UK Government seeks views on new Office for Internal Market

The UK government has today (16 June) launched a consultation on the maximum level of financial penalties available to the new Office for the Internal Market (OIM).

The OIM was established within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of the UK Internal Market Act 2020. The Act protects businesses, jobs and livelihoods by ensuring there are no harmful new barriers to trade across the United Kingdom.

The OIM will be responsible for carrying out independent advisory, monitoring and reporting functions to support the development and effective operation of the UK internal market.

To do this, the Act provides the OIM powers to gather information from businesses and other parties. If an organisation fails to comply with an information notice, the OIM will be able to issue financial penalties where necessary.

The consultation launched today seeks views on the maximum level at which these penalties should be set. The consultation proposes the maximum penalty be set at £30,000 for a single fixed penalty and £15,000 for a daily rate. The CMA can currently impose similar penalties for non-compliance with information notices under many of its existing functions.

The government is seeking views from businesses, consumer groups, trade unions and more before the consultation ends on 11 August. View the consultation in full on GOV.UK.

The consultation should be considered alongside the CMA’s own separate consultation on the OIM’s Statement of Policy of its information-gathering powers. In addition, the CMA is currently consulting on draft guidance on the operation of the CMA’s UK internal market functions.

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