The Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA) has defended itself after a letter claimed it was “failing” the MRO process by not taking action.

Signed by 12 industry bosses, the letter called upon the PCA to take action, claiming it was stopping tenants from moving forward with their businesses by not tending to complaints and “preliminary issues”.

Today the PCA has responded by saying that the speed which it dealt with complaints and issues relied on the other parties involved in each dispute. 

A spokesperson said: "The pace at which arbitrations proceed is primarily governed by the parties in the dispute, including the speed at which evidence is brought to the PCA and the scale and complexity of the arguments in particular cases.

“This is new law that is being tested by the parties and their solicitors on both sides. The PCA is not able to make decisions until the evidence in a case is complete."

It said it was unable to comment on individual cases, as these are confidential to the parties involved, however, explained that "Parliament has required the PCA to deal with MRO disputes by arbitration."

“While recognising there is frustration with some of the first cases going through this process, all cases referred to the PCA are being dealt with in a proper and lawful manner. To do otherwise would simply increase the risk of challenge with the inevitable consequence of greater delay and cost," the spokesperson continued. 

The initial complaint by the 12 pub industry members can be read here. 

The letter expressed concerns that the process was becoming a “major deterrent” to anyone entering the MRO process, as they couldn’t afford it, and said there was "no clarity, direction or urgency from PCA."