The OBARCC is the Openreach Board committee responsible for monitoring Openreach’s compliance with the Commitments. This is our twelfth bulletin, reporting on our meeting in January 2022.
The Commitments Monitoring Office (CMO) supports the OBARCC. Communications Providers (CPs) who have queries or concerns about the Commitments are welcome to raise them with the CMO – either informally or as formal complaints. Details of how to contact the CMO, including guidelines for raising formal complaints, are available on the OBARCC page on the Openreach CP portal.
The key headlines since our last bulletin are as follows:
- Ofcom’s Openreach Monitoring Unit (OMU) published their annual report covering Openreach’s compliance with the Commitments on 8th December 2021. The report noted that, overall, Openreach has continued to operate in a way that is strategically independent from BT, as envisioned by the Commitments. Strong structures and processes exist within BT and Openreach which help to support compliance and address instances of non-compliance.
- BT and Openreach have completed a refresh of the Commitments Guidance Notes and these were published externally during November 2021.
- Openreach reported one trivial breach of the Commitments.
Report on the January 2022 OBARCC meeting
At our January 2022 meeting we noted the following:
- The publication of Ofcom OMU’s annual report covering Openreach’s compliance with the Commitments and that this had been a positive report. Whilst the remit of the OMU is being expanded, Openreach’s CMO will continue to focus on the Commitments.
- The CMO’s review of governance in relation to the recent Equinox pricing offer found no undue influence but did highlight some opportunities to improve governance going forward, specifically being clear about the relevant governance in email communications and meeting minutes.
- The OBARCC is continuing to monitor two areas on its compliance dashboard: risk of erosion of compliant culture and behaviours (identified as being particularly important during a period of challenging market conditions when there has been a new major BT shareholder and senior changes in BT Group), and systems separation (relating to ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of access controls for the new BT/Openreach finance system).
- The CMO view of Commitments compliance risks had been updated. The five key risks remained the same as last year with some small changes to the secondary risks beneath these.
Breaches and complaints
At our January 2022 meeting one new trivial breach and no trivial non-conformances to policy were reported. The trivial breach arose when Customer Confidential Information was inadvertently shared with BT Enterprise managers when they were added to email correspondence without the original Openreach sender noticing. The breach was considered to be trivial because there was no intent to breach the Commitments and no CP was advantaged or disadvantaged.
No new formal or informal complaints were received by the CMO during this quarter.
Our colleagues in BT have asked us to mention that they too publish a bulletin following each BT Compliance Committee meeting.
Next OBARCC meeting
Our next quarterly meeting is scheduled for May 2022.
If you have any comments on the bulletin or our annual report, or would like to be added to our contact list for future publications, please contact us using the following email address: [email protected].