Composition and role of the Code Review Panel
1. The oversight, monitoring and direction of the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct (the Code) will be undertaken by the Code Review Panel (the Panel).
2. The Panel will adhere to these Terms of Reference (TOR), which sets out its powers and functions.
3. The Code, Code reporting, Code Review Panel and these TOR will be independently reviewed every three years following their commencement. The review will be undertaken by a suitably qualified, independent person/body.
4. The Panel will:
a. Be an independent body. All representatives must be independent of Code signatories. They must not have any conflict of interest, for example, having recently been employed by, or consultant to, any Code signatory.
b. Have no representative of the Code Administrator permitted to sit on the Panel.
c. Be suitably qualified to arbitrate cases referred to it by the Code Administrator, and to hear appeals against sanctions imposed by the Code Administrator.
d. Consist of three participants that are all non-signatories to the Code:
- A consumer representative with relevant experience and knowledge in, for example, consumer advocacy, protection and law, appointed by the Code Administrator in consultation with regulators of ACL.
- A solar PV representative with experience in the solar PV industry appointed by the Code Administrator.
- A Chair with relevant experience and knowledge in, for example, regulatory or government administration of consumer law, or a suitable background to ensure due process is followed at all times, particularly when dealing with any breach of the Code. The Chair will be appointed by the Code Administrator and not employed in the PV industry.
5. Panel members will be appointed for a period of three years, and eligible for reappointment.
6. The Panel will be responsible for:
a. Arbitrating cases referred to it by the Code Administrator.
b. Arbitrating appeals against sanctions imposed by the Code Administrator in accordance with Section 3.7 of the Code.
c. Conducting inquiries into Code compliance.
d. Producing an annual report on the Code's operation, including reporting on Code compliance, to enable a periodic assessment of the Code’s effectiveness, ensure the Code standards meet the identified objectives and community expectation, and to identify systemic issues and areas for improvement.
7. All decisions of the Panel are final. Signatories have no right of review beyond the Panel.
8. Panel members will serve in good faith in accordance with these TOR and shall put aside their own interests to work together for the benefit of consumer protection in the small-scale PV energy sector.
9. The Code Administrator may exercise its discretion to remove a Panel member if it considers that the Panel member has failed to discharge its responsibilities in accordance with these TOR. It will do so with the agreement of one other Panel member (the Chair if he/she is not the individual in question).
10. Where a Panel member retires or is removed by the Code Administrator, the Code Administrator shall exercise its discretion to select a replacement Panel member in accordance with Section 4 (d) above.
11. The Code Administrator shall publish details of all Panel members on the CEC website.
Review Panel meetings
12. The Panel will meet regularly – several times per year
13. During meetings, the Panel will:
a. Carry out its responsibilities listed in Section 6 above.
b. Adopt, maintain and update the documentation relating to the administration of the Code.
c. Monitor the performance of signatories to the Code in accordance with the methods set out in the Code and these TOR.
d. Monitor complaints data and changes in the industry that could lead to the identification of areas requiring future update in the Code.
e. Monitor the operation of the Code.
f. Approve any revisions to the Code, and comment on any proposed revisions of these TOR.
g. Establish such Expert Groups as it considers necessary to advise it in carrying out its responsibilities hereunder.
h. Review any reports presented to it by the Code Administrator.
14. A Panel meeting shall be quorate where three Panel members, or their representatives, are present.
15. Where a Panel member (excluding the Chair) is unable to attend a meeting, he or she may nominate an alternate to attend on his/her behalf providing that the alternate is made aware of and abides by the principles of service of Panel members.
16. Panel members must attend at least 70% of Panel meetings.
17. The Panel shall decide any matters requiring its approval by consensus, or by a simple majority of those present and voting at a properly convened and quorate meeting.
18. The Code Administrator shall take minutes of proceedings at each Panel meeting.