Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

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Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

576

*Schedule     12,     page     387,     line     8,      at end insert—

    '() In this paragraph—

"acquisition", in relation to a programme, includes commissioning and acquiring a right to include it in a service or to have it broadcast; and"programming budget" means the budget for the production and acquisition of qualifying programmes.'.   

Michael Fabricant
Mr Andrew Lansley
Nick Harvey
Mr Richard Allan

235

Schedule     12,     page     387,     line     8,     at end insert—

    '1A(1)   It shall be the duty of the BBC to secure that, in each relevant period, not less than the prescribed percentage of the total amount of time allocated to the broadcasting of qualifying programmes in the radio broadcasting services provided by them is allocated to the broadcasting of a range and diversity of independent productions.

    (2)   In subparagraph (1)—

      (a) the reference to prescribed percentage is a reference to the percentage which the Secretary of State may by order specify;

      (b) the reference to qualifying programmes is a reference to programmes of such description as the Secretary of State may by order specify as describing the programmes that are to be qualifying programmes for the purposes of that section;

      (c) the reference to independent productions is a reference to programmes of such description as the Secretary of State may by order specify as describing the programmes that are to be independent productions for the purposes of that subsection; and

      (d) the reference to a range of independent productions is a reference to a range of programmes in terms of cost of acquisition as well as in terms of the types of programme involved.

    (3)   Before making an order under subparagraph (2) above the Secretary of State shall consult with OFCOM.

    (4)   OFCOM shall, in each relevant period, make a report to the Secretary of State on the extent to which the BBC have performed their duty under subparagraph (1) above in that period.'.

   

Mr Andrew Lansley

590

*Schedule     12,     page     387,     line     18,     at end insert—

    '2A (1)   It shall be the duty of the BBC to include—

      (a) party political broadcasts, and

      (b) referendum campaign broadcasts

    in each relevant service.

    (2)   In meeting its duty, the BBC shall have regard to—

      (a) any views expressed for the purpose of this paragraph by the Electoral Commission; and

      (b) any rules made by OFCOM under section 321.

    (3)   The BBC's duty under this paragraph is to have effect subject to sections 37 and 127 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) (only registered parties and designated organisations to be entitled to party political broadcasts or referendum campaign broadcasts).

    (4)   In this paragraph—

       "relevant services" means those television and radio services which are prescribed as such in accordance with the provisions of section 321(2A),

       "designated organisation", in relation to a referendum, means a person or body designated by the Electoral Commission under section 108 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 in respect of that referendum,

       "referendum campaign broadcast" has the meaning given by section 127 of that Act.'.

   

Mr Simon Thomas

194

Schedule     12,     page     387,     line     33,     at end insert—

    '(2A)   In subsubparagraph (2)(b), "mainly" means at least 75 per cent.'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

577

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     4,     leave out 'sub-paragraph (1)' and insert 'this paragraph'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

578

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     5,     leave out 'the' and insert 'a'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

579

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     8,     leave out 'that sub-paragraph' and insert 'this paragraph'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

580

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     9,     leave out 'the' and insert 'a'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

581

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     12,     leave out 'that sub-paragraph' and insert 'this paragraph'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

582

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     14,     leave out 'the' and insert 'a'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

583

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     19,     at end insert—

    '(3A) The Secretary of State may also by order provide for the Welsh Authority to have the duty set out in sub-paragraph (3B), either instead of or as well as the one set out in sub-paragraph (1).

    (3B) That duty is a duty to secure that, in each year, not less than the percentage specified in the order of the programming budget for that year for the designated public services (taken together) is applied in the acquisition of independent productions.

    (3C) The power to make an order under sub-paragraph (3A) includes power to provide that the Welsh Authority are again to be subject to a duty to which they have previously ceased to be subject by virtue of such an order, in addition to or instead of the duty to which they are subject (apart from the exercise of that power) by virtue of this paragraph.

    (3D) The Secretary of State is not to make an order for the Welsh Authority to be or to cease to be subject to the duty mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) or (3B) unless—

            (a)   OFCOM have made a recommendation to him that the Authority should be subject to that duty, or should cease to be subject to it; and

            (b)   the order gives effect to that recommendation.

    (3E) The Welsh Authority must comply with directions given to them by OFCOM for the purpose of—

            (a)   carrying forward to one or more subsequent years determined in accordance with the direction any shortfall for any year in their compliance with the duties imposed by virtue of sub-paragraph (1) or (3A); and

            (b)   thereby increasing the percentage applicable for the purposes of those duties to the subsequent year or years.

    (3F) For the purposes of this paragraph—

            (a)   the amount of the programming budget for a year, and

            (b)   the means of determining the amount of that budget that is applied for any purpose,

    are to be computed in accordance with such provision as may be set out in an order made by the Secretary of State, or as may be determined by OFCOM in accordance with such an order.'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

584

*Schedule     12,     page     391,     line     32,      leave out "'programme" does not include an advertisement' and insert—

"acquisition", in relation to a programme, includes commissioning and acquiring a right to include it in a service or to have it broadcast;"programme" does not include an advertisement; and"programming budget" means the budget for the production and acquisition of qualifying programmes.'.   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

585

*Schedule     12,     page     392,     line     18,     at end insert—

    '( )   The power to specify descriptions of programmes by order under subsection (6) includes power to confer such discretions on OFCOM as the Secretary of State thinks fit.'.

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

586

*Schedule     12,     page     393,     line     47,     at end insert—

      'Code relating to programme commissioning

    9A (1) It shall be the duty of the Welsh Authority to draw up and from time to time revise a code of practice setting out the principles that are to be applied when they or an S4C company are for a relevant purpose agreeing terms for the commissioning of independent productions.

    (2) A relevant purpose is a purpose connected with the provision by the Welsh Authority or an S4C company of a programme service.

    (3) It shall also be the duty of the Welsh Authority—

            (a)   at all times to comply with the code of practice which is for the time being in force under this paragraph;

            (b)   to take all reasonable steps for securing that the code is complied with by S4C companies;

            (c)   to exercise their power to revise that code to take account of revisions from time to time of the guidance issued by OFCOM for the purposes of this paragraph; and

            (d)   to comply with such directions as may be given to the Authority by OFCOM for securing that they properly perform their duties under paragraphs (a) and (b).

    (4) The code for the time being in force under this paragraph must be such as to secure, in the manner described in guidance issued by OFCOM—

            (a)   that a reasonable timetable is applied to negotiations for the commissioning of an independent production and for the conclusion of a binding agreement;

            (b)   that there is sufficient clarity when an independent production is commissioned about the different categories of rights to broadcast or otherwise to make use of or exploit the commissioned production that are being disposed of;

            (c)   that there is sufficient transparency about the amounts to be paid in respect of each category of rights;

            (d)   that satisfactory arrangements are made about the duration and exclusivity of those rights;

            (e)   that procedures exist for reviewing the arrangements adopted in accordance with the code and for demonstrating compliance with it;

            (f)   that those procedures include requirements for the monitoring of the application of the code and for the making of reports to OFCOM;

            (g)   that provision is made for resolving disputes arising in respect of the provisions of the code (by independent arbitration or otherwise) in a manner that appears to OFCOM to be appropriate.

    (5) The Welsh Authority must also ensure that the drawing up or revision of a code by virtue of this paragraph is in accordance with guidance issued by OFCOM as to—

            (a)   the times when the code is to be drawn up or reviewed with a view to revision;

            (b)   the consultation to be undertaken before a code is drawn up or revised;

            (c)   the publication of every code or revised code.

    (6) The Welsh Authority must submit to OFCOM for approval a draft of—

            (a)   every code that is required to be drawn up under this paragraph; and

            (b)   every revision made by that Authority of such a code.

    (7) A code drawn up by the Welsh Authority or a revision of such a code —

            (a)   is to have effect for the purposes of this paragraph only if approved by OFCOM; and

            (b)   if approved by OFCOM subject to modifications, is to have effect with those modifications.

    (8) OFCOM—

            (a)   must issue and may from time to time revise guidance for the purposes of this paragraph;

            (b)   must ensure that there is always guidance for those purposes in force;

            (c)   must, before issuing their guidance or revised guidance, consult the providers of licensed public service channels, persons who make independent productions (or persons appearing to OFCOM to represent them), the BBC and the Welsh Authority; and

            (d)   must publish their guidance or revised guidance in such manner as they think appropriate.

    (9) Guidance issued by OFCOM for the purposes of this paragraph must be general guidance and is not to specify particular terms to be included in agreements to which the guidance relates.

    (10) OFCOM may by a direction to the Welsh Authority specify that a code which—

            (a)   was drawn up by the Authority before the commencement of this paragraph, and

            (b)   is identified in the direction,

    is to be treated as drawn up in pursuance of this paragraph and approved by OFCOM.

    (11) In this paragraph "independent production" has the same meaning as in paragraph 7.'.

 
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