maintain safeguards against conflicts of interest for six months after you leave the Commission. If you intend to take up employment in or related to the gambling industry earlier than that, you should notify the Chair, in case of any upcoming regulatory decision affecting your new employer.

Exit requirements

95. On leaving office, you must return all Commission property (including but not limited to documents and software, computer equipment and security passes).

Appendix 9 – Audit and Risk Committee terms of reference

1 Introduction

1.1. The Board of Commissioners (the Board) has established an Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) in accordance with Paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 of the Gambling Act 2005.

1.2. These terms of reference outline the remit and powers of the ARC, its overall membership, responsibilities, reporting responsibilities and how it receives and distributes information.

2 Purpose and scope

2.1. The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) supports the Board of Commissioners (the Board) and Accounting Officer by providing assurance on:

  • the processes of financial reporting and control
  • systems of governance, risk management and internal control
  • the quality of the internal audit function and external audit function.

2.2. The ARC shall carry out its duties and report any issues to the Board and Accounting Officer, as appropriate by providing:

  • scrutiny to give Board and Accounting Officer assurance
  • recommendation to allow Board and Accounting Officer to make an informed decision.

3 Membership

3.1. The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) shall consist of Members who contribute to quorum.

3.2. Members:

  • the ARC shall comprise at least 2 non-executive Commissioners
  • members are recruited with an appropriate level of skills, namely experience or knowledge of financial reporting, risk management and internal control, scrutiny of internal policies and procedures, awareness of internal and external audits and public interest disclosure, fraud and investigations and information security
  • the membership shall also comprise an Independent Member of the ARC, if one has been appointed
  • the Board of Commissioners (the Board) will appoint a Chair of the ARC
  • the Chair of the Board will not normally be appointed to chair the ARC.

3.3. Attendees:

  • the Accounting Officer
  • the Finance Director
  • the Head of Finance
  • the Head of Governance
  • a representative of Internal Audit
  • a representative of External Audit
  • if the National Audit Office (NAO) are not the external auditor, a representative of the NAO
  • a secretary to the Committee.

3.4. The ARC may ask any other employees of the Gambling Commission to attend meetings to assist with discussions on any particular matter.

3.5. The ARC can co-opt one or more experts for a particular reason (for example, to support scrutiny of a major project).

3.6. The ARC can specify how an independent member is to be appointed.

3.7 As and when appropriate, the ARC may ask any or all of those who normally attend, but who are not members, to withdraw. These proceedings must still be minuted.

3.8 Quorum shall be 2 members provided one is the Chair, otherwise the quorum shall be 3 members of the Committee.

3.9 Deputies may be nominated for attendees who are unable to attend, with permission of the Chair.

4 Meetings

4.1. The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) shall meet at least 4 times in each financial year. The Chair of the ARC may convene additional meetings as considered necessary.

4.2. The Chair of the Board of Commissioners (the Board), the Board or Accounting Officer may ask the ARC to convene additional meetings to discuss particular items on which they want the Committee’s advice.

4.3. Secretariat support to the ARC will be provided by the Governance Team. A member of the Governance Team will also attend and minute any pre-meetings of the Committee members.

4.4. Meetings of the ARC may take place in person, via telephone conference or video conference. Where appropriate, the ARC may also take decisions by correspondence, following the process set out in Appendix 2: Rules for the Conduct of Business.

5 Responsibilities

5.1. In particular, the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) is responsible for the following items:

5.2. Financial Reporting

The ARC is asked to provide assurance to the Board of Commissioners (the Board) and Accounting Officer on the integrity of the Gambling Commission’s annual statutory financial statements, to assist the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities to approve the annual report and accounts. The Committee is responsible for:

5.3. Scrutinising (annually):

  • the accounts, the accounting policies, other accounting information, the Governance statement, and the assurances relating to corporate governance and legality contained in the Annual Report and Financial Statements before submission to the Board and Accounting Officer for approval. Focusing particularly on the wording in the Governance Statement and other disclosures relevant to the terms of reference of the Committee
  • ensuring that the systems for financial reporting are subject to periodic review by internal audit as to completeness and accuracy of the information provided to the Board.

5.4. Governance, Risk Management and Internal Control

The ARC is asked to provide assurance to the Board on the Commission’s systems of governance, risk management and internal control, namely the comprehensiveness, reliability and integrity of the assurances provided by those systems.

5.5. The ARC can highlight concerns and recommend changes to the Board, to assist Board in approving the Commission’s risk management arrangements and Corporate Governance Framework. To do this, Committee will:

5.6. Scrutinise (annually) delegated authorities and governance structures, report to the Board on whether they are adequate and make any recommendations to the Board.

5.7. Scrutinise (as needed or as specified):

  • The comprehensiveness, reliability and integrity of the system of internal controls and the assurances these provide. In particular:

    • review managements and the internal auditors’ reports on the effectiveness of the system of internal control, including Health and Safety
    • the Commission’s policies, controls and assurance frameworks, including those relating to cybersecurity
    • the continued appropriateness of key performance indicators with Executive and report to the Board any recommendations for improvement.
  • The Strategic Risk Register at every meeting of ARC, in particular:

    • appropriateness of risk appetite and horizon scanning arrangements
    • reports from internal auditors and scrutinising the status and trends of all risks in the strategic risk register
    • individual risks from the Strategic Risk Register as per a schedule of reviews agreed with Committee.
  • The operation of key internal controls including but not restricted to:

    • the content and efficacy of the Commission’s whistleblowing, complaints and Anti-fraud and bribery policies
    • the Commission’s approach to information security, GDPR and Freedom of Information to ensure it meets all relevant requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Office and other agencies
    • the Commission’s response to major information security failures.

5.8. Internal Audit

The ARC is asked to provide assurance to the Board on the effectiveness and quality of the internal audit function, with a view to ensuring it provides appropriate independent assurance to the Board and value for money. To do this, Committee will:

5.9. Scrutinise (as needed):

  • the scope of the internal audit programme, ensure that the function is adequately resourced and has appropriate standing within the Commission
  • management’s response to all internal audit recommendations.

5.10. Make recommendation to the Board and Accounting Officer on the appointment and removal of the internal auditors, and, on the internal audit fee, the terms of engagement and the internal audit strategy and plan.

5.11. External Audit

The ARC is asked to provide assurance to the Board on the effectiveness and quality of the external audit, including any issues arising from the audit and to do this, the Committee will:

5.12. Scrutinise (as needed) the findings of the audit with the external auditor considering any material issue which arose during the audit, any accounting and audit judgements and levels of errors identified during the audit.

5.13. Scrutinise (at least annually):

  • its independence and the relationship with the auditor as a whole, including the provision of any non-audit services, and value for money
  • with the National Audit Office, the terms of engagement of the external auditor and the external audit strategy and plan.

6 Committee effectiveness

6.1. The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) shall periodically scrutinise its own effectiveness and report the results of that examination to the Board of Commissioners (the Board) annually. The ARC may use self-assessment, Board Effectiveness Review, seek external assurance of the Committee and other appropriate review mechanisms available.

7 Reporting

7.1. The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) will provide an assurance report to the Board of Commissioners (the Board) after each meeting, which will outline matters considered by the Committee and summarise the degree of assurance to be taken. The Report may set out any recommendations and actions to be taken.

7.2. The minutes of the ARC will be made available to all Commissioners and the Accounting Officer.

7.3. The ARC will provide an annual written report to the Board. This should summarise the ARC's work for the past year and present the Committee's opinion. This report will also cover the Committee's view of its own effectiveness, including any advice on ways in which it considers it needs to be strengthened or developed.

7.4. The ARC’s activities will be reported in time to be included in the annual report and accounts, in particular a summary of the ARC’s conclusions from work undertaken in the relevant financial year will be included in the Governance Statement.

8 Information requirements

8.1. In order for the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) to discharge its responsibilities efficiently, the Secretariat will aim to provide members with full papers, one calendar week in advance of every meeting. This will include papers in support of every item on the agenda, unless agreed otherwise by the Chair.

8.2. As and when appropriate the Committee will:

  • be provided with free access to the internal and external auditors
  • meet with the internal and external auditors separately at least once a year, to discuss their remit and any issues arising from the internal audits carried out.

8.3. Representatives of Internal and External Audit will have free and confidential access to the Chair of the Gambling Commission and Chair of the ARC.

9 Rights

9.1. The Board of Commissioners (the Board) has delegated the following powers to the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC):

  • investigate any activity within its terms of reference. Any investigation will normally be initiated in consultation with the Accounting Officer
  • require the appearance of any Commissioner or employee before the ARC and/or seek any information it may require from any Commissioner or employee
  • all members and employees must co-operate with the Committee. It will be normal practice to channel such requests through the Accounting Officer
  • procure legal or other professional advice, subject to budgetary provision agreed in advance by the Accounting Officer and the Board, and to secure the attendance at Committee meetings of anyone it considers has relevant experience, expertise or knowledge, including the National Audit Office or Government Internal Audit Agency
  • oversight of the performance and risk management arrangements of projects or programmes where a Senior Responsible Officer has been appointed.

Appendix 10 – Remuneration and Nomination Committee terms of reference

1 Introduction

1.1. In accordance with Paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 of the Gambling Act 2005 the Board of Commissioners (the Board) has established a Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC).

1.2. These terms of reference (TOR) outline the remit and powers of the RNC, its overall membership, responsibilities, reporting responsibilities and how it receives and distributes information.

1.3. The TOR should be read in conjunction with powers reserved to the Board and the Accounting Officer’s responsibilities.

2 Purpose and scope

2.1. The Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC) has been established to exercise delegated authority from the Board of Commissioners (the Board) in respect of the process for appraisal of Commissioners and the Chief Executive (CEO), performance arrangements for the Executive Team, redundancy and severance arrangements under specific circumstances, and the recruitment process for the CEO.

2.2. The RNC support the Board and CEO and/or Accounting Officer (as appropriate) in their responsibilities for the performance management, bonus and pay of the Executive Team, senior appointments and departures, and succession planning. The RNC will make recommendations and scrutinise to provide assurance to the Board in respect of the responsibilities set out in this terms of reference.

3 Membership

3.1. Members:

  • the Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC) shall comprise a minimum of 2 non-executive Commissioners
  • the membership shall also comprise an Independent Member of the RNC, if one has been appointed
  • the Board of Commissioners (the Board) will appoint a Chair of the RNC
  • the Chair of the Board will not be the Chair of the RNC.

3.2. Attendees:

  • the Chief Executive
  • the Director of People Services or equivalent
  • the Head of Governance or equivalent
  • a secretary to the Committee.

3.3. Attendees do not count towards the quorum.

3.4. The RNC may ask any other employees of the Gambling Commission to attend meetings to assist with discussions on any particular matter.

3.5. The Chair of the Board may attend RNC once a year.

3.6. The RNC may ask any or all of those who normally attend, but who are not members, to withdraw. These proceedings must still be minuted.

3.7. Two members of the RNC will comprise a quorum for decision making.

3.8. Deputies may be nominated for attendees who are unable to attend, with permission of the Chair.

4 Meetings

4.1. The Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC) shall meet at least twice each financial year. The Chair of the RNC may convene additional meetings as considered necessary.

4.2. The Chair of the Board of Commissioners or the Accounting Officer may ask the RNC to convene additional meetings to discuss particular items on which they want the Committee’s advice.

4.3. Secretariat support to the Committee will be provided by the Governance Team. A member of the Governance Team will also attend and minute any pre-meetings or confidential sessions of the Committee members.

4.4. The RNC will take steps to preserve the confidentiality of discussions and any related documents in any matters which involve personal information about individual employees.

4.5. Meetings of the RNC may take place in person, via telephone conference or video conference. Where appropriate, the RNC may also take decisions by correspondence following the process set out in Appendix 2: Rules for the conduct of business.

5 Responsibilities

5.1. Acting with delegated authority from the Board of Commissioners (the Board), the Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC) can act on the items listed below:

5.2. Decide upon (as needed):

  • any proposed redundancy or other severance arrangement where the payment to the individual or individuals will be £30,000 or more
  • the recruitment process for the position of Chief Executive.

5.3. Recommend to the Board (as needed):

  • the appointment of the Chief Executive (subject to the Secretary of State as to the terms and conditions of appointment)
  • appropriate Commissioner involvement in the recruitment of other senior Gambling Commission posts
  • the terms of any special severance arrangements applying in the event of any required and unplanned early termination of employment of the Chief Executive or any member of the Executive Team, having regard to relevant guidance and codes of practice and their contracts of employment.

5.4. Make recommendation to the Chair (as needed) on the composition and assessment of experience of Board members, to identify any skills gap to be used in recruitment of Commissioners (including the Chair). The results of this assessment should be shared with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to inform Commissioner recruitment.

5.5. Scrutinise (annually):

  • the process for appraisal of Commissioners, including the Chair and Senior Independent Director (noting the Chair’s appraisal is conducted by DMCS). The RNC should seek assurance that these are conducted according to process and scrutinise any trends and themes emerging
  • the process for appointment of new Commissioners, including ensuring plans are on track and identifying any areas of concern
  • the onboarding and/or induction process for new Commissioners to review progress made and feedback on any gaps and next steps
  • the application of the frameworks relating to the annual appraisals of the Chief Executive and Executive team
  • the recommended performance ratings following the Executive Team’s annual appraisals (conducted by the Chief Executive) and the CEO’s annual appraisal (conducted by the Chair)
  • the Chair’s proposed annual performance objectives for the CEO
  • proposed arrangements for the Board to review its performance and effectiveness
  • the annual pay remit and reward scheme, including senior pay awards
  • gender (and/or other protected characteristic) pay gap reporting and any remedial plans arising
  • succession plans for Executive and Board members to ensure continuity of leadership and an optimal skill and diversity composition.

5.6. Scrutinise (as needed):

  • the Commission’s pay and reward policy and/or approach
  • any significant changes to HR policy relating to pay and reward including the pension scheme.

6 Committee effectiveness

6.1. The Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC) shall periodically scrutinise its own effectiveness and report the results of that examination to the Board of Commissioners annually. The RNC may use self-assessment, Board Effectiveness Review, seek external assurance of the Committee and other appropriate review mechanisms available.

7 Reporting

7.1. The Chair of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC) will formally report back to the Board of Commissioners (the Board) after each meeting of the Committee, on the proceedings considered at meetings of the RNC, to provide a view to Board on the level of assurance Committee has taken on its areas of responsibility. The RNC is able to recommend to the Board on any area within its scope where it considers action or improvement is required.

7.2. The RNC’s activities will be reported in the Gambling Commission’s Annual Report, to the extent that it can without breaching confidentiality.

8 Information requirements

8.1. Ahead of Committee meetings, the Secretariat will aim to provide members with full papers, one calendar week in advance of every meeting. This will include papers in support of every item on the agenda, unless agreed otherwise by the Chair.

9 Rights

9.1. The Board of Commissioners (the Board) has delegated the following powers to the Remuneration and Nomination Committee (RNC):

  • scrutinise any activity within its terms of reference. Any investigation will normally be initiated in consultation with the Chair of the Board and/or the Accounting Officer, as appropriate
  • seek any information it may require from any Commissioner or employee. All members and employees must co-operate with the Committee. It will be normal practice to channel such requests through the Accounting Officer
  • procure legal or other professional advice, subject to budgetary provision agreed in advance by the Accounting Officer and the Board, and to secure the attendance at Committee meetings of anyone it considers has relevant experience, expertise or knowledge
  • where the RNC is unable to make a decision regarding any functions that have been delegated to it, the Committee shall be required to refer such matters to the Board for deliberation and direction.

Appendix 11 – National Lottery Committee terms of reference

Introduction

1. In accordance with Paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) the Commission has established a National Lottery Committee (NLC).

2. These terms of reference set out the purpose, membership and delegated authority of the National Lottery Committee and employees under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 (opens in new tab) (the 1993 Act).

Purpose

3. The National Lottery Committee has been established to exercise powers in respect of National Lottery matters by way of decisions or advice to the Board of Commissioners (the Board) and the Chief Executive in relation to the exercise of the Commission’s functions under the 1993 Act and provide oversight of National Lottery operator’s stewardship of the National Lottery.

Membership

4. Membership of the National Lottery Committee shall comprise a minimum of one Commissioner and one nominated employee. The membership may also comprise an Independent Member of the Committee, if one has been appointed.

5. The Board will appoint the Chair of the National Lottery Committee (the NLC Chair) and the other members of the Committee. The Chair of the Board will not normally be the NLC Chair.

Agenda

6. Within a reasonable time in advance of each meeting, the NLC Chair and the Director (or above) responsible for the National Lottery should agree the agenda for the meeting.

7. The agenda and meeting papers will be made available to members of the committee and all those attending at least 4 working days prior to a meeting.

Delegated powers

8. In accordance with Paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 of the Gambling Act 2005 (as amended) the Commission hereby delegates the functions set out in Delegation of functions to the persons set out in that section.

9. Any other decisions to grant a licence or take regulatory action which are not otherwise specifically delegated under these terms of reference are hereby delegated to the Chief Executive or an Executive Director (for the purposes of delegated decision making the term ‘Executive Director’ includes the Commission’s General Counsel).

10. Where it is considered appropriate by the Chair of the Board, the NLC Chair, a Commissioner, the Chief Executive, or a member of staff nominated in the table, a case may be referred up to the National Lottery Committee or the Board of Commissioners, who will determine that case instead of the persons otherwise delegated to carry out that function.

11. The Board authorises the National Lottery Committee to seek:

  • independent professional advice it requires in meeting its responsibilities if it considers this necessary
  • information from officials
  • information from the National Lottery operator.

12. It will be normal practice to channel such requests through the Chief Executive or another member of the Executive Team.

Functions and duties

13. In addition to making decisions under the scheme of delegations, the National Lottery Committee is responsible for the following:

Providing oversight of and challenge to the performance and strategy of the National Lottery operator:

  • to understand risks to and progress against National Lottery outcomes, in line with the statutory duties under the 1993 Act
  • to include consideration of the wider context in which the National Lottery sits, such as stakeholders, consumer and commercial trends
  • to include meeting twice a year with the operator to discuss annual business plans and forward strategies.

Providing advice to the Board of Commissioners about the licensing and regulation of the National Lottery:

  • to make recommendations about the annual budget for National Lottery regulation
  • to make recommendations about expenditure in excess of budget and/or any increase in the overall budget for the year.

14. The Board authorises the National Lottery Committee to consider the issues relevant to the functions set out in these terms of reference.

Meetings

15. The National Lottery Committee shall meet a minimum of four times in each financial year.

16. Additional meetings may be convened if considered necessary by the NLC Chair.

17. The Chair of the Board or Chief Executive may convene additional meetings to discuss particular issues on which they want the Committee’s advice.

18. Meetings of the National Lottery Committee may be conducted at face-to-face meetings, or by telephone or video conference.

Quorum

19. The quorum shall be two members of the Committee, providing one is a Commissioner.

20. Voting for all decisions made will require a simple majority. In instances where there is a tie, then the NLC Chair shall have the deciding vote. In instances where the NLC Chair is not present then the acting Chair for the meeting will have the deciding vote.

Attendance at Committee meetings

21. The Chief Executive may designate such staff as they consider appropriate to attend meetings of the National Lottery Committee to assist or advise the Committee, but those staff may not take part in the decision-making process.

22. Meetings of the National Lottery Committee will normally be attended by a Director (or above) and the Secretary to the Committee. Other employees of the Commission may be requested by the Committee to attend meetings to assist with discussions on any matters. Advisers may also attend if the Chair of the Board, NLC Chair or Chief Executive considers that appropriate.

23. The National Lottery Committee may ask any or all of those who attend, but who are not members, to withdraw.

Reporting

24. The NLC Chair will report on matters considered by the National Lottery Committee at each of its meetings at the next meeting of the Board.

25. The Board and Chief Executive shall be provided with minutes of the National Lottery Committee’s proceedings after each meeting.

26. The National Lottery Committee will make a written report at least annually on its activities to the Board and will provide an assurance report to Board post every meeting/s to align with the meeting cycle of the Board. The Commission’s regulation of the National Lottery will be reported in the Commission’s Annual Report.

Delegation of functions under the National Lottery etc Act 1993 (as amended)

1 Decisions which must be taken by the Board of Commissioners

1.1. Licensing

  • grant of Section 5 licence issued under the 1993 Act.

1.2. Enforcement

  • revocation of the Section 5 licence.

1.3. Cases referred to the Board

  • any other decisions that may fall under paragraph 8 in the Committee Terms of Reference.

2 Decisions which are delegated to the National Lottery Committee

2.1. Licensing

  • grant of Section 6 licence that does raise new issues of principle or contentious issues
  • grant of variation to the Section 5 and 6 licences that does raise new issues of principle or contentious issues.

2.2. Vetting

  • novel or contentious vetting cases
  • vetting cases where officials have indicated that they are minded to refuse and the person concerned wants the view of officials to be reviewed.

2.3. Enforcement

  • proposing a financial penalty
  • imposition of financial penalty and the level of such penalty
  • seeking a declaration from the High Court
  • revocation of a licence issued under Section 6 of the 1993 Act.

2.4. Ancillary Activity

  • consent for any Ancillary Activity which raises new issues of principle or contentious issues, determine any conditions attached to such Ancillary Activity and the amount of any payment to the good causes, under Condition 6.

2.5. Fit and proper appeals

  • considering appeals against decisions to find an individual or company not fit and proper.

2.6. Other

  • invoking the power to seek an independent review under licence condition 17 of the Section 5 licence
  • decisions in respect of Licensee investment proposals that either:
    • raise contentious issues or new issues of principle
    • contain matters Commission officials believe would be of particular interest to the Committee
    • relate to any other matters as requested by the Committee of its own initiative.
  • any other decisions that may fall under paragraph 8 in the Committee Terms of Reference.

3 Decisions which are delegated to a Senior Manager or equivalent (or above)

3.1. Licensing

  • grant of variation to the Section 5 licence when no new issues of principle or contentious issues are raised
  • approve applications for Section 6 licences which do not raise new issues of principle or contentious issues
  • grant of variation to Section 6 licences (including class licences) which do not raise new issues of principle or contentious issues.

3.2. Approvals

  • approve changes to scratch card game rules, game specific rules, game procedures and to the template for scratch card game procedures agreed under the class licence
  • approve changes to the terms and conditions and rules and procedures for draw-based games under Condition 7.16 of the Section 5 licence
  • approve the Under 16s notice required under Condition 7.28 of the Section 5 licence
  • approve ‘Codes of Practice’, ‘Guides’ and ‘Strategies’ as defined by schedule 7 of the Section 5 licence
  • grant licensee consent under Condition 21.17 of the Section 5 licence to use, copy, publish or register any item of Lottery Intellectual Property.

3.3. Enforcement

  • the decision to commence enforcement procedures in respect of potential breaches of the Section 5 and Section 6 licences
  • the decision to record breaches of the Section 5 and Section 6 licences when the imposition of financial penalties would not be appropriate.

3.4. Ancillary Activity -to give consent for any Ancillary Activity which does not raise new issues of principle or contentious issues, determine any conditions attached to such Ancillary Activity and the amount of any payment to the good causes, under Condition 6

3.5. Other

  • signing witness statements and similar legal documents on behalf of the Commission where required to do so to protect the Commission’s rights and property in proceedings undertaken by the National Lottery operator under requirements placed on it by way of licence conditions
  • decisions in respect of Licensee investment proposals that do not (a) raise contentious issues or new issues of principle, or (b) relate to any other matters which the Committee may have a particular interest in
  • exercise the Commission’s powers acquired under licence conditions to the extent that they are not reserved elsewhere in this scheme of delegation.

4 Decisions which are delegated to a Senior Account Manager or equivalent (or above)

Vetting decisions other than those specified at 2.2 above which are:

  • grant of approval for Key Licensee Subcontractors
  • grant of approval for Category A.

5 Decisions which are delegated to an Account Manager or equivalent (or above)

Vetting decisions other than those specified at 2.2 above which are:

  • grant of approval for Category C.

Appendix 12 - National Lottery Regulation Scheme of delegation

National Lottery Regulation Scheme of delegation
Function Person to whom the function or decision is delegated and conditions under which the authority is vested
Breach, formal Investigation, enforcement, revocation
A decision on whether an exception or potential breach requires No Further Action or an Advice to Conduct Senior Manager or above
A decision to commence a formal investigation in respect of potential breach and/or breaches of the Section 5 and Section 6 licences Senior Manager or above
The decision to record breaches of the Section 5 and Section 6 licences when the imposition of financial penalties would not be appropriate Senior Manager or above
Decision to propose and/or accept undertakings Head of Function or above
Decision to direct the Licensee’s Internal Audit Function Head of Function or above
Decision to request a Financial Distress Remediation Plan Head of Function or above
Decision to request lock up restrictions Head of Function or above
Decision to request an Independent Performance Review Head of Function or above
Decision to impose new or amended Section 5 or Section 6 licence conditions Senior Manager or above
Seeking a court injunction, interdict or court order Director or above
Imposition of financial penalty and the level of such penalty Director or above (referral to Regulatory Panel where there are representations)
Revocation of the Section 5 licence Board
Contentious revocation of a Section 6 licence Board, or Director and/or referral to Regulatory Panel if part of an enforcement decision
Approvals or consents
Determination of approval or consent relating to any licence or Regulatory Handbook guidance matter Senior Manager or above
Determination of changes to the Regulatory Handbook Senior Manager or above
Determination of approval for the Outstanding Liability Fund (OLF) and any changes to the OLF Head of Function or above
Determination of approval of Financial Distress Remediation Plan Executive Director or above
Determination of approval for a Significant Business Event Remediation Plan Director or above
Decision to direct the Licensee’s Internal Audit Function Head of Function or above
Decision to approve lock up restrictions Director or above
Decision to approve an Independent Performance Review Director or above
Non-contentious revocation of a Section 6 licence Director or above
Contentious revocation of a Section 6 licence Board
Decision to approve any Outstanding Liability Fund documentation Director or above
Licence Grant
Grant of Section 5 licence Board
Grant of Section 6 licence that does raise new issues of principle or contentious issues Executive Director or above
Grant of variation to Section 5 and Section 6 licences that does raise new issues of principle or contentious issues Executive Director or above
Grant of Section 6 licences which does not raise new issues of principle or contentious issues Head of Function or above
Grant of variation of Section 5 or Section 6 where no new issues of principle or contentious issues are raised Head of Function or above
Decision to extend the licence term Board
Fit and Proper
Fit and Proper approval for Lottery Beneficiaries, Lottery Subcontractors and Critical Function Employees (as relevant), which are not contentious Manager or above
Fit and Proper decisions which conclude that a Lottery Supervisor, Lottery Beneficiary or Critical Function Employee is not a Fit and Proper person Head of Function or above
Novel or contentious Fit and Proper cases Head of Function or above
Fit and Proper appeals Director or above
Decision determining the Licensee as not Fit and Proper Board
Ancillary Activity
Consent for any Ancillary Activity which raises new issues of principle or contentious issues Director or above
Consent for any Ancillary Activity which does not raise new issues of principle or contentious issues Senior Manager or above
Assurance activities
The decision to approve any recommendations upon review of assurance artefacts, for example the Annual Assurance Statement, the Annual Resilience Assurance Statement Director or above
Other
Exercise the Gambling Commission’s powers acquired under licence conditions to the extent that they are not reserved elsewhere in this scheme of delegation Senior Manager or above
Signing witness statements and similar legal documents on behalf of the Commission where required to do so to protect the Commission’s rights and property in proceedings undertaken by the National Lottery operator under requirements placed on it by way of licence conditions Senior Manager or above
Any other decisions which are not otherwise specifically delegated under these terms of reference Executive Director or above

Code of conduct for employees

Introduction

1. The Gambling Commission’s position as the regulator of the gambling industry requires that the Commission and its employees are able, at all times, to demonstrate that their actions and behaviour are beyond reproach. We want to ensure that you are protected from any situation where you might be seen as vulnerable to personal compromise of any kind, or situations which might lead to the integrity of the Commission being questioned. To support this, the Code of Conduct reflects the Commission’s values and sets out the standards of behaviour that are expected of everyone who works with us and the ways in which the Commission will help you to avoid any unwarranted criticism or pressure. Throughout the Code of Conduct for Employees, the term ‘employee’ includes all employees and others working for the Commission.

Gambling Commission values

Fair

We will be consistent, proportionate, evidence-based and free from bias, prejudice or discrimination in all that we do.

Accountable

We will be frank about the way in which we work and reach decisions in the public interest, while safeguarding the personal and confidential data that we hold.

Professional

We will ensure that we have the right skills and knowledge base and follow international regulatory best practice.

Constructive

We will work positively and courteously with our internal and external stakeholders to ensure that their needs and views are taken fully into account in all we do.

2. This Code sets out the framework within which you must conduct yourself and forms a part of the Employee Handbook and your contract of employment. This Code applies to everyone who works for the Commission and you will be required to confirm that you have read this Code as a part of your induction. We will, on occasions, ask you to review the Code and confirm that you have done so.

3. You should normally discuss any matters arising under the Code in the first instance with your Development Manager. If you, or your manager, require further assistance, you should refer the matter to the Head of Human Resources. Certain matters under the Code require declarations to be made to a Director. These requirements are summarised in Annex A.

4. This Code has been developed to reflect the Commission’s values and covers the following areas:

  • general principles
  • gambling by employees
  • confidentiality and conflicts of interest
  • appointments on leaving the Commission
  • gifts and hospitality
  • political activities
  • promoting equality and respect
  • smoking
  • dealing with the media
  • employee concerns about improper conduct and public interest disclosure
  • use of Commission information systems.

General principles

5. The Commission expects the highest standards of behaviour from employees at work and in their personal lives where the Commission’s position might be affected. The general principles set out as follows apply to everyone who works with us. It is the responsibility of each individual to be aware of the standards of conduct expected of them and to apply this Code as a general guideline to their behaviour. However, we recognise that you may encounter particular personal circumstances that are not covered by the Code, or where the strict application of the Code may seem unreasonable. You should discuss any such circumstance with your manager in the first instance (or with the Human Resources team) and we will try to arrive at a solution which is fair and reasonable for you and the Commission.

Integrity

You should conduct yourself in a frank and honest manner and maintain the Commission’s high standards of conduct, whether or not at work. You should treat all those you encounter, including colleagues, licensees and the public, courteously and follow the guidance in this Code and the Employee Handbook.

Personal and financial affairs

You should conduct your financial and other personal affairs in a frank and honest manner that does not leave you exposed to the risk of corruption or improper pressure. Major financial difficulties or changes of circumstances which might make you vulnerable, or appear vulnerable, to allegations of impropriety should be disclosed (in confidence) to the Head of Human Resources. In the event of financial difficulties, the Commission is able to offer access to external advice and support. Employees should not normally take steps to borrow money from, or lend to, other employees.

Confidentiality

Working in the Commission involves access to sensitive and confidential information about individuals; about commercial organisations and their plans and about policy developments. You must ensure that such information is not used in any way directly or indirectly for your own benefit or for the benefit of any third party or disclosed to any person (whether Commission employees or otherwise) other than as required by law. This does not prevent an employee from exercising any of his or her other rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (opens in new tab) (see Public interest disclosure policy at Appendix 4).

Accountability

While safeguarding information that should be kept confidential, you must remember that the Commission is committed to being open about the way in which decisions are reached and how our business is conducted. You must therefore take care to record and make available material to enable our stakeholders to understand our business.


Formatting changes.

Gambling by employees

6. We recognise that gambling is a legitimate leisure activity and that a total ban on gambling activity by all Commission employees would be unduly restrictive and could be an obstacle to the recruitment and retention of people with direct experience of the sectors they are regulating. However, because of the Commission’s role as the industry regulator, we have to place restrictions on the gambling that you can undertake to protect you and the Commission from the risk, actual or perceived, of bias, lack of objectivity, or impropriety.

Restrictions on gambling and playing the National Lottery

7. No gambling of any kind (including spread betting, raffles, lotteries, phone or on line betting) is permitted on Commission premises, or using Commission equipment (including IT equipment whether at work or home and Commission-supplied mobile or BlackBerry type devices), at any time.

8. For gambling off Commission premises or using non Commission equipment, you will fall into one of two categories:

  • employees considered to be in a position to influence regulatory decisions or Commission employees having domain administrator privileges and/or access to software source code
  • other employees.

9. If you are unclear as to your status, you should seek guidance from your manager in the first instance or, failing this, the Commission’s internal compliance officer which role is carried out by the Commission’s Intelligence lead.

Employees in a position to influence regulatory decisions under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

10. You are prohibited from playing the National Lottery if you are in a position to influence regulatory decisions. You are in position to influence regulatory decisions if you are a Director or Programme Director or employee who has delegated authority to make decisions about the Licensing, Legal, Compliance or Enforcement functions in relation to the National Lottery.

11. Depending on their particular responsibilities, other employees may also fall into this category and, if you do, you will be informed of this by your manager.

12. The prohibition on playing the National Lottery does not extend to family members, but employees are encouraged to notify the Intelligence lead in the event that a member of the family were to win a substantial amount – subject always to the rights to anonymity afforded to winners.

Employees in a position to influence regulatory decisions under the Gambling Act 2005

13. You are in a position to influence regulatory decisions if you are a Director or Programme Director or employee in the Intelligence, Licensing, Legal, Compliance and Enforcement functions. Also included are employees working in the ICT department having domain administrator privileges and ICT employees with access to software source code. Depending on their particular responsibilities, other employees may also fall into this category and, if you do, you will be informed of this by your manager.

14. If you are in a position to influence regulatory decisions, or you appear to be in such a position, you are not permitted to gamble in non-remote casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers premises, family entertainment centres, adult entertainment centres or with on-course bookmakers in Great Britain, or accept winnings from lotteries licensed by the Commission. If you are in this category, you are also encouraged to be aware of the potential risks to the Commission and yourself of gambling by members of your close family (which means partners and dependants).

15. If you are in a position to influence regulatory decisions, you may gamble remotely, for example by phone, television or internet, as there is a clear audit trail that would stand up to challenge. In addition, you may gamble whilst abroad. In all instances, however, you:

  • must gamble only as a private individual and not identify your connection with the Commission
  • must notify the Commission’s Intelligence lead as to:
    • which operators you gamble with
    • any accounts opened
    • any significant individual wins or losses (for example above £500).
  • are encouraged to notify any significant wins by members of your close family or by those you are with if visiting gambling premises, see Visits to gambling premises by employees in a position to influence regulatory decisions section
  • must provide such additional relevant information as the Commission may need from time to time. Such information will be held in confidence, but will be available for any properly constituted investigation.

Other employees

16. All other employees are permitted to gamble without restriction, but you:

  • must not identify your connection with the Commission
  • must notify the Commission’s Intelligence lead of any significant individual wins or losses (such as above £500)
  • are encouraged to notify any significant wins by members of your close family or by those you are with if visiting gambling premises
  • must provide such additional relevant information as the Commission may need from time to time. Such information will be held in confidence, but will be available for any properly constituted investigation.

Visits to gambling premises by employees in a position to influence regulatory decisions

17. If you are in the Intelligence, Compliance or Enforcement functions, you may only visit non-remote casinos, bingo halls or bookmakers’ premises in Great Britain in an official capacity or with prior agreement from a Director (for example for a special family occasion which it would be unreasonable for you to miss).

18. If you are in the other groups (such as Directors and Programme Directors and those in the Licensing, Legal function or applicable ICT role) to which the restrictions on gambling in non-remote casinos, bingo halls or at bookmakers etc apply (see paragraph 13), you may still visit (but not gamble on) such premises on official business or in your private capacity. Such visits may include unannounced visits, but these must be cleared in advance with a Director. Private visits should not take place if you are involved in any impending regulatory decision involving the relevant premises or operator. Any official or private visits must be notified as soon as possible to the Commission’s Intelligence lead.

19. If you are visiting gambling premises in any capacity, whether in Great Britain or abroad, you should ensure that neither you, nor anyone with you, receive preferential treatment nor any form of hospitality not available to other players or visitors.

20. All employees are permitted to visit licensed racecourses or greyhound race tracks (subject to the restrictions on gambling described above). If you work in the Intelligence, Compliance and Enforcement functions, however, you should notify the Commission’s Intelligence lead if you visit bookmakers’ premises within a racetrack.

Confidentiality and conflicts of interest

Confidentiality

21. It is the nature of the Commission’s work that you are likely to have access to sensitive information. This may cover, for example, sensitive commercial, political or personal information. You must not (except in the proper course of your duties) either during your employment with the Commission or at any time after its termination (howsoever occurring), divulge sensitive information to any person; or otherwise make use of any confidential information relating to the business, policies, operations, affairs, interests or financial position of the Commission or any person, firm or body with whom the Commission has or has had any dealings. (In addition, you should use your best endeavours to prevent the unauthorised publication or disclosure of any such sensitive information).

22. Failure to adhere to this policy will be regarded as a serious matter and may amount to gross misconduct.

Conflicts of interest

23. We recognise that you may legitimately have interests outside the Commission. However, you should be aware that the conduct of private business might give rise to actual or perceived conflicts of interest between your private position and that of the Commission. You should ensure that any possible conflicts of interest are identified at an early stage and that appropriate action is taken to resolve them (for example, informing your manager, seeking your manager’s advice).

Private interests and possible conflict with public duty

24. As a public servant you have a particular duty to ensure that you do not abuse, or raise any reasonable suspicion that you have abused, your public position in your own personal interest. In particular, you must not:

  • use information gained in your work to advance your private financial or other interests, or the financial or other interests of other persons. There are circumstances in which this would be insider dealing, which is a criminal offence (see Annex B)
  • participate in the taking of any decision which could affect the value of your private financial or other interests, or the financial or other interests of those to whom you give investment advice. Such a conflict of interest could, in certain circumstances, result in legal action against the Commission and against you.

25. Further guidance is in Annex B and the Employee Handbook.

Shareholdings

26. If you are in a position to influence the outcome of regulatory decisions (see paragraphs 10 and 13), or you appear to be in such a position, you are not permitted to hold shares directly in companies operating in the gambling industry which are, or which may be, licensed by the Commission. You should instruct anybody carrying out investments on your behalf of this constraint. This restriction extends to your close family. Other employees may fall into this category and, if so, you will be informed of this by your manager. If you are unclear as to your status, you should seek guidance from your manager in the first instance or, failing this, the Head of Human Resources.

27. If you are not in a position to influence regulatory decisions, you may invest in shareholdings and other securities connected to the gambling industry, unless the nature of your work is such as to require constraints on this, in which case you will be informed. You must not be involved in taking any decision which could affect the value of your private investments, or the value of those on which you give advice to others. In addition, you must not use information acquired in the course of your work to advance your private financial interests or those of others. You should be aware of the strict controls which apply to insider dealing, which is a criminal offence. Further details are in Annex B and the Employee Handbook.

28. You must declare to the Head of Finance any business interests (including directorships) or holdings of shares or other securities that you or members of your close family hold, to the extent which you are aware of them, which you may be able to further as a result of your official position. Such interests are primarily likely to be interests and direct investments in the leisure sector. You must comply with any subsequent instructions from the Commission regarding the retention, disposal or management of such interests.

Business interests and outside occupations

29. You may only have limited external business interests and occupations, provided that these do not interfere with your work or in any other way compromise the Commission’s position. The starting point is that your principal paid occupation is with the Commission and nothing you do in addition to this should compromise your ability to fulfil your obligations to the Commission. The following general principles must be observed in respect of business interests and outside occupations:

  • you must not engage in private activities which would require your attendance during office hours or impair your usefulness to the Commission by, for example, leaving you with insufficient time for rest and relaxation (for which you receive paid leave)
  • you must not be involved in occupations or other activities, which might conflict with the interests of the Commission or be inconsistent with your position as a Commission employee
  • you may only do things externally which depend upon your official experience if you first obtain the consent of a Director
  • generally you may only hold directorships in, or undertake work in or for, public or private companies, firms or other organisations - including in a consultancy or advisory role, with the consent of the Chief Executive. A single directorship may be allowed where individuals have the express permission of a Director. (The holding of a non-executive directorship of a small private ‘family-type’ company may also be permitted, if no conflict of interest is caused)
  • unremunerated directorships of charitable companies or similar organisations are permitted, provided there is no potential conflict of interest.

30. If, as a part of your work, you come into contact with matters concerning a business organisation in which you have an interest, then you must declare that interest to the Head of Finance.

31. You should not handle any official business where, because of private interests, your actions could be open to misunderstanding.

32. You should not carry out any private business transaction with an outside organisation with which you have had official dealings on behalf of the Commission unless, exceptionally, specific written approval is first obtained from a Director or Programme Director.

33. Directors, Programme Directors and Senior Managers will be asked to make a formal declaration of interests to the Head of Finance at least annually. This will include nil returns. The Commission will publish such declarations in accordance with its publication scheme.

Appointments on leaving the Commission

34. Your duty of confidentiality continues after you have left the Commission’s employment, whatever the reason for you leaving the Commission.

Rules on the acceptance of outside appointments after resignation or retirement

35. Movement between the Commission and the regulated sectors should not be frustrated by unjustified public concern over a particular appointment. However, it is important that when a former Commission employee takes up an outside appointment there should be no cause for any suspicion of impropriety, so as to avoid:

  • any suspicion that the advice and decisions of a serving employee might be influenced by the hope or expectation of future employment with a particular firm or organisation
  • the risk that a particular firm might gain an improper advantage over its competitors by employing someone who, in the course of their official duties, has had access to technical, commercial or other information which those competitors might legitimately regard as their own trade secrets.

36. For these reasons, if you are an employee who is in a position to influence regulatory decisions (see paragraphs 10 and 13) and are leaving the Commission’s employment, you must not, within six months of leaving, accept any form of full, part time or fee-paid employment with a licensee or applicant for a licence without having obtained the Commission's prior written approval. Any such requests should be made in writing to the Head of Human Resources. Such approval will not be withheld unreasonably.

37. If you are on secondment to other organisations or have been on secondment to the Commission, you are also subject to these rules.

Reporting offers of employment

38. If you are approached regarding an offer of employment either directly or indirectly by or on behalf of a person or organisation in or related to the gambling or gaming industry, you are under a duty to disclose the full particulars of that approach. In addition, if you are actively seeking alternative employment so that your CV is likely to be brought to the attention (whether by you or by an agency) of a person or organisation in or related to the gambling or gaming industry, you are under a duty to disclose this.

39. The disclosures referred to in paragraph 35 should be made as follows:

  • the Chief Executive or an employee at Director level must inform the Chair or Chief Executive as appropriate
  • other employees must inform a Director or the Head of Human Resources.

40. If you are working on compliance and enforcement in relation to specific operators, or in areas concerned with procurement or contract work, you should report any approach - where it comes from those specific operators or from an outside employer with whom they or their employees have had, or might have, official dealings; you do this irrespective of whether or not you are considering taking up the offer.

41. If you wish to pursue an approach about employment, you may be asked to reach a decision within a given timeframe and/or may be asked to work in a different area of the Commission’s business to ensure that there is no potential conflict of interest.

42. The Commission will make operators and licence applicants aware of its policy in this area and ask them to inform the Head of Human Resources before making any approach to Commission employees.

Gifts and hospitality

43. It is an important part of our work to develop contacts and build good working relations with a range of outside organisations, for example, relevant trade associations and with individual licence holders. You are encouraged to develop such contacts appropriately. In doing so, however, you are expected to observe exceptionally high standards of personal honesty and integrity. Failure to comply with the Commission’s policies on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality will be regarded as a serious matter and may amount to gross misconduct. In particular, you should make yourself aware of the provisions of the Bribery Act 2010 (opens in new tab) and ensure that your actions do not place you and/or the Commission in a position where you and/or the Commission could be accused of being in breach of the provisions of that Act.

44. No gift or hospitality should be accepted if it would, or might, appear to place you under any obligation, or compromise your impartiality, or be otherwise improper. Subsequent payment for, or reciprocity of, any hospitality does not legitimise its unauthorised receipt. Prevailing practice in the private sector is not a justification for a breach of the standards required in the public sector.

45. Employees should not, therefore, accept any gifts however modest, or hospitality from actual or prospective licensees, or from current contractors or those seeking to become contractors. The only exception is light refreshments at a meeting, for example tea or coffee. Care must also be taken over acceptance of hospitality from trade associations and representative bodies.

46. If you have any doubts about the proper course of action to take when giving or receiving hospitality, it is your responsibility to discuss the issue with your manager in the first instance, or the Head of Finance.

Receipt of gifts or cash

47. Generally the offer of any gift, reward or benefit arising out of your duties as an employee of the Commission should be politely refused with the explanation that public servants are not permitted to accept such offers. Where refusal would clearly be impractical, or cause offence to the donor (for example a representative of a foreign government or similar) you should let the donor know that the gift is being accepted on behalf of the Commission for retention in the office. Such gifts must be handed into the Commission for office use or subsequent disposal.

48. Any gifts received should be returned with a polite letter of explanation. Where return of gifts would be expensive or otherwise difficult, the donor should be told that the gift cannot be accepted but will be donated to charity in their name.

49. These principles do not apply to isolated gifts, for example office accessories at a conference, or from a visitor which are worth less than £10, and which may be accepted for use at work.

50. Details of any gift you have accepted (including those with a value of less than £10) must be notified immediately to the Head of Finance on the standard Hospitality declaration form. A public register of gifts and hospitality will be maintained by the Head of Finance showing all notified gifts and hospitality accepted with a value greater than £10. Unsolicited gifts passed on to charity with the donor’s knowledge should also be notified to the Head of Finance.

51. Employees should not accept cash or other form of monetary payment under any circumstances from actual or prospective licensees, or from current contractors, or those seeking to become contractors. The only exception to this is the collection of fees which are received by the Finance team as part of their accounts receivable duties.

Receipt of hospitality

52. An element of modest hospitality plays an important part in the maintenance of a wide range of important business contacts and the acceptance of appropriate levels of hospitality is acceptable. It is essential, however, that you exercise careful judgment in deciding whether the acceptance of hospitality in particular circumstances is appropriate. In doing so, you should consider whether the offer and/or its acceptance would be normal and reasonable in the circumstances. If you have any doubt as to appropriateness, you should decline any offer of hospitality.

53. With the exception of modest hospitality invitations (with an estimated value of £10 or less) acceptance of hospitality invitations should first be cleared by a Director or Programme Director. As noted in paragraph 50, hospitality, even if modest, must not be accepted from actual or prospective licensees or from current contractors or those seeking to become contractors. Any working lunches, for example during a corporate inspection must be paid for. To ensure transparency in the Commission’s affairs, all hospitality received must be recorded in the Commission’s hospitality register. Any hospitality you have accepted (including that with a value of less than £10) must be notified immediately to the Head of Finance on the standard form Hospitality declaration form. The only exception is tea/coffee/soft drinks accepted in the course of a working visit.

Offer of hospitality by Gambling Commission employees

54. Senior employees at Director/Programme Director level may, occasionally, offer hospitality in line with the specific hospitality limits set out in the Commission’s expenses rules. These limits will only be varied by prior written agreement from a Director or the Chief Executive as appropriate. Without such prior agreement no reimbursement will normally be made.

Political activities

55. You are entitled to your own privately held political beliefs and opinions. However, you are expected to exercise appropriate discretion in respect of any political activities that you undertake which are liable to give public expression to your private political views and your private political views should not influence, or appear to influence, your official duties.

56. Rules relating to employee political activity, including standing for election, are set out in the Employee Handbook.

Relationships

57. If you have a close personal relationship with another employee of the Commission, or job applicant, where you are or will be managing the individual or involved in their performance appraisal, that relationship should be disclosed, either to the Head of Human Resources or to the relevant Director.

58. Where one party directly line manages the other party, it may be appropriate to change the management arrangements to avoid allegations of bias, impropriety or misconduct.

59. Where the relationship is between an employee and a job applicant, it will not be appropriate for the employee to take part in any selection process in which the applicant is involved, or to take any role in the decision to appoint.

60. This paragraph applies if you have a close personal relationship with someone within the gambling industry which could give rise to allegations of bias or conflict of interest. In such circumstances the relationship should also be disclosed to your Resource Manager, who will take steps to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. This disclosure should also be copied to the relevant Director and to the Human Resources team. If you are uncertain whether a disclosure needs to be made, you should seek advice from the Head of Human Resources.

61. ‘Close personal relationships’ include relationships with (whether by marriage, civil partnership or blood) another employee, job applicant or someone within the gambling industry.

Alcohol and substance misuse

62. The Commission recognises that incapacity caused by drugs or alcohol may be a symptom of health problems such as alcoholism or drug dependency and, under such circumstances, will manage any necessary action under the terms of the Alcohol and substance misuse policy. It is your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not come to work if you are not fit to do so.

63. Should your actions outside of work affect your ability to undertake your work within the Commission, for example losing your driving licence, you should advise either your manager or the Head of Human Resources.

64. Although the Commission’s offices will normally be alcohol free, alcohol may on appropriate official occasions, be provided by the Commission. In these circumstances, you should exercise personal discretion and ensure that your consumption of alcohol does not affect your ability to work effectively.

65. In no circumstances should employees bring alcohol onto Commission premises for consumption.

Smoking

66. The Commission is a non-smoking environment; therefore you must refrain from smoking on all Commission premises. Smoking should be confined to any areas where it is legal to do so.

Dealing with the media

67. As a public body, the Commission is regularly the subject of media reports and it is important that press enquiries are handled consistently and with accuracy. You are therefore required to pass on any media enquiries to the Corporate Affairs team. You should not comment to the media directly on any issue relating to the Commission’s work unless specifically authorised to do so by the Director of Communications.

Use of Commission Information Systems

68. You should take the time to familiarise yourself with the Commission’s policies regarding use of its IT systems and mobile telephones. You are referred in particular to the Commission’s Information Security Management System (ISMS) policy and BlackBerry/Wireless device usage policy, copies of which can be found on the Commission’s intranet site.

Employee concerns about improper conduct

69. The Commission relies on you to inform us if you believe that you are being asked or required to act in a way which:

  • is illegal, improper, or unethical
  • is in breach of a professional code
  • may involve possible maladministration, fraud or misuse of public funds
  • is otherwise inconsistent with this Code.

70. You must also draw attention to cases where:

  • there is evidence of criminal or unlawful activity by others
  • you believe there is evidence of irregular or improper behaviour elsewhere in the organisation
  • you are required to act in a way which, for you, raises a fundamental issue of conscience.

71. You should either raise the matter through your manager or approach, in confidence, the Chief Executive or a Commissioner.

72. If you have reported a matter as above, but believe that the response you have received does not represent a reasonable response to your concern, you may report the matter in writing to a Director at the Department of Culture Media and Sport who will investigate the matter further.

73. In accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (opens in new tab), the Commission has put in place arrangements which allow you to raise any concerns in confidence and with a guarantee that the matters will be properly investigated, without damage to you. The Commission’s Public interest disclosure policy is set out in Appendix 4.

Compliance with this code

74. All employees are required to comply with the provisions outlined in this Employee Code of Conduct. Should there be any concern that this is not the case, the circumstances may be investigated in line with the Discipline and Grievance policy and procedure.

75. If you are concerned that any other employee, regardless of their status or level within the organisation, is behaving in ways which do not support this Code, you should outline your concerns to your manager or a member of the Head of Human Resources, who will ensure that your concerns are treated seriously, confidentially and without recrimination.

Annex A: Summary of reporting requirements

Gambling by employees

Paragraph

15, 16

Requirement

Employees in a position to influence regulatory decisions (see paragraph 13) must notify the Intelligence lead:

  • which operator they gamble with
  • any accounts opened.

All employees are required to notify the Intelligence lead of:

  • any wins or losses that are significant (more than £500).

And are encouraged to notify:

  • any significant wins by their close family or people they have accompanied on visits to gambling premises.

Reported to

Intelligence lead.

Visits to gambling premises

Paragraph

17, 20

Requirement

Employees in Compliance, Enforcement and Intelligence functions can only visit gambling premises (including bookmakers’ premises at race tracks) in their official capacity or with the prior consent of a Director or Programme Director.

Reported to

A Director or Programme Director.

Shareholdings

Paragraph

28

Requirement

All employees must declare to the Head of Finance any business interests (including directorships) or holdings of shares or other securities held by themselves or members of their close family, to the extent which they are aware of them, which they may be able to further as a result of their official position.

Reported to

Head of Finance

Business interests

Paragraph

30

Requirement

If, as a part of their work, employees come into contact with matters concerning a business organisation in which they have an interest, then they must declare that interest to the Head of Finance.

Reported to

Head of Finance

Outside offers of employment

Paragraph

36

Requirement

An employee who is in a position to influence regulatory decisions (see paragraphs 10 and 13) and is leaving the Commission’s employment, must not, within six months of leaving, accept any form of full, part-time or fee-paid employment with a licensee or applicant for a licence without having obtained the Commission's prior written approval. Any such requests should be made in writing to the Head of Human Resources. Such approval will not be withheld unreasonably.

Reported to

Head of Human Resources

Paragraph

38, 39

Requirement

Employees considering an approach from an outside employer which is regulated by the Commission, or which is seeking to be regulated by the Commission, are under a duty to disclose, as soon as possible, the full particulars of any such approach received directly or indirectly from or on behalf of a person or an organisation in or related to the Gambling or Gaming industry, other than in the normal course of their employment with the Commission. Such notification should be made as follows:

  • the Chief Executive, or an employee at Director level must inform the Chair or Chief Executive as appropriate
  • other employees must inform their Director.

Reported to

Chair and/or Chief Executive or Responsible director, as appropriate.

Gifts and hospitality

Paragraph

49

Requirement

Employees must disclose details of all gifts and hospitality received to the Head of Finance.

Reported to

Head of Finance

Media enquiries

Paragraph

69

Requirement

Employees must refer all media enquiries to the Head of Communications.

Reported to

Board Advisor - Corporate Affairs

Improper conduct

Paragraph

74, 75

Requirement

Employees should refer any suspicion of improper conduct within the Commission (see paragraphs 72 and 73) to:

  • in the first instance, the Chief Executive or a Commissioner
  • if the response is unsatisfactory, in writing to a DCMS Director.

Reported to

Chief Executive and/or Commissioner and DCMS Director, as appropriate.

Paragraph

76

Requirement

In accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (opens in new tab), which allows you to raise any concerns in confidence and with a guarantee that the matters will be properly investigated, without damage to you. The Commission’s Public interest disclosure policy is set out in Appendix 4.

Reported to

See Appendix 4.

Annex B: Insider dealing

1. Insider dealing is a serious criminal offence under the Criminal Justice Act 1993 (opens in new tab). If you come into possession of ‘inside information’ you must be scrupulous in your use of that information. In particular:

  • you must not deal on a regulated market or through a professional intermediary in securities whose price would be significantly affected if the inside information were made public
  • you must not encourage anyone else to do so (whether for your benefit or theirs)
  • you must not disclose such information to others (even in confidence to other Commission officials) unless it is necessary for the proper performance of your work.

2. ‘Inside information’ means information which:

  • relates to particular securities or to a particular issuer or issuers of securities
  • is specific or precise
  • has not been made public
  • if it were made public would be likely to have a significant effect on the price of any securities.

Conflict of interest

3. A decision by the Commission would be open to legal challenge, and could be set aside, if the private financial interests of any person substantively involved in the decision making process were such as to give rise to a reasonable presumption of bias. (Persons ‘substantively involved’ include not only the decision taker but also others who contribute to the decision, for example through research or advice). Any person who feels adversely affected by such a decision and who alleges bias by an official involved in the decision making process may:

  • take legal action against the Commission in respect of the decision
  • seek damages against a person with a conflict of interest against whom bias is alleged.

4. In law, the possibility of conflict of interest does not necessarily stop with consideration of financial interests held by you. Bias could be alleged in respect of the interests of anyone with whom you may have a family, domestic or other relationship and over whose decisions on investment matters you may reasonably be thought to exert an influence and where knowledge of such matters can reasonably be imputed to you. In that event a court would examine the facts of the matter to decide whether bias should be presumed.

Relevant financial interests

5. For the purpose of these instructions, you should consider both your own financial interests and those of others to whom you give investment advice. You should consider financial interests such as shares and other forms of investment such as options and other similar products. Nevertheless, you should always bear in mind that a financial interest even though small could, depending on circumstances, give rise to a legal presumption of conflict of interest and therefore of bias.

Basic rules

6. You must then closely observe the following basic rules:

  • if you are in possession of any inside information, you must not purchase or sell an interest in securities whose price would be significantly affected if the inside information were made public, or encourage others to do so (whether for your benefit or theirs) or pass on the information to third parties unless disclosure is necessary for the proper performance of your work
  • if you, or those to whom you give investment advice, have a financial interest of which the value could reasonably be thought to be affected by an impending decision by the Commission, you must not participate in any way in the decision making process. You must immediately declare your position to your manager. This should be done even if you have already declared your interest under supplementary rules that apply to you (see the following).

Supplementary rules

7. It is not possible to set out in these procedures all the requirements which, in order to avoid conflict of interest, apply to different types of work in the Commission. Therefore, Directors may issue from time to time, as a supplement to these rules, local instructions to their employees relevant to the needs of the work. Depending on the circumstances of the work these supplementary rules might include, for example:

  • notification to the Development Manager of all or specified categories of financial interest; although it should not be necessary to require notification of the size of such interests
  • a ban of a defined group of employees engaging in dealings in financial interests within particular periods of time
  • a ban on a defined group of employees holding certain kinds of financial interests
  • a requirement for defined groups of employees to obtain prior permission to deal in certain financial interests.

8. If you are in any doubt as to your proper course of action in any of these areas, you must consult your Development Manager who will consider whether or not to refer the matter to the Commission’s legal advisers. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that you act within the law and within the Commission’s rules. Even if not a criminal offence under the insider dealing legislation, a breach of these requirements or of any supplementary instructions issued by a Director will make you liable to disciplinary proceedings. Any enquiries about this information should be addressed to the Head of Human Resources.