COVID-19: CMA working arrangements

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photograph: the CMA logo on a white wall.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned above all to ensure the safety and well-being of its staff and all those it engages with, while continuing to do its utmost to help ensure that the UK public is protected from anti-competitive practices, transactions and unfair trading.

It has therefore implemented a range of precautions, taking into account official advice, and continues to review and update its protocols as this complex situation develops.

Among other things, the CMA is making the following changes:

  • All staff are now working from home if they are able to do so. As well as protecting staff, this will allow the CMA to continue to progress cases, make decisions and meet deadlines. The CMA has also stopped business travel and travel between its different offices.

  • All meetings are being conducted remotely via videoconferencing or telephone. It is no longer necessary or appropriate, given the official guidance, to hold face-to-face external meetings. People can still make decisions and take part in meetings while working from home, including with people from outside the organisation. This also applies to all hearings before the CMA, which will be conducted remotely.
  • Binding statutory deadlines apply to a significant proportion of the CMA’s work and it intends to continue progressing its cases, making decisions and meeting deadlines – helped in part by the adjustments it is already making to things like remote working. At the same time, it will continue to monitor timetables including, as permitted, extending statutory timeframes where necessary. Any updates will be communicated to businesses involved in investigations and made public on the CMA website.

  • It is reallocating resources to help ensure that the most urgent and the most critical work can be done on time.

The CMA continues to monitor official advice and will provide further updates about how it expects to adapt its work in response to the unprecedented challenges now faced by many parts of the economy.

This is a difficult period for everyone – including the businesses, people and public authorities the CMA engages with, as well as its own staff. But it is determined to work co-operatively to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, work can carry on for the benefit of consumers.

How the organisation is working may be changing in some ways, but its role remains the same: to promote competition for the benefit of UK consumers.

Published 18 March 2020
Last updated 19 March 2020 + show all updates

  1. 19 March 2020

    Statement updated to include that all hearings before the CMA will be conducted remotely.

  2. 18 March 2020

    First published.

Revision History:

 

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