Code breach process
Our compliance philosophy guides decision-making at every stage of the Code breach process.
How we deal with alleged breaches
Our process for dealing with alleged breaches of the Code is set out in the Electricity Industry (Enforcement) Regulations.
When an alleged breach report is received, we consider the information provided by the reporting party. If necessary, the reporting party, or other relevant parties, will be requested to provide further information.
Based on the information gathered, a report on the alleged breach is presented to the Compliance Committee. The Compliance Committee decides what action to take regarding the alleged breach. This may involve:
- deciding to take no further action
- issuing a warning letter
- appointing an investigator to more fully investigate the alleged breach.
If an investigator is appointed to investigate an alleged Code breach, the notice of investigation is publicised on the website under Current investigations – open for parties to join.
Industry participants who think they may have been affected by the matter being investigated can opt to join as a party to the investigation. To join an investigation, participants should notify the investigator within 10 business days of the date of the notice published on the website.
The investigator then attempts to settle the matter informally between the parties and prepares a report and recommendation for the Compliance committee.
Compliance Committee decision on the investigation
On receiving an investigator's report, the Compliance Committee decides what action should be taken. This may involve:
- approving a settlement
- rejecting a settlement and recommending the Authority Board lay a formal complaint with the Rulings Panel
- if no settlement can be reached, recommending the Authority Board lay a formal complaint with the Rulings panel or discontinue the investigation.
The Compliance Committee’s decisions are available on our Decisions page.
Formal complaints to the Rulings Panel
The Rulings Panel is an independent body whose role includes dealing with formal complaints of breaches of the Code. If the Rulings Panel upholds a complaint, it has a number of options available to it, including imposing penalties against industry participants, awarding costs or compensation, issuing suppression or termination order, and recommending Code amendments. Compliance - formal complaints
Breach assessment criteria
Breach assessment criteria are used to assess the seriousness and overall impact of alleged breaches. This assessment assists us in making decisions on how alleged breaches are categorised and dealt with. These criteria are included in the operating procedures.
Breaches of the Act and regulations
The Enforcement Regulations do not apply to breaches of the Act or the regulations made under the Act, with the exception of non-compliance with section 46 (Authority's monitoring, investigation and enforcement powers) of the Act.
Failure to comply with provisions in the Act or regulations made under the Act is an offence. We use the same internal operating procedures to investigate alleged breaches of the Act or regulations as we use to investigate alleged breaches of the Code. Compliance - prosecution policy