On 30 April 2008, the CC published its final report on its UK groceries market investigation. In this report, the CC set out its intention to seek undertakings from grocery retailers to establish a Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) Ombudsman to monitor and enforce compliance with the GSCOP. The CC is now consulting publicly on draft undertakings to establish this Ombudsman, which would have the following duties: to arbitrate on disputes between retailers and suppliers arising from the new GSCOP; to investigate complaints under the GSCOP; to publish guidance on the provisions of the GSCOP; to make recommendations to retailers on how to improve compliance with the GSCOP; and to advise and report to the OFT on the operation of the GSCOP. The CC does not have the power to establish an Ombudsman itself, so this will require the agreement of retailers. If retailers do not sign up to the Undertakings, then the CC will recommend to the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform that it takes steps to establish the Ombudsman instead.
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