The SEC sets out a number of mechanisms that SEC Parties, the Data and Communications Company (DCC), Users and other entities can use to contest certain decisions by SEC-defined bodies (e.g. the SEC Panel and its Sub-Committees), and escalate said decisions to a higher body. These mechanisms are appeals, Disputes, referrals and an Event of Default, which are explained in more detail below:
What is an Appeal?
The SEC prescribes a number of appeal routes in relation to a number of SEC clauses and obligations. An appeal is a decision being challenged by a SEC Party, the DCC, Users and other entities to the Authority.
What is a Dispute?
The SEC defines a Dispute as “any dispute or difference (of whatever nature) arising under, out of or in connection with this Code and/or any Bilateral Agreement”.
What is a Referral?
Whilst not SEC defined and specified in the SEC, where an escalation point can be taken to a higher body, this process can be deemed a referral.
What is an Event of Default?
Has the meaning given to that expression in Section M8.1 (Event of Default), which sets out that an “Event of Default” shall have occurred in respect of any Party other than the DCC (“the Defaulting Party”) if one or more of the situations set out in Section M8.1 (a) – (i) occurs in respect of the Defaulting Party. Further detail on the Event of Default process is available within the Event of Default Guidance.
SEC Appeals Route Table
SECAS has compiled a SEC Appeals Route Table, which captures and outlines the SEC Sections and specific SEC clauses that can be appealed, who can appeal it and who they can raise the appeal to, including any possible further escalation routes. This table will be reviewed and kept up-to-date in line with future designations of the Code, and can be found at the bottom of this webpage.
Appeal, Dispute, Referral or Event of Default Notification Form
At their December 2015 meeting, the SEC Panel approved the pro-forma in which a SEC Party shall be required to complete and send to SECAS when raising an appeal, Dispute, referral or Event of Default.
This pro-forma has been produced in order for organisations to provide the SEC Panel with as much information as possible, prior to issuing said form to SECAS. SECAS shall, upon receiving said form (and any supporting documentation), review the form to ensure it is complete and accurate. The notifying Party (and related Company or Companies) may be requested to attend a future SEC Panel meeting, in order to provide the SEC Panel with additional information, and hear the SEC Panel’s verdict.
This pro-forma can downloaded below.