Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings
The Norwegian Competition Authority refers to your letter of 16th July 2002 and acquiesces fully with your statement of the importance of that a consistent approach be taken as regards safeguarding the rights of parties concerned by competition proceedings throughout the EEA. The Authority appreciates that certain adjustments have to be made to the Commission-s Decision of 21 May 2001 on the terms of reference of Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings in order to implement a workable solution on the EFTA Surveillance Authority-s side. We further appreciate that the workload does not allow for the appointment of a full time Hearing Officer and it therefore may not be feasible in the same way as it is for the Commission to publish who is appointed. However, in order to ensure transparency the parties/third parties may have an interest in knowing the name of the Hearing Officer in a particular case. Consequently the Norwegian Competition Authority would recommend that the appointment on of the Hearing Officer should be published in a way that the EFTA Surveillance Authority finds convenient.
The Norwegian Competition Authority has no further comments to the proposed decision.