Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

OFT: The OFT has published new guidance on how it will set penalties for breaches of competition law. The guidance will allow the OFT to continue to set substantial penalties to deter anti-competitive activity while ensuring that penalties are proportionate in the specific circumstances of individual cases. 
 
The new guidance sees the maximum starting point for penalty calculations increase to 30% of relevant turnover, from 10%.  It also introduces a new step in the calculation of penalties. The OFT will consider specifically whether a penalty is proportionate 'in the round'.  This change is intended to ensure that, overall, penalties are not disproportionate or excessive in the particular circumstances of the case.
Press release & links
 
HEFCE: Universities, colleges & schools all stand to benefit from the Sustainability Exchange, a new ‘knowledge bank’ for the higher education sector. The public money contributed through Higher Education Funding Council England’s leadership, governance & management fund has enabled collaboration between the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), Staffordshire University and 20 other partner organisations including Universities UK and the Carbon Trust.  It is hoped that this collaboration will in itself create further efficiencies.
Press release & links
 
OFT: The OFT has published guidance to help estate agents and others involved in property sales understand their responsibilities under consumer & business protection regulations. It is aimed at all property sales businesses, from estate agents & property developers to intermediate websites that facilitate contact between buyers and sellers.
 
The guidance identifies examples of trading practices that could breach the regulations and includes practical steps that property sales businesses can take to comply with the law. The guidance specifically covers 2 pieces of existing legislation:
* Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs)
* Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs)
Press release & links
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