Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

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Action following review under s. [Changes of control of Channel 5]

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

NC40

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   If, on a review under subsection (2) of section [Changes of control of Channel 5], it appears to OFCOM that the relevant change of control is or would be prejudicial to one or more of the matters mentioned in subsections (4) and (5) of that section, they shall vary the licence in accordance with subsection (2).

    (2)   The variation—

      (a) must be made with a view to ensuring that the relevant change of control is not prejudicial to any of the matters so mentioned; and

      (b) must be a variation for the inclusion in the licence of such conditions relating to any of those matters as they consider appropriate.

    (3)   Subject to subsection (4), any new or varied condition imposed under this section in relation to any matter may be more onerous than the conditions relating to that matter having effect before the relevant change of control.

    (4)   A variation under this section must not provide for the inclusion of a new or varied condition in a licence unless the new condition, or the condition as varied, is one which (with any necessary modifications) would have been satisfied by the licence holder throughout the twelve months immediately before the relevant date.

    (5)   In subsection (4) "the relevant date" is the date of the relevant change of control or, if earlier, the date on which OFCOM exercise their powers under this section.

    (6)   A variation of a licence under this section shall be effected by the service of a notice of the variation on the licence holder.

    (7)   OFCOM are not to serve a notice of a variation under this section unless they have given the body on whom it is served a reasonable opportunity, after the publication of the report of the review under section [Changes of control of Channel 5], of making representations to them about the variation.

    (8)   Where, in a case of a proposed change of control, a notice varying a licence under this section is served before the change to which it relates takes place, the variation is not to take effect until the change takes place.

    (9)   A condition included in a licence by a variation under this section may be further varied by OFCOM either—

      (a) with the consent of the licence holder; or

      (b) in any other case, after complying with the requirements of section 3(4)(b) of the 1990 Act (variation after giving opportunity for representations by the licence holder).

    (10)   Expressions used in this section and section [Changes of control of Channel 5] have the same meanings in this section as in that.'.


Broadcasting public interest considerations

   

Mr Andrew Lansley
Nick Harvey

NC1

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Section 58 of the Enterprise Act (c. 40) (specified considerations) shall be amended as follows.

    (2)   After subsection (2), there shall be inserted—

          "(2A)   The need for—

          (a) accurate and impartial presentation of news and factual content in television and radio programming; and

          (b) free expression of opinion in broadcast television and radio services

        is specified in this section.

          (2B)   The need for, to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable, a plurality of views in broadcasting television and radio services is specified in this section.".'.


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.'.

 
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