BBC (Trustee Election and Licence Fee) Bill (HL Bill 47)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision for election of the trustees of the BBC by licence fee payers;
and in relation to civil enforcement of non-payment of TV licence fees.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Trustees of the BBC: elections

1 Election of trustees of the BBC

(1) Notwithstanding anything in any enactment or charter, the British
5Broadcasting Corporation (referred to in this Act as the “BBC”) must put in
place arrangements for individual licence-fee payers to vote in an election for
appointment to the role of Trustee of the BBC.

(2) The Secretary of State may be regulations made by statutory instrument,
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
10Parliament, set out how such an election is to be conducted.

(3) The Secretary of State must recommend the people elected in an election held
under subsection (1) for appointment to the role of Trustee of the BBC.

(4) The Trustees shall nominate one of their number to be recommended for
appointment as Chairman of the BBC Trust.

15Part 2 TV licence fees

2 Civil penalties for non-payment of TV licence fee

(1) The Communications Act 2003 is amended as follows.

BBC (Trustee Election and Licence Fee) BillPage 2

(2) Subsections (2) to (4) of section 363 (licence required for use of TV receiver) are
omitted.

(3) In section 366 (powers to enforce TV licensing)—

(a) omit subsections (1) to (12);

(b) 5at end insert—

(13) The Secretary of State shall make provision by regulations for or
in connection with—

(a) the imposition of penalty charges in respect of—

(i) installation or use of a television receiver in
10contravention of section 363(1),

(ii) possession or control of a television receiver
with intent to install or use it in contravention of
section 363(1), and

(iii) possession or control of a television receiver
15with knowledge, or reasonable grounds to
believe, that another person intends to install or
use it in contravention of section 363(1);

(b) the payment of such penalty charges.

(14) The regulations shall include provision specifying the person or
20persons by whom a penalty charge in respect of a contravention
is to be paid (who may be the owner of the television receiver
involved in the contravention, its operator at the time of the
contravention, the owner or tenant of the property in which it is
installed, or any other appropriate person).

(15) 25The regulations shall include provision in respect of any
description of conduct for which a penalty charge may be
imposed—

(a) prohibiting criminal proceedings or the issuing of a
fixed penalty notice in respect of conduct of that
30description, or

(b) securing that a penalty charge is not required to be paid,
or is refunded, where the conduct is the subject of
criminal proceedings or of a fixed penalty notice.

(16) The regulations may include provision prohibiting the
35imposition of a penalty charge except on the basis of—

(a) a record produced by an approved device, or

(b) information given by a civil enforcement officer as to
conduct observed by him.

(17) The regulations may—

(a) 40specify exemptions from penalty charges, and

(b) make provision for discounts or surcharges, or both.

(18) The regulations shall specify the BBC as the enforcement
authority for contraventions set out in subsection (13).

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(4) After section 366, insert—

366A Civil enforcement officers

(1) The BBC may provide for the enforcement of contraventions for which
it is the enforcement authority by individuals to be known as civil
5enforcement officers.

(2) A civil enforcement officer must be—

(a) an individual employed by the BBC, or

(b) where the BBC have made arrangements with any person for
the purposes of this section, an individual employed by that
10person to act as a civil enforcement officer.

(3) Civil enforcement officers—

(a) when exercising specified functions must wear such uniform as
may be determined by the BBC in accordance with guidelines
issued by the Secretary of State, and

(b) 15must not exercise any of those functions when not in uniform.

(4) In subsection (3)(a) “specified” means specified by regulations made by
the Secretary of State.

366B Setting the level of penalty charges

(1) The BBC shall set the level of charges applicable in the case of
20contraventions for which they are the enforcement authority.

(2) Different levels of charges may be set for different parts of the United
Kingdom and for different cases or classes of case.

(3) The levels of charges set under this section must (subject to subsection
(5)) accord with guidelines appended to an order made by the Secretary
25of State.

(4) Different guidelines may be given by the Secretary of State for different
cases or classes of case.

(5) The BBC may, with the permission of the Secretary of State, depart from
any such guidelines.

(6) 30The BBC shall publish, in such manner as the Secretary of State may
determine, the levels of charges set under this section.

366C Notification of penalty charge and confiscation of television receiver

(1) The Lord Chancellor may make regulations for and in connection with
the notification of penalty charges.

(2) 35The regulations may provide for notification of a penalty charge to be
given in respect of a television receiver—

(a) by a notice affixed to the property in which the receiver is kept,

(b) by a notice given to a person appearing to be in charge of the
receiver, or

(c) 40in such other manner as may be specified by the regulations.

(3) The regulations may provide that, if it appears to the BBC that both the
operator of a television receiver and the owner or tenant of the property
in which the television receiver is kept are liable to a penalty charge,

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they may give notice to the operator requiring him to provide them
with the name and address of the owner or tenant of the property at the
time of the alleged contravention.

(4) The regulations may include provision creating criminal offences to be
5triable summarily and punishable with a fine not exceeding level 5 on
the standard scale or such lower amount as may be specified.

(5) The Secretary of State may make provision by regulations for or in
connection with a power of removal of a television receiver which is
being possessed or used, or has been installed, in contravention of
10section 363(1) by a person whom the BBC have reasonable grounds to
believe has previously been issued with a penalty charge under section
366(13).

(6) Regulations made under subsection (5) may provide—

(a) that on any occasion when a television receiver is removed in
15accordance with the regulations, the person removing the
receiver shall fix in its place a notice—

(i) indicating that the television has been removed;

(ii) specifying the steps to be taken in order to secure its
release; and

(iii) 20giving such other information as may be specified by the
regulations; and

(b) that a notice fixed in place in accordance with the regulations
shall not be removed or interfered with except by or under the
authority of—

(i) 25the owner or operator of the television receiver, or

(ii) the BBC,

and that a person contravening that prohibition commits an
offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not
exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.

366D 30Representations and appeals

(1) The Lord Chancellor may make provision by regulations entitling a
person—

(a) who is or may be liable to pay a penalty charge, or

(b) who secures the return of a television receiver from the BBC on
35payment of an amount in accordance with regulations under
section 336C,

to make representations to the BBC and to appeal to an adjudicator if
his representations are not accepted.

(2) The regulations may make such provision in connection with the rights
40conferred as appears to the Lord Chancellor to be appropriate, and may
in particular make provision—

(a) requiring the BBC to give a person notice of the rights conferred
by the regulations,

(b) as to the grounds on which, and time within which,
45representations may be made,

(c) requiring supporting evidence in such circumstances as may be
specified,

(d) as to the duties of the BBC when representations are received,

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(e) as to the circumstances in which there is a right of appeal to an
adjudicator,

(f) generally as to the making, determination and effect of, and
procedure in connection with, appeals, and

(g) 5enabling an adjudicator to review any decision made on, or in
the course of, an appeal.

(3) The regulations may provide that, as respects a ground on which
representations may be made, the adjudicator’s function on an appeal
is to decide whether to direct the BBC to consider or re-consider (as the
10case may be) any representations relating to that ground.

(4) The regulations may include provision—

(a) authorising an adjudicator to require a person—

(i) to attend to give evidence at the hearing of an appeal,
and

(ii) 15to produce any documents in his custody or under his
control relating to any matter relevant for the purposes
of the appeal, and

(b) making it a criminal offence triable summarily and punishable
with a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale to fail to
20comply with such a requirement.

(5) The regulations may provide that a person who makes a representation
that is false in a material particular, and does so recklessly or knowing
it to be false, commits an offence triable summarily and punishable
with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(6) 25The regulations may include provision authorising an adjudicator to
make an order for the payment of costs and expenses by a party to an
appeal in such circumstances as may be specified.

366E Adjudicators

(1) The Lord Chancellor may make provision by regulations for and in
30connection with the appointment of adjudicators for the purposes of
this Part.

(2) The following provisions apply in relation to the office of adjudicator—

(a) to be qualified for appointment as an adjudicator, a person must
satisfy the judicial appointment eligibility condition on a 5-year
35basis;

(b) an adjudicator is appointed for a term, not exceeding five years,
specified in his instrument of appointment;

(c) on the expiry of a term of appointment an adjudicator is eligible
for re-appointment;

(d) 40an adjudicator may be removed from office only for misconduct
or on the ground that he is unable or unfit to discharge his
functions, but otherwise holds and vacates office in accordance
with the terms of his appointment.

(3) The regulations shall provide—

(a) 45for adjudicators to be appointed by the BBC on such terms as
the BBC may decide;

(b) for the consent of the Lord Chancellor to be required for any
decision by the BBC to appoint a person as an adjudicator; and

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(c) for the consent of the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief
Justice to be required for any decision by the BBC

(i) not to re-appoint a person as an adjudicator, or

(ii) to remove a person from his office as an adjudicator.

(4) 5The regulations may provide for the Lord Chief Justice to nominate a
judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional
Reform Act 2005) to exercise any of his functions under the regulations.

(5) The BBC shall—

(a) provide, or make arrangements for the provision of,
10accommodation and administrative staff and facilities for
adjudicators, and

(b) determine the places where adjudicators are to sit,

and shall defray all the expenses of the adjudication process and, in
particular, expenses in relation to the remuneration of adjudicators.

(6) 15The regulations shall provide—

(a) for each adjudicator to make an annual report to the BBC in
accordance with such requirements as may be imposed by the
BBC, and

(b) for the BBC to make and publish an annual report to the
20Secretary of State on the discharge by the adjudicators of their
functions.

(7) The expenses of the BBC under this section shall be defrayed by them
in such proportions—

(a) as they may decide, or

(b) 25in default of a decision by them, as may be determined in
accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(8) Regulations under subsection (7)(b) may, in particular, provide—

(a) for the matter to be determined by an arbitrator appointed by a
body specified in the regulations, and

(b) 30for the giving of directions by the Secretary of State in order to
secure that the matter is referred to arbitration.

366F Enforcement of penalty charges

(1) The Lord Chancellor may make regulations for or in connection with
the enforcement of penalty charges issued under section 366(13).

(2) 35These regulations may include provision—

(a) creating criminal offences to be triable summarily and
punishable with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard
scale or such lower amount as may be specified;

(b) for amounts payable under or by virtue of any provision of this
40Part to be recoverable, if any county court so orders, as if they
were payable under a country court order,

an amount to which paragraph (b) applies that is so recoverable is
referred to below as a “TV licence contravention debt”.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may by order make provision—

(a) 45for warrants of execution in respect of TV licence contravention
debts, or such class or classes of TV licence contravention debts

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as may be specified in the order, to be executed by certificated
bailiffs;

(b) as to the requirements that must be satisfied before a person
takes any other step of a kind specified in the order, with a view
5to enforcing the payment of—

(i) a TV licence contravention debt, or

(ii) such class or classes of TV licence contravention debts as
may be so specified.

(4) Any such order may make such incidental and supplementary
10provision (including modifications of any enactment other than this
Act) as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate in consequence of
the provision made by the order.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (3) a person is a certificated bailiff if he
is authorised to act as such by a certificate signed—

(a) 15by a judge assigned to a county court district, or

(b) in such circumstances as may be specified in regulations made
by the Lord Chancellor, by a district judge.

(6) The Lord Chancellor may be regulations make provision in connection
with the certification of bailiffs under this section and the execution of
20warrants of execution by such bailiffs.

(7) The regulations may, in particular, make provision—

(a) as to the security (if any) to be required from certificated bailiffs,

(b) as to the fees and expenses payable with respect to execution by
certificated bailiffs, and

(c) 25for the suspension of cancellation of certificates issued under
this section and with respect to the effect of any such suspension
or cancellation.

(8) A person who is not a certificated bailiff but who purports to levy a
distress as such a bailiff, and any person authorising him to levy it, shall
30be deemed to have committed a trespass.

3 Short title, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the BBC (Trustee Election and Licence Fee) Act 2013.

(2) This Act shall come into force on 1 January 2017.

(3) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.