Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

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Duty to establish and maintain Competition Board

   

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

NC2

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to establish and maintain a committee to be known as "the Competition Board".

    (2)   The Competition Board shall consist of—

      (a) a chairman appointed by OFCOM; and

      (b) such number of other members appointed by OFCOM as OFCOM may determine.

    (3)   In appointing a person OFCOM must have regard to the desirability of ensuring that the persons appointed are experts, both users and suppliers of electronic communications, working in the industry who have a commercial knowledge of the market.

    (4)   Before appointing a person to be chairman or another member of the Competition Board, OFCOM must satisfy themselves that he will not have any direct financial or other interest which would be likely prejudicially to affect the carrying out by him of any of his functions as chairman or member of the Competition Board.'.


Functions of the Competition Board

   

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

NC3

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The functions conferred on the Competition Board must include, to such an extent and subject to such restrictions and approvals as OFCOM may determine, the carrying out on OFCOM's behalf of—

      (a) functions in relation to ensuring that there is a constant process of evaluating the level of competition in the market, assessing possible moves to self-regulation, and between ex ante and ex post regulation;

      (b) functions in relation to determining the matters to which a regulatory impact assessment should relate; and

      (c) functions in relation to addressing and managing the issues of concurrent powers between OFCOM and the Office of Fair Trading.

    (2)   The power of OFCOM to determine the Competition Board's functions includes power to authorise the Board to establish committees and panels to advise the Board on the carrying out of some or all of the Board's functions.'.


Duty to establish and maintain Economic Panel
   

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

NC4

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in accordance with the following provisions of this section, to exercise their powers under paragraph 14 of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11) to establish and maintain a committee to be known as "the Economic Panel" to give advice to OFCOM on economic theory and practice in relation to the exercise of their functions under this Act and, in particular, in relation to the following matters—

      (a) the nature and operation of markets for electronic networks, electronic communications services and associated facilities;

      (b) the interests of providers of such networks, services and facilities as well as those of consumers;

      (c) the promotion of competition between such providers; and

      (d) economic regulatory policy.

    (2)   The arrangements made by OFCOM under this section must also secure that the Economic Panel are able, in addition to giving advice on the matters mentioned in subsection (1), to make arrangements for the carrying out of such research relevant to the giving of that advice as they think fit.

    (3)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in the carrying out of their functions, to consider and, to such extent as they think appropriate, to have regard to—

      (a) any advice given to OFCOM by the Economic Panel; and

      (b) any results notified to OFCOM of any research undertaken by that Panel.'.


Function of promoting inclusive design
   

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

NC5

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to take such steps, and to enter into such arrangements, as appear to them calculated—

      (a) to bring about a better awareness and understanding of inclusive design principles, techniques and standards among—

      (i) the designers and manufacturers of apparatus designed or adapted for use in connection with electronic communications services or associated facilities; and

      (ii) the providers of electronic communications services;

      (b) to encourage the designers, manufacturers and service providers mentioned in paragraph (a) to adopt inclusive design principles and techniques in the development of new apparatus, facilities and services; and

      (c) to bring about a better public awareness and understanding of inclusive design in relation to electronic communications apparatus, facilities and services.

    (2)   References in this section to "inclusive design" are references to designs which result in apparatus and services which are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible and to the greatest extent possible without the need for special adaptation or specialised design.

    (3)   References in this section to electronic communications services includes websites.'.


Duty to publish and meet openness standards
   

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

NC6

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to publish a statement setting out the standards they are proposing to meet with respect to openness in—

      (a) the carrying out of their different functions; and

      (b) providing reasons for any decision made to persons who, in their opinion, are likely to be affected by the matters to which it relates.

    (2)   OFCOM may, if they think fit, at any time revise the statement for the time being in force under this section.

    (3)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM in carrying out their functions to have regard to the statement for the time being in force under this section.

    (4)   Where OFCOM revise a statement under this section, they must publish the revision as soon as practicable.

    (5)   The publication under this section of a statement, or of a revision of a statement, must be in such manner as OFCOM consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the persons who, in their opinion, are likely to be affected by the matters to which it relates.

    (6)   OFCOM's report under paragraph 12 of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11) (annual report) for each financial year must contain a statement by OFCOM summarising the extent to which they have complied during that year with the standards set out under this section.'.


Industry consultation
   

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

NC7

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to establish and maintain effective arrangements for consultation about the carrying out of their functions with—

      (a) suppliers in the markets for the services and facilities in relation to which OFCOM have functions;

      (b) suppliers in the markets for apparatus used in connection with any such services or facilities.

    (2)   The arrangements must include the establishment and maintenance of a panel of persons (in this Act referred to as "the Industry Consultative Panel") with the function of advising OFCOM.

    (3)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in the carrying out of their functions, to consider and, to such extent as they think appropriate, to have regard to the views given to OFCOM by the Industry Consultative Panel.

    (4)   The members of the Industry Panel shall be appointed by OFCOM and shall comprise a chairman and such other members as OFCOM may determine.'.


Duty to establish and maintain National Advisory Committees
   

Mr Simon Thomas

NC8

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to establish and maintain National Advisory Committees for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    (2)   The Chair and membership of these committees shall be appointed by the Secretary of State.

    (3)   In making such appointments in respect of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State shall seek nominations from the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly respectively.

    (4)   The National Advisory Committees may review all of OFCOM's work in respect of their individual territories.

    (5)   The National Advisory Committees may issue such recommendations to OFCOM or the Secretary of State with respect to their territories as they see fit.

    (6)   The National Advisory Committees shall produce an annual report on their activities.'.


Definition of satellite packaging
   

Nick Harvey
Mr Richard Allan

NC9

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   For the purposes of Part 3—

      (a) a satellite package is a facility by the use of which a person is able, at a place in the United Kingdom, to receive a satellite television service in an intelligible form; and

      (b) a satellite packager is a person who, in the course of carrying on a business, offers to supply such packages to members of the public.

    (2)   For the purposes of Part 3 a person supplies a satellite package to a member of the public if he confers an entitlement on that member of the public to have the package made available to him.

    (3)   In this section "satellite television service" means a service which—

      (a) consists in or involves the broadcasting of television programme services from a satellite; and

      (b) is used by a significant number of the persons by whom the broadcasts are received in an intelligible form as their principal means of receiving television programmes.'.

 
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Prepared 16 Jan 2003