Press release

CMA consults on first annual plan

The Competition and Markets Authority has published a series of documents as it prepares to become fully operational on 1 April 2014.

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published a series of key documents as it prepares to become fully operational on 1 April 2014.

The CMA’s Annual Plan 2014/15 is published for consultation alongside draft Prioritisation Principles and a final version of the Vision, Values and Strategy it published for consultation last year. Together, these documents set out the CMA’s ambitions and objectives in its inaugural year.

The CMA’s stated mission is to make markets work well in the interests of consumers, businesses and the economy, and its overall ambition is consistently to be one of the leading competition and consumer agencies in the world.

Underpinning the CMA’s mission in 2014/15 are five strategic goals:

  • delivering effective enforcement – to deter wrongdoing, protect consumers and educate businesses
  • extending competition frontiers – by using the markets regime to improve the way competition works, in particular within the regulated sectors
  • refocusing consumer protection – working with its partners to promote compliance and understanding of the law, and empowering consumers to make informed choices
  • achieving professional excellence – by managing every case efficiently, transparently and fairly, and ensuring all legal, economic and financial analysis is conducted to the highest international standards
  • developing integrated performance – through ensuring that all staff are brought together from different professional backgrounds to form effective multi-disciplinary teams and provide a trusted competition adviser across government

As the successor to the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission, the CMA will inherit many of their existing projects. These cases will form a significant part of the workload in the first year, and will be moved across as seamlessly as possible to ensure their timely delivery.

David Currie, Chairman of the CMA, said:

The establishment of the CMA represents a significant enhancement of the UK competition regime and we are confident that the benefits will be felt by both consumers and businesses alike. Ensuring strong competition across the economy will help drive growth and ensure people get a good deal on the goods and services they buy.

This draft plan identifies our key strategic ambitions for our first year and we will now be discussing our proposals with consumer groups, business representatives, government and others, who all have an important role in its development. I look forward to hearing their views.

In addition to the CMA’s documents, the Government has also today announced how it will measure the performance of the CMA.

This includes how it will measure whether the CMA has achieved the Government’s expectation that it will:

  • increase the number of competition cases it deals with compared with the current regime
  • reduce the time taken for cases to reach conclusion
  • increase the proportion of successful defences of appeals against its infringement decisions

The Government expects the CMA to have a beneficial impact for consumers, on business behaviour and on growth in the economy. It is anticipated that for every £1 the CMA spends, it should generate £10 of benefits for the consumer.

Jenny Willott MP, Consumer and Competition Minister, said:

An effective competition regime not only protects consumers, but is essential for a stronger economy. Now that the CMA has been given the powers and resources it needs to succeed it will be able build on our already world-class competition system. We have rightly set it ambitious goals which will mean that business and consumers are going to feel the benefits of a reinvigorated and streamlined regime.

Next steps

The consultation on the CMA’s draft annual plan 2014/15 and prioritisation principles closes on Wednesday 5 March 2014. The final annual plan will be published in April 2014.

Comments can be sent to:

Paul Latham
Director of Strategy, Communications and Devolved Nations
CMA
Victoria House
Southampton Row
London
WC1B 4AD

Email: strategy@cma.gsi.gov.uk

Notes for editors

  1. Download the CMA’s draft Annual Plan, draft Prioritisation Principles and Vision, Values and Strategy.
  2. In parallel with the CMA Annual Plan, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published the CMA performance management framework.
  3. The requirement for the CMA (along with all Government departments and public bodies) to engage with stakeholders when developing policy and legislation is set out in the consultation principles.
  4. The CMA was legally established on 1 October 2013 and will become fully operational on 1 April 2014. The new unified Authority will bring together the Competition Commission with the competition and certain consumer functions of the OFT and will be responsible for promoting competition for the benefit of consumers. The CMA will bring about significant benefits to business and consumers, including greater coherence, flexibility, speed and transparency in the operation of the competition regime. For further information on the activities of the CMA visit the CMA homepage.
  5. Enquiries should be directed to Kasia Reardon on 020 7211 8901.

Photo above by John on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons, photo resized.

Published 22 January 2014