Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

back to previous text

NEW CLAUSES

Meaning of 'initial expiry date'

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

NC28

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Subject to any postponement under this section, the date which is the initial expiry date for the purposes of this Part is 31st December 2014.

    (2)   The Secretary of State may (on one or more occasions) by order postpone the initial expiry date.

    (3)   The Secretary of State's power to postpone the initial expiry date—

      (a) is to be exercisable before 30th June 2013 only if he has fixed a date after 30th June 2013 as the date for digital switchover; and

      (b) is not to be exercisable on or after 30th June 2013 if he has fixed 30th June 2013 or an earlier date as the date for digital switchover.

    (4)   Where the Secretary of State makes an order under this section at a time after he has fixed a date for digital switchover, the date to which the initial expiry date is postponed must be a date not less than eighteen months after the date for digital switchover.

    (5)   The Secretary of State must exercise his power to postpone the initial expiry date if it at any time appears to him that that date would otherwise fall within the period of eighteen months immediately following the date fixed for digital switchover.

    (6)   Where an order under this section extends a licensing period for which a licence has been granted in accordance with section 209 or 214, the 1990 Act and this Part shall have effect (subject to subsection (7)) as if the licence had originally been granted for the extended period.

    (7)   Where an order under this section extends the period for which a licence is to continue in force—

      (a) that order shall not affect the earliest time at which an application for the renewal of that licence may be made in accordance with section 211(2)(a) or 217(2)(a);

      (b) as soon as reasonably practicable after making the order, OFCOM must make such modification of any determination made by them in the case of that licence for the purposes of section 211(2)(b) or 217(2)(b) as they consider appropriate in consequence of the extension; and

      (c) neither section 211(3)(a) nor section 217(3)(a) applies to the making of that modification.

    (8)   In this section a reference to the date for digital switchover is a reference to the date fixed by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section as the date which appears to him, in consequence of directions given by him for the purposes of the conditions of the licences for the relevant public broadcasting services, to be the date after which none of those services will be broadcast to any significant extent in analogue form.

    (9)   In this section "the relevant public broadcasting service" means any of the following—

      (a) the services comprised in Channel 3; and

      (b) Channel 5.'.


Code relating to programme commissioning

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

NC38

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the provider of the channel draws up and from time to time revises a code of practice setting out the principles he will apply when agreeing terms for the commissioning of independent productions.

    (2)   That regime also includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the provider of every licensed public service channel—

      (a) at all times complies with a code of practice which has been drawn up by him by virtue of this section and is for the time being in force; and

      (b) exercises his power to revise his code to take account of revisions from time to time of the guidance issued by OFCOM for the purposes of this section.

    (3)   The conditions imposed under this section must ensure that the code for the time being in force in the case of every licensed public service channel secures, 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 what appears to OFCOM to be 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 what appears to OFCOM to be sufficient transparency about the amounts to be paid in respect of each category of rights;

      (d) that what appear to OFCOM to be 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.

    (4)   The conditions imposed under this section must also ensure that the drawing up or revision of a code by virtue of this section 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; and

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

    (5)   The provision that may be included in a condition imposed under this section includes—

      (a) provision requiring a draft of a code or of any revision of a code to be submitted to OFCOM for approval;

      (b) provision for the code or revision to have effect only if approved by OFCOM; and

      (c) provision for a code or revision that is approved by OFCOM subject to modifications to have effect with those modifications.

    (6)   OFCOM—

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

      (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.

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

    (8)   Conditions imposed under this section requiring a code to be drawn up or approved may include transitional provision for treating a code drawn up before the imposition of the condition —

      (a) as satisfying the requirements of that condition; and

      (b) as a code approved by OFCOM for the purposes of conditions so imposed.

    (9)   In this section "independent production" has the same meaning as in section 269.'.


Changes of control of Channel 5

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

NC39

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The regulatory regime for Channel 5 includes, in every case where it is provided by a body corporate—

      (a) a condition requiring the licence holder to give OFCOM advance notification of any proposals known to the body that may give rise to a relevant change of control; and

      (b) a condition requiring the licence holder to provide OFCOM, in such manner and at such times as they may reasonably require, with such information as they consider necessary for the purposes of exercising their functions under this section and section [Action following review under s. [Changes of control of Channel 5]].

    (2)   OFCOM must carry out a review where—

      (a) they receive notification, in accordance with a condition of the licence to provide Channel 5, of proposals that may give rise to a relevant change of control; or

      (b) a relevant change of control takes place (whether or not that change has been previously notified to OFCOM).

    (3)   The review shall be a review of the effects or likely effects, in relation to the matters mentioned in subsections (4) and (5), of—

      (a) the change to which the proposals may give rise; or

      (b) the change that has taken place.

    (4)   The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

      (a) the extent to which time available for broadcasting programmes included in Channel 5 is allocated to programmes of each of the following descriptions—

      (i) original productions;

      (ii) news programmes; and

      (iii) current affairs programmes;

      (b) the extent to which programmes of each of those descriptions that are included in that Channel are broadcast at peak viewing times.

    (5)   The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

      (a) the extent to which programmes made in the United Kingdom that are included in the service are programmes made outside the M25 area;

      (b) the range of programmes made in the United Kingdom outside that area that are included in Channel 5;

      (c) the extent to which the expenditure of the provider of Channel 5 on programmes made in the United Kingdom is referable to programme production at different production centres outside the M25 area;

      (d) the range of different such production centres to which that expenditure is referable.

    (6)   Where OFCOM carry out a review under subsection (2), they must publish a report of that review—

      (a) setting out their conclusions; and

      (b) specifying any steps which they propose to take under section [Action following review under s. [Changes of control of Channel 5]].

    (7)   In this section—

"expenditure", in relation to a programme, means—

      (a) expenditure which constitutes an investment in or is otherwise attributable to the making of the programme; or

      (b) expenditure on the commissioning or other acquisition of the programme or on the acquisition of a right to include it in a service or to have it broadcast;

"original production" has the same meaning as in section 270;"peak viewing time"—

      (a) in relation to original productions, means a time determined by OFCOM for the purposes of section 270 to be a peak viewing time for Channel 5; and

      (b) in relation to news programmes or current affairs programmes, means a time so determined for the purposes of section 271;

"relevant change of control" means a change in the persons having control over—

      (a) a body holding a licence to provide Channel 5; or

      (b) any body which—

      (i) is connected with a body holding such a licence; and

      (ii) appears to OFCOM to be involved, to any extent, in the provision of programmes for inclusion in that channel, or to be likely to be so involved.

    (8)   Expressions used in this section and in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act (restrictions on licence holders) have the same meanings in this section as in that Part.'.



 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page Search page Enquiries index

©Parliamentary copyright 2003
Prepared 6 Feb 2003