1. Email acknowledging the complaint will be sent to the Complainant within 24 or 48 hours of receipt
1.1 The email should give a case number of the case to the Complainant.
1.2 It should request the Complainant to cite the clause/ section/ article in the ASA Code that has been breached.
1.3 It should request the Complainant to write the full details of the complaint and attach any documents, list any witnesses on which the Complainant wishes to rely.
1.4 Give the Complainant 48 hours to submit the complaint.
1.5 Request the Complainant to advise if the matter is urgent and if so, give the Complainant 24 hours to file its documentation and complaint.
2. When the complaint is received by ASA in its proper format, ASA should forward the complaint to the Respondent and copy the Complainant within 24 hours.
2.1 The email should advise the Respondent that a complaint has been received against them and attach the same.
2.2 Advise them that they have 5 business days to respond to the complaint in writing, attaching any documents and list of witnesses in support of their defence.
2.3 Advising them that failure to respond timeously will result in the complaint being adjudicated in their absence.
3. The delivery status report on the emails to both the Complainant and Respondent under 1 and 2 should be placed by ASA in the file for the matter.
4. ASA should assign the case a hearing date when the Committee will sit to adjudicate. The Committee should only sit to hear a matter within 3 days of receipt of the papers and not before. The Notice of Hearing date and time should be emailed to both parties and proof of delivery of the emails placed in the file.
5. Once the date of hearing comes the Committee should sit to adjudicate the number of matters placed on the roll for that sitting.
6. The Committee’s ruling should always be in writing and communicated to the parties in writing with an indication of the appeal procedure. A delivery report of the communication should be placed in the file.
If the complaint is URGENT, then ASA should, on receipt of the complaint give the Respondent only 24 hours to file a response, advise all the parties that the matter is to be heard within 24 hours of the communication, and the Committee should sit to adjudicate the matter within 48 hours of receipt of the full complaint regardless of whether the Respondent has filed opposing papers.