Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

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Investigation of BBC by the National Audit Office

   

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

NC25

To move the following Clause:—

       'In part 2 of Schedule 4 to the National Audit Office Act 1983 (c. 44), the words "the British Broadcasting Corporation" shall be omitted.'.


Comptroller's report on BBC

   

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

NC26

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   It shall be the duty of the Comptroller—

      (a) as soon as practicable after 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 the Comptroller for the purposes of this section

       to fulfil the review and reporting obligations.

    (2)   The period selected by the Comptroller for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) must be a period of not more than three years beginning with the end of the previous period for which the Comptroller have satisfied those reviews and reporting obligations.

    (3)   The review and reporting obligations for a period are—:

      (a) an obligation to carry out an examination into the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of the BBC's services;

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

    (4)   Subsection (3) shall not be construed as entitling the Comptroller to question the merits of the policy objectives of the BBC's services.

    (5)   In this section—

       "BBC's services" means the television and radio broadcast services provided by the BBC;

       "the Comptroller" means the Comptroller and Auditor General as identified in section 3(1)(a) of the National Audit Act 1983.'.


Conditions to secure access to public teletext service

   

Nick Harvey
Mr Richard Allan

NC27

To move the following Clause:—

       'The regulatory regime for the public teletext service includes the conditions that OFCOM considers appropriate for securing that the provision of so much of the public teletext service as is provided in digital form is accessible to persons who are blind and partially sighted.'.


Power to confer further functions on OFCOM relating to the BBC

   

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

NC29

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Secretary of State may by order amend this Act to such extent as he considers appropriate to give effect to the provisions of—

      (a) any Royal Charter granted to the BBC after the commencement date;

      (b) any licence granted by the Secretary of State to the BBC after that date;

      (c) any agreement made by the Secretary of State and the BBC after that date.

    (2)   In subsection (1) "the commencement date" means the date of commencement of section 193.

    (3)   An order under this section shall not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.'.


Public Services Fund

   

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

NC30

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Secretary of State shall by order make provision for the establishment of a Fund to be known as the Public Services Broadcasting Fund.

    (2)   There shall be at least three trustees of the Fund and the order shall make provision for the terms of their appointment, including their remuneration.

    (3)   The primary function of the Trustees shall be the making of financial contributions to groups or organisations which make or propose to make programmes of local, regional or sectional interest for inclusion in a programme service.

    (4)   The Trustees shall have such other powers as may be conferred on them by the order.

    (5)   The BBC shall pay to the Trustees of the Fund in January of each calendar year in accordance with the provisions of the order made under subsection (1) an amount equal to 1 per cent. of the licence fee received by the BBC in the preceding calendar year.

    (6)   An order under this section shall not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.'.


Community radio

   

Mr Richard Allan

NC32

To move the following Clause:—

    '—(1)   In subsection (2) of section 84 of the 1990 Act, after paragraph (a)(iii) there shall be inserted—

           "or

          (iv) for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or of a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes (a "community service").".

    (2)   In subsection (6) of section 104 of the 1990 Act, in paragraph (b) after "satellite" there shall be inserted ", community".

    (3)   After that subsection there shall be inserted—

          "(6A)   In determining whether or to whom to grant a licence to provide a community service and the duration of such licence OFCOM shall have regard to—

          (a) the extent to which the service would confer significant benefits on the public or on the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (b) the extent to which the proposed service is supported by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (c) the extent to which the proposed service includes provision for public access to training, production and broadcast facilities; and

          (d) the extent to which the proposed service includes measures to ensure accountability to and participation by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided."

    (4)   After section 49 of the 1996 Act there shall be inserted—

          "49A Reservation of digital capacity for community radio services

          (1)   In exercising their powers to grant local radio multiplex licences, OFCOM shall reserve such digital capacity as they consider appropriate for digital sound programming and additional services which are operated for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or in a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes ("digital community services").

          (2)   In performing their duty under subsection (1) OFCOM shall endeavour to ensure that every community radio service which is licensed to broadcast other than in digital form is also able to be received in digital form.

          (3)   Where a local multiplex licence is granted in respect of a locality in which digital capacity is reserved in pursuance of this section, the licence shall include such conditions as appear to OFCOM to be appropriate for the purpose of securing that the holder of the licence uses such digital capacity for the broadcasting of such services."

    (5)   In subsection (2) of section 50 of the 1996 Act, after paragraph (d) there shall be inserted—

          "(dd) stating whether in pursuance of a direction under section 49A any digital capacity on the frequency or frequencies in that locality is to be reserved for digital community services".'.


Community television
   

Brian White

NC33

To move the following Clause:—

       'After section 42B of the 1990 Act there is inserted—

          "42C Community television services       In this Part "community service" means a service which—

          (a) consists in the broadcasting of television programmes for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or of a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes (a "community service"), and

          (b) is provided on a frequency or frequencies assigned to OFCOM under section 65.

          42D Licences for Community television services

          .—(1)   An application for a licence to provide a community service shall be made in such manner as OFCOM may determine, and shall be accompanied by such fee (if any) as OFCOM may determine.

          (2)   In determining whether or to whom to grant a licence to provide a community service and the duration of such licence OFCOM shall have regard to—

          (a) the extent to which the service would confer significant benefits on the public or on the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (b) the extent to which the proposed service is supported by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (c) the extent to which the proposed service includes provision for public access to training, production and broadcast facilities; and

          (d) the extent to which the proposed service includes measures to ensure accountability to and participation by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided.".'


Development of community media
   

Brian White

NC34

To move the following Clause:—

    (1)   The Secretary of State may by order provide for—

      (a) any of the provisions of Part 2 or Part 3 (apart from this section), or

      (b) any provision of Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 of the 1990 Act or of Part 1 or Part 2 of the 1996 Act

       to have effect, in relation to services of such descriptions as may be set out in an order under this section, with such modifications as he considers necessary or appropriate for services of that description.

    (2)   The Secretary of State shall not make an order under this section in relation to any description of services unless—

      (a) the description is of services to be provided primarily for the benefit of members of the public or of a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes;

      (b) he considers that the provision of services of that description confers, or would confer, significant benefits on the public or on the particular community for which they are provided.

    (3)   The power, by order under this section, to make incidental, supplemental or consequential provision in connection with provision authorised by subsection (1) includes power to make incidental, supplemental or consequential provision modifying provisions of the 1990 Act, the 1996 Act or this Act that are not mentioned in that subsection.

    (4)   No order is to be made containing provision the making of which is authorised by this section unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.'.

 
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