Regulatory Reform Committee

Session 2003-04        14 September 2004

Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971) (Directory Entries and Demands for Payment) Order 2004

The Government laid this proposal for a regulatory reform order before Parliament on 26 May 2004 under the procedure laid down by the Regulatory Reform Act 2001. The purpose of the proposal is to amend the legislation governing the processes of authorization by advertisers of entries in directories for which demands for payment can legitimately be issued. 

The Government proposes to relax the existing requirements where clients renew or extend existing contracts for entries in a directory, to allow in specified circumstances contracts for directory entries to be agreed over the telephone and to simplify regulations as to the form and content of certain documents relating to contracts for directory entries. Its aim is to remove provisions it believes are burdensome and unnecessary, to remove anomalies and to ensure the compatibility of UK law with obligations arising from membership of the European Union, while continuing safeguards for business against certain deceptions practised in relation to the publication of real or pretended directory products.

The Committee considers that certain aspects of the proposal fail adequately to protect business from the risk of deception and it recommends that amendments be made to the proposal before a draft Regulatory Reform Order is laid before the House.

The Committee's full report will be published as its Twelfth Report of the current Session at 2.00 pm on Monday 20 September. It will be available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 1056).

The text of the report will also be available on the Committee's website from 3.30 pm on the day of publication. (