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Old Code of Conduct complaint and disciplinary procedure (v2.1)

This is a procedure for handling complaints that one of ISPA's members has breached the Code of Conduct.

  1. A complaint is initiated against a member of ISPA. This complaint must be submitted via email or via the ISPA web site and will be processed by a Code of Conduct compliance officer appointed by ISPA.
    The complaint must contain the following information:
    • The name of the service provider against whom the complaint is being made
    • The full names, address and contact details of the complainant
    • Identification of the part of the Code of Conduct which has allegedly been breached
    • A detailed description of the actions (or inactions) which resulted in the alleged breach
  2. If the complaint does contain all of these points, proceed to 3.
    If the complaint does not contain all of these points, a form reply is sent back to the complainant requesting that the missing information be provided. End of procedure.
  3. An acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint is sent to the complainant.
  4. A few basic sanity checks are done, to ensure that the complaint is valid:
    • Is the service provider a member of ISPA?
    • Has the Complaints Panel already dealt with an earlier complaint on the same issue?
  5. If the complaint passes the sanity tests, then proceed to 5.
    If either any of these sanity checks fail, a letter is sent to the complainant explaining the reason the complaint cannot be addressed, or noting that it has already been dealt with.
  6. Copies of the complaint are forwarded to the service provider and the Complaints Panel.
    Target turn-around time for steps 1-5 is 5 working days
  7. The service provider against whom the complaint has been initiated is given five working days to remedy the complaint. On request, and at the discretion of the Code of Conduct compliance officer, an additional five days may be granted. If, after this time, the complaint has not been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, the complaint is forwarded to the Complaints Panel with a request for a hearing. Once a complaint has been forwarded to the Complaints Panel, both the complainant and the service provider must be notified.
  8. The Complaints Panel must consider the merits of the complaint, taking into account:
    • The complaint
    • Any response the service provider wishes to make to the complaint
    • The Code of Conduct
    • The associated practical recommendations
    • Any previous complaints made by the complainant
    • Any previous complaints made against the service provider
  9. If there is evidence that the complainant has lodged a complaint or dispute, or instituted an action with any other regulatory body or in a Court, and where the subject matter of that complaint, dispute or action is substantially the same as the subject matter of the complaint lodged by that complainant with ISPA, the Complaints Panel may at its discretion hear the complaint, dismiss the complaint, or suspend the complaint until such time as determined by the Panel.
  10. The Complaints Panel may request that either the complainant or the service provider or both provide additional information relevant to the complaint. The Complaints Panel must specify a time frame for the provision of this information. If either party fails to provide the required information within this time frame, the Complaints Panel must proceed to evaluate the complaint without the benefit of the additional information.
  11. After considering the merits of the complaint, the Complaints Panel can make any of the following resolutions:
    • The complaint is not valid
    • The complaint should be referred back to the service provider with a further opportunity for remedial action (return to step 6.)
    • The service provider should be issued with a reprimand or warning
    • The service provider should be fined
    • The service provide must take-down content (when the complaint stems from a valid take-down notification)
    • The service provider should be suspended from ISPA subject to conditions determined by the Panel
    • The service provider's membership of ISPA should be revoked
    • ISPA should publish a report containing the identity of the service provider, the details of the breach of the Code of Conduct, and any action taken regarding the breach
    • ISPA should report unlawful conduct or content to the relevant law enforcement authority
  12. If the Complaints Panel requested that the service provider supply additional information (in step 9), and the service provider failed to do so, then the Complaints Panel may take the service providers failure to assist into account when making its decision.
  13. Copies of the Complaints Panel's resolutions and the reasons for those resolutions are forwarded to the service provider, the complainant and ISPA's Management Committee.
  14. Target turn-around time for steps 7-9 is 6 weeks
  15. If either the complainant or the service provider believes that the Complaints Panel has made an incorrect decision, an appeal can be lodged with ISPA's Management Committee within ten working days of the distribution of the Complaints Panels resolution to the parties. If no appeal is lodged within ten working days, then the matter will be considered closed.
  16. ISPA's Management Committee can either reject the appeal, or refer the case back to the Complaints Panel. A copy of the Management Committee's decision and the reason for the decision is sent to both the service provider and the complainant.
  17. If the complaint is referred back to the Complaints Panel, return to step 7. A complaint can only be appealed once to the Management Committee.

    If the Management Committee rejects an appeal, that is the end of this procedure.
  18. ISPA must retain records of all complaints and disciplinary proceedings for a minimum period of three years.



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