- A major non-compliance or deficiency preventing the issue or continuance of Approval for which corrective action must be undertaken urgently. In view of the grave consequences of a Category 1 matter, it is expected that a CP will resolve it as a matter of the utmost importance.
- A detailed corrective action plan must be approved by the AB within one month and put into effect within four months.
- All Category 1 matters for an existing Approval are to be reported by the AB to Ofcom.
- As a Category 1 matter has the potential to constitute a breach of Condition C3, Ofcom reserves the right at its own discretion to provide guidance when a resolution is sought. One resolution would be to amend the scope of Approval until satisfactory Corrective Action has been undertaken.
- Withdrawal of an Approval will only take place after discussion between Ofcom, the AB and the Approval holder. Such a proposal would be subject to the formal public Notification procedure required under section 49 of the Communications Act 2003.
- A non-compliance or deficiency which is a matter of concern. It is to be resolved within a period approved by the AB, but not exceeding 24 months.
- In any event a detailed corrective action plan must be approved and put into effect within four months. Categorisation: the accumulation of Category 2 matters may result in a Category 1 matter being raised.
- A deficiency worthy of consideration by the CP, possibly leading to corrective and / or preventative action, but not of sufficient importance to warrant Category 1 or 2 status.
Extraordinary Performance Failure (EPF)
An Extraordinary Performance Failure (EPF) is a significant detrimental deviation from the normal daily performance of a CP with regard to its capability to accurately bill or to accurately measure performance in line with the documented Measurement Strategy (which requires CP to identify and assess the risks to their TMBS for accuracy, impact and likely occurrence), that is distinguishable from routine performance measurements as a result of special or one off conditions.
The Measurement Strategy shall define criteria for identifying significant instances of extraordinary performance failure6. These criteria shall be subject to acceptance by the AB. Where significant extraordinary performance failures are identified then the following actions shall be followed:
- a) The AB shall be informed within five working days of the performance failure being identified;
- b) The CP shall ensure that End-Users are not financially disadvantaged, but where individual End-Users cannot be identified, the CP shall derive no financial benefit from the failure, either by donating an equivalent sum to charity or by an adjustment of tariffs;
- c) The CP shall ensure that an initial recovery plan shall be made available to the AB as soon as practicable but no later than ten working days after the initial notification of the performance failure;
- d) The performance failure, impact and recovery plan shall be recorded by the CP and reviewed at regular Approval review meetings and in planned audit and assessments by the CP and AB;
- e) Root cause and impact analysis shall be carried out and corrective actions recorded by the CP; and
- f) The impact of the EPF shall be presented by the CP along with the routine performance results to the AB when measurement results are required.
The AB shall assess the frequency and severity of all Extraordinary Performance Failures collectively. Should this exceed the threshold level of three Category 2 occurrences within a rolling 12 month period, a full review, by the AB, of the TMBS shall take place to re-establish fitness for Approval.