Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

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Duty of OFCOM in relation to the BBC's new services

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC19

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Prior to the Secretary of State approving under the Charter or the Agreement the provision by the BBC of any new service or changes to an existing service whether or not a broadcasting or programme supply service it shall be the duty of OFCOM to prepare and publish a report commenting on whether the proposed new service or changes to the existing service will satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2).

    (2)   The objectives referred to in subsection (1) are—

      (a) the new service or the changes to the existing service are compatible with the BBC's primary public service role as set out in the Charter and Agreement and that it shall further any or all of the public purposes of the BBC or any of the services it provides as set out in those documents;

      (b) that the value to the public of the new service or changes to an existing service will be proportionate to the likely impact on the market;

      (c) that the new service will be universally accessible within a reasonable period of time free at the point of use;

      (d) that the new service or the changes to the existing service will represent value for money for licence fee payers.

    (3)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

      (a) as soon as practicable after the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this section; and

      (b) as soon as practicable after the end of each subsequent period as may be selected by OFCOM for the purposes of this section

       to satisfy, for that period, the review and reporting obligations of subsection (4).

    (4)   The review and reporting obligations are—

      (a) an obligation to carry out a review of the extent to which new services provided by the BBC and changes to existing services—

      (i) comply with the terms of the approval granted by the Secretary of State for such new services or changes to existing services; and

      (ii) satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2);

      (b) an obligation to prepare a report on the matters found on the review.

    (5)   In this section

       "Charter" means the Royal Charter for the Continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation—May 1996 and any renewal or replacement thereof;

       "Agreement" means any agreement made (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) between the BBC and the Secretary of State to regulate the provision of the BBC's services and the carrying on by the BBC of other activities for purposes connected with the provision of those services.

    (6)   In this section for the purposes of the review and reporting obligations of OFCOM "new services" shall mean all new services approved (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) by the Secretary of State under the Charter or the Agreement.'.


OFCOM review duties in relation to BBC's services

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC20

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Prior to the Secretary of State approving under the Charter or the Agreement the provision by the BBC of any new service or changes to an existing service whether or not a broadcasting or programme supply service it shall be the duty of OFCOM to prepare and publish a report commenting on whether the proposed new service or changes to the existing service will satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2).

    (2)   The objectives referred to in subsection (1) are—

      (a) the new service or the changes to the existing service are compatible with the BBC's primary public service role as set out in the Charter and Agreement and that it shall further any or all of the public purposes of the BBC or any of the services it provides as set out in those documents;

      (b) that the value to the public of the new service or changes to an existing service will be proportionate to the likely impact on the market;

      (c) that the new service will be universally accessible within a reasonable period of time free at the point of use;

      (d) that the new service or the changes to the existing service will represent value for money for licence fee payers.

    (3)   The BBC shall—

      (a) as soon as practicable after the coming into force of this section and subsequently at annual intervals prepare and publish a statement of programme policy for each of the BBC's services; and

      (b) monitor its own performance in the carrying out of the proposals contained in the statements.

    (4)   Every statement of programme policy must include—

      (a) proposals for securing that during the following year—

      (i) the public service role of the BBC and the BBC's services will be fulfilled;

      (ii) the functions, duties and obligations of the BBC and the BBC's services as set out in the Charter and Agreement will be fulfilled;

      (iii) such other matters as OFCOM may determine from time to time;

      (b) a report on the performance of the BBC in the carrying out, during the period since the previous statement, of the proposals contained in that statement.

    (5)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM as soon as practicable after the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this section and thereafter at such periods as OFCOM may determine to prepare and publish a report which must—

      (a) comment on the extent to which new services provided by the BBC and changes to existing services—

      (i) comply with the terms of the approval granted by the Secretary of State for such new services or changes to existing services; and

      (ii) satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2);

      (b) comment on the extent to which the BBC has—

      (i) fulfilled any statement of programme policy made by it;

      (ii) made an adequate contribution towards the satisfaction of the general purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom set out in section 256(4);

      (c) specify the changes which in the opinion of OFCOM are required to the agreement between the BBC and the Secretary of State to ensure that the BBC fulfils the statements of programme policy referred to in subsection (3) and that the BBC makes an adequate contribution to public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom.

    (6)   In this section—

       "Charter" means the Royal Charter for the Continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation—May 1996 and any renewal or replacement thereof;

       "Agreement" means any agreement made (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) between the BBC and the Secretary of State to regulate the provision of the BBC's services and to carrying on by the BBC of other activities for purposes connected with the provision of those services.

    (7)   In this section "new services" shall mean all new services approved (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) by the Secretary of State under the Charter or the Agreement.'.


Publication of reasons relating to orders amending section 58(2A) or (2B) of the Enterprise Act 2002

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC21

To move the following Clause:—

       'In section 107 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (further publicity requirements)—

      (a) in subsection (8)(b) at the beginning there shall be inserted "subject to subsection (8A)", and

      (b) after subsection (8) there shall be inserted—

          "(8A) Such reasons shall, in the case of subsection (7)(b) where the order affects section 58(2A) or (2B), be published not later than the time the order is published or if it is not reasonably practicable to publish the reasons by that time, not later than three weeks after that time.

          (8B) Where such reasons ("the main reasons") are published after the time an order affecting section 58(2A) or (2B) is made, the reasons for the delay in publication shall be published together with the main reasons.".'.


Free of charge newspapers

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC22

To move the following Clause:—

       'In section 129 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (other interpretation provisions) after subsection (4) there shall be inserted—

          "(5)   For the purposes of determining any market share of a newspaper by reference to the number of copies sold in any market, copies of a newspaper which is distributed free of charge (rather than sold) which are distributed in that market shall be taken into account as if they had been sold.".'.


Better regulation principles to apply in relation to newspaper mergers

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC23

To move the following Clause:—

       'The following section shall be inserted in the Enterprise Act 2002 after section 119—

          "119A.   Application of better regulation principles

             In carrying out their functions under this Part in respect of newspaper mergers, the OFT and OFCOM shall have regard to the principles under which regulatory activities should be transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted only at cases in which action is needed.".'.


Restricted covenants affecting freehold property

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC24

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   This section applies where by virtue of a restrictive covenant the owner of any premises is restricted, either absolutely or to any extent—

      (a) in choosing an electronic communications services or a supplier of such services, or

      (b) with respect to any other electronic communications matter.

    (2)   Where this section applies, the covenant, to the extent that it restricts the owner of premises as mentioned in subsection (1)—

      (a) if it requires the consent of any person to be obtained before anything to which the restriction relates is done, shall have effect as if it required that consent not to be unreasonably withheld;

      (b) in any other case, shall have effect as if it required the consent of the person entitled to the benefit of the restrictive covenant to be obtained to the doing of anything to which the restriction relates and as if it required that consent not to be unreasonably withheld.

    (3)   Subsections (5) to (7) of section 130 shall apply in relation to a restriction falling within subsection (2) of this section as those subsections apply in relation to a prohibition or restriction falling within subsection (1) or (2) of section 130.

    (4)   This section applies to restrictive covenants whenever made, but shall not apply to a covenant in existence before the commencement of this section if OFCOM by order excludes such covenants from this section.

    (5)   Section 388 applies to the powers of OFCOM to make orders under this section.'.



 
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