House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 2002 - 03
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament

Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 1 — Functions of OFCOM

    7

 

 6     Duties to review regulatory burdens

     (1)    OFCOM must keep the carrying out of their functions under review with a

view to securing that regulation by OFCOM does not involve—

           (a)           the imposition of burdens which are unnecessary; or

           (b)           the maintenance of burdens which have become unnecessary.

5

     (2)    In reviewing their functions under this section it shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           to have regard to the extent to which the matters which they are

required under section 3 to further, or to secure, are already furthered

or secured by effective self-regulation; and

           (b)           in the light of that, to consider to what extent it would be appropriate

10

to remove or reduce regulatory burdens imposed by OFCOM.

     (3)    In determining for the purposes of this section whether procedures for self-

regulation are effective OFCOM must consider, in particular—

           (a)           whether those procedures are administered by a person who is

sufficiently independent of the persons who may be subjected to the

15

procedures; and

           (b)           whether adequate arrangements are in force for funding the activities

of that person in relation to those procedures.

     (4)    OFCOM must, from time to time, publish a statement setting out how they

propose, during the period for which the statement is made, to secure that

20

regulation by OFCOM does not involve the imposition or maintenance of

unnecessary burdens.

     (5)    The first statement to be published under this section—

           (a)           must be published as soon as practicable after the commencement of

this section; and

25

           (b)           shall be a statement for the period of twelve months beginning with the

day of its publication.

     (6)    A subsequent statement—

           (a)           must be published during the period to which the previous statement

related; and

30

           (b)           must be a statement for the period of twelve months beginning with the

end of the previous period.

     (7)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in carrying out their functions at times during

a period for which a statement is in force under this section, to have regard to

that statement.

35

     (8)    OFCOM may, if they think fit, revise a statement under this section at any time

before or during the period for which it is made.

     (9)    Where OFCOM revise a statement, they must publish the revision as soon as

practicable.

     (10)   The publication under this section of a statement, or of a revision of a

40

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.

 7     Duty to carry out impact assessments

     (1)    This section applies where—

45

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 1 — Functions of OFCOM

    8

 

           (a)           OFCOM are proposing to do anything for the purposes of, or in

connection with, the carrying out of their functions; and

           (b)           it appears to them that the proposal is important;

            but this section does not apply if it appears to OFCOM that the urgency of the

matter makes it impracticable or inappropriate for them to comply with the

5

requirements of this section.

     (2)    A proposal is important for the purposes of this section only if its

implementation would be likely to do one or more of the following—

           (a)           to involve a major change in the activities carried on by OFCOM;

           (b)           to have a significant impact on persons carrying on businesses in the

10

markets for any of the services, facilities, apparatus or directories in

relation to which OFCOM have functions; or

           (c)           to have a significant impact on the general public in the United

Kingdom or in a part of the United Kingdom.

     (3)    Before implementing their proposal, OFCOM must either—

15

           (a)           carry out and publish an assessment of the likely impact of

implementing the proposal; or

           (b)           publish a statement setting out their reasons for thinking that it is

unnecessary for them to carry out an assessment.

     (4)    An assessment carried out under this section—

20

           (a)           may take such form, and

           (b)           must relate to such matters,

            as OFCOM consider appropriate.

     (5)    In determining the matters to which an assessment under this section should

relate, OFCOM must have regard to such general guidance relating to the

25

carrying out of impact assessments as they consider appropriate.

     (6)    Where OFCOM publish an assessment under this section—

           (a)           they must provide an opportunity of making representations to them

about their proposal to members of the public and other persons who,

in OFCOM’s opinion, are likely to be affected to a significant extent by

30

its implementation;

           (b)           the published assessment must be accompanied by a statement setting

out how representations may be made; and

           (c)           OFCOM are not to implement their proposal unless the period for

making representations about it has expired and they have considered

35

all the representations that were made in that period.

     (7)    Where OFCOM are required (apart from this section)—

           (a)           to consult about a proposal to which this section applies, or

           (b)           to give a person an opportunity of making representations about it,

            the requirements of this section are in addition to, but may be performed

40

contemporaneously with, the other requirements.

     (8)    Every report under paragraph 12 of the Schedule to the Office of

Communications Act 2002 (c. 11) (OFCOM’s annual report) must set out—

           (a)           a list of the assessments under this section carried out during the

financial year to which the report relates; and

45

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 1 — Functions of OFCOM

    9

 

           (b)           a summary of the decisions taken during that year in relation to

proposals to which assessments carried out in that year or previous

financial years relate.

     (9)    The publication of anything under this section must be in such manner as

OFCOM consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the persons

5

who, in OFCOM’s opinion, are likely to be affected if their proposal is

implemented.

 8     Duty to publish and meet promptness standards

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to publish a statement setting out the standards

they are proposing to meet with respect to promptness in—

10

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

           (b)           the transaction of business for purposes connected with the carrying

out of those functions.

     (2)    This section does not require standards to be set out with respect to anything

which (apart from this section) is required to be done by a time, or within a

15

period, provided for by or under an enactment.

     (3)    OFCOM may, if they think fit, at any time revise the statement for the time

being in force under this section.

     (4)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           in carrying out their functions, and

20

           (b)           in transacting business for purposes connected with the carrying out of

their functions,

            to have regard to the statement for the time being in force under this section.

     (5)    Where OFCOM revise a statement under this section, they must publish the

revision as soon as practicable.

25

     (6)    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.

     (7)    OFCOM’s report under paragraph 12 of the Schedule to the Office of

30

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.

 9     Secretary of State’s powers in relation to promptness standards

     (1)    Where the Secretary of State considers that the statement published by

35

OFCOM under section 8 is not adequate for securing that they meet

satisfactory promptness standards, he may give them a notification to that

effect.

     (2)    If the period of three months after the date of the giving of a notification under

subsection (1) expires without OFCOM taking steps which the Secretary of

40

State is satisfied remedy the situation, he may give them a direction under this

section.

     (3)    A direction under this section is one requiring OFCOM to issue a new or

revised statement under section 8 in accordance with the direction.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 1 — Functions of OFCOM

    10

 

     (4)    Before giving a direction under this section, the Secretary of State must—

           (a)           give OFCOM an opportunity of making representations to him about

his proposed direction; and

           (b)           have regard to any representations made to him by them.

     (5)    Where the Secretary of State gives a direction to OFCOM under this section, he

5

must publish a copy of it in such manner as he considers appropriate for

bringing it to the attention of persons who, in his opinion, are likely to be

affected by OFCOM’s promptness standards.

     (6)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to revise their statement under section 8 in

accordance with any direction of the Secretary of State under this section.

10

     (7)    In this section “promptness standards” means standards of promptness in—

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

           (b)           the transaction by them of business for purposes connected with the

carrying out of those functions.

     (8)    No notification is to be given under subsection (1) at any time in the period of

15

twelve months beginning with the commencement of section 8.

Media literacy

 10    Duty to promote media literacy

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to take such steps, and to enter into such

arrangements, as appear to them calculated—

20

           (a)           to bring about, or to encourage others to bring about, a better public

understanding of the nature and characteristics of material published

by means of the electronic media;

           (b)           to bring about, or to encourage others to bring about, a better public

awareness and understanding of the processes by which such material

25

is selected, or made available, for publication by such means;

           (c)           to bring about, or to encourage others to bring about, the development

of a better public awareness of the available systems by which access to

material published by means of the electronic media is or can be

regulated;

30

           (d)           to bring about, or to encourage others to bring about, the development

of a better public awareness of the available systems by which persons

to whom such material is made available may control what is received

and of the uses to which such systems may be put; and

           (e)           to encourage the development and use of technologies and systems for

35

regulating access to such material, and for facilitating control over what

material is received, that are both effective and easy to use.

     (2)    In this section, references to the publication of anything by means of the

electronic media are references to its being—

           (a)           broadcast so as to be available for reception by members of the public

40

or of a section of the public; or

           (b)           distributed by means of an electronic communications network to

members of the public or of a section of the public.

 

 

 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2003
Revised 10 February 2003