Postal Services Bill - continued        House of Commons

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  PART VII
  MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTARY
 
Reserve powers of the Secretary of State
Directions in interests of national security etc.     98. - (1) The Secretary of State may give such directions as he considers appropriate to the Commission in relation to the exercise of its functions if he considers it necessary or expedient to do so-
 
 
    (a) in the interests of national security or in the interests of encouraging or maintaining the United Kingdom's relations with another country or territory,
 
    (b) in order-
 
      (i) to discharge, or facilitate the discharge of, an international obligation,
 
      (ii) to attain, or facilitate the attainment of, any other object which the Secretary of State considers it necessary or expedient to attain in view of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom being a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement, or
 
      (iii) to enable Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to become a member of such an organisation or a party to such an agreement.
      (2) Directions under subsection (1) may, in particular, require the Commission to impose conditions in licences under Part II (whether generally or in particular cases).
 
      (3) The Secretary of State may, if he considers it necessary or expedient to do so for any of the purposes mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or (b), give such directions as he considers appropriate to licence holders under Part II, or to any particular licence holder under that Part, in connection with anything authorised or required by the licence or licences concerned.
 
      (4) Directions under subsection (3) may, in particular, require a licence holder-
 
 
    (a) to do or not to do a particular thing, or
 
    (b) to secure that a particular thing is done or not done.
      (5) Before giving a direction under subsection (1), the Secretary of State shall consult the Commission.
 
      (6) Before giving a direction under subsection (3) to a particular licence holder (as opposed to licence holders generally), the Secretary of State shall consult the licence holder concerned.
 
      (7) The Secretary of State-
 
 
    (a) shall send to the Commission a copy of any direction given under subsection (3), and
 
    (b) shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of any direction given under this section.
      (8) Subsection (7)(b) does not apply if the Secretary of State considers that the disclosure of the direction would be against the interests of national security or the interests of the United Kingdom's relations with another country or territory or against the commercial interests of any person who has not consented to the disclosure.
 
      (9) A person shall not disclose, and is not required by any enactment or otherwise to disclose, a direction given or other thing done or omitted to be done by virtue of this section if the Secretary of State notifies him that he considers that-
 
 
    (a) disclosure would be against the interests of national security or the interests of the United Kingdom's relations with another country or territory, or
 
    (b) disclosure would be against the commercial interests of any person (other than the person notified) who has not consented to the disclosure.
      (10) A person commits an offence if-
 
 
    (a) without reasonable excuse he contravenes a direction under this section, or
 
    (b) he makes a disclosure in contravention of subsection (9).
      (11) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable-
 
 
    (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum,
 
    (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.
Power to ensure compliance with the Postal Services Directive.     99. - (1) This section applies if the Secretary of State-
 
 
    (a) considers-
 
      (i) that a Community obligation under the Postal Services Directive is not being complied with, or
 
      (ii) that it is likely that any such obligation will not be complied with, and
 
    (b) has been unable to obtain any undertakings from any person or persons which are sufficient to satisfy him that the situation will be remedied.
      (2) The Secretary of State may by order make such provision as he considers appropriate to ensure that the obligation is or will be complied with.
 
      (3) An order under this section may, in particular-
 
 
    (a) confer functions on the Commission or the Council or modify their functions,
 
    (b) require any postal operator or any postal operators of a particular description to provide such postal services as are specified in or determined by or under the order,
 
    (c) specify terms and conditions on which such services are to be provided or provide for such terms and conditions to be determined by or under the order,
 
    (d) provide for the payment of sums out of money provided by Parliament for any purpose of the order,
 
    (e) provide for the enforcement of any provision of the order (including the creation of criminal offences punishable with a fine but not imprisonment).
      (4) Before making an order under this section, the Secretary of State shall consult any postal operator on whom a requirement is to be imposed by virtue of the order.
 
      (5) In deciding whether to make an order under this section the Secretary of State shall, in particular, have regard to the likely impact of the order on any business of a postal operator on whom a requirement is to be imposed by virtue of the order.
 
 
Conditions of transit of postal packets
Conditions of transit of postal packets.     100. If a postal operator knows or reasonably suspects that a postal packet is being sent by post in contravention of section 83, he may-
 
 
    (a) refuse the transmission of the packet,
 
    (b) if necessary, detain the packet and open it in the post office,
 
    (c) subject to any requirements as to additional postage or charges, return the packet to its sender or forward it to its destination.
 
Evidential provisions
Evidence of amount of postage etc.     101. - (1) The mark of-
 
 
    (a) a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service, or
 
    (b) a foreign postal administration,
  of any sum on any postal packet as due in respect of that packet shall, unless the contrary is shown, be sufficient proof in any legal proceedings of the liability of the packet to the sum so marked.
 
      (2) Subsections (3) to (5) apply in relation to any legal proceedings for the recovery of postage or other sums due in respect of postal packets.
 
      (3) In any such proceedings, the production of the packet concerned with a stamp or other endorsement on it of a universal service provider (and made in connection with the provision of a universal postal service) or of a foreign postal administration indicating that the packet-
 
 
    (a) has been refused or rejected,
 
    (b) is unclaimed, or
 
    (c) cannot for any other reason be delivered,
  shall, unless the contrary is shown, be sufficient proof of the fact indicated.
 
      (4) In any such proceedings, a certificate of a universal service provider that any mark, stamp or endorsement is such a mark, stamp or endorsement as is mentioned in subsection (1) or (3) shall, unless the contrary is shown, be sufficient proof of that fact.
 
      (5) In any such proceedings, the person from whom the packet concerned purports to have come shall, unless the contrary is shown, be taken to be the sender of the packet.
 
Evidence of thing being a postal packet.     102. - (1) On the prosecution of an offence under this Act (whether summarily or on indictment), evidence that any article is in the course of transmission by post, or has been accepted by a postal operator for transmission by post, shall be sufficient evidence that the article is a postal packet.
 
      (2) In any proceedings in England and Wales for an offence under section 81 or 82 of this Act, section 27(4) of the Theft Act 1968 shall apply as it applies to proceedings for the theft of anything in the course of transmission by post.
 
      (3) In any proceedings in Northern Ireland for an offence under section 81 or 82 of this Act, section 26(5) of the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 shall apply as it applies to proceedings for the theft of anything in the course of transmission by post.
 
 
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