The Enterprise Act 2002: more power to the care providers?
The Enterprise Act 2002, covering competition law among other topics, has now been passed and will come into effect next May. Up until six months ago it appeared that competition law had bypassed the care provider. However following the Bettercare decision (see CT, Nov. 2002), it is important to examine this new piece of legislation. The Enterprise Act 2002 does not repeal the Competition Act 1998 but introduces changes to the current competition and insolvency regimes as well as introducing further consumer protection measures. The most interesting changes for care providers will be the changes to the Office of Fair Trading, directorsÂ¹ responsibilities, the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the introduction of claims for damages within the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Office of Fair Trading The Act establishes the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on a statutory basis as a corporate body. Under the old law the OFT does not exist as a legal entity, but is merely the administrative support for the Director General o