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Index of Amendments


given up to and including

Friday 28th February 2003

New Amendments handed in are marked thus *




The Amendments have been arranged in accordance with the Communications Bill (Programme) (No. 2) Order of the House (10th February).


Secretary of State guarantees for OFCOM borrowing


Secretary Tessa Jowell
Ms Secretary Hewitt


To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Secretary of State may guarantee—

      (a) the repayment of the principal of any borrowing by OFCOM;

      (b) the payment of interest on any such borrowing; and

      (c) the discharge of other financial obligations incurred by OFCOM in connection with any such borrowing.

    (2)   The power of the Secretary of State to give a guarantee under this section is a power (subject to subsection (3)) to give it in such manner and on such conditions as he thinks fit.

    (3)   The Secretary of State must not give a guarantee under this section if the aggregate of—

      (a) the amounts that he may be required to pay for fulfilling that guarantee, and

      (b) the amounts that he may be required to pay for fulfilling other guarantees previously given under this section and still in force,

       exceeds £5 million.

    (4)   The Secretary of State may by order substitute another amount for the amount for the time being specified in subsection (3).

    (5)   No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (4) unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of the House of Commons.

    (6)   Immediately after a guarantee is given under this section, the Secretary of State must lay a statement of the guarantee before each House of Parliament.

    (7)   Where any sum is paid by the Secretary of State under a guarantee given under this section, he must lay a statement relating to that sum before each House of Parliament as soon as practicable after the end of each of the financial years—

      (a) beginning with the one in which the sum is paid; and

      (b) ending with the one in which OFCOM's liabilities under subsection (8) in respect of that sum are finally discharged.

    (8)   If sums are paid by the Secretary of State in fulfilment of a guarantee given under this section OFCOM must pay him—

      (a) such amounts in or towards the repayment to him of those sums as he may direct; and

      (b) interest, at such rates as he may determine, on amounts outstanding under this subsection.

    (9)   Payments to the Secretary of State under subsection (8) must be made at such times and in such manner as he may determine.'.

Grants for electronic communications networks and services in Northern Ireland


Secretary Tessa Jowell
Ms Secretary Hewitt


To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment may, in accordance with this section, make payments to persons engaged in, or in commercial activities connected with—

      (a) the provision of electronic communications networks and electronic communications services in Northern Ireland; or

      (b) improving the extent, quality and reliability of such networks or services.

    (2)   A payment shall not be made under this section unless in the opinion of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment—

      (a) the making of the payment is likely to achieve—

      (i) one or more of the purposes set out in subsection (1); and

      (ii) any other purposes prescribed by regulations made by that Department with the approval of the Department of Finance and Personnel; and

      (b) the amount of the payment is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

    (3)   Payments under this section shall—

      (a) be of such amounts, and

      (b) be made subject to such conditions (including conditions as to repayment),

       as the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment may determine.

    (4)   This section extends only to Northern Ireland.'.

Power of OFCOM to retain costs of carrying out spectrum functions


Secretary Tessa Jowell
Ms Secretary Hewitt


To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   OFCOM have power to make a statement of the principles under which they may retain any or all of the amounts paid to them in pursuance of obligations imposed by or under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1998 (c.6).

    (2)   Where such a statement of principles authorises the retention of an amount, OFCOM are not required to pay it into the appropriate Consolidated Fund in accordance with section 390.

    (3)   Principles contained in a statement made by OFCOM under this section must be such as appear to them to be likely to secure, on the basis of such estimates of the likely costs as it is practicable to make—

      (a) that, on a year by year basis, the aggregate amount of the amounts retained by OFCOM does not exceed the amount required by OFCOM for meeting the annual cost to OFCOM of carrying out the functions mentioned in subsection (4);

      (b) that the amounts retained by OFCOM are objectively justifiable and proportionate to the costs in respect of which they are retained; and

      (c) that the relationship between meeting the cost of carrying out those functions and the amounts retained is transparent.

    (4)   Those functions are—

      (a) OFCOM's functions under the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum except those specified in subsection (5); and

      (b) the function of taking any steps that OFCOM consider it necessary to take—

      (i) in preparation for the carrying out of any of the functions mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection; or

      (ii) for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out of those functions or otherwise in connection with carrying them out.

    (5)   The excepted functions of OFCOM are—

      (a) their functions under section 19(2);

      (b) their functions under subsections (1) and (2) of section 147 so far as carried out in relation to the use of the electro-magnetic spectrum at places outside the United Kingdom, and their functions under subsection (5) of that section;

      (c) their functions under section 150;

      (d) their functions under section 153;

      (e) their functions under section 163;

      (f) their functions under sections 170 to 172;

      (g) any functions conferred on them under section 5 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c.54); and

      (h) any function not falling within the preceding paragraphs in so far as the costs of carrying it out are met from payments made to OFCOM by virtue of section 25 or 147(8) of this Act.

    (6)   A statement under this section may include provision which, for the purposes of the principles contained in the statement and of the preparation of accounts in accordance with section 390(4), requires an amount actually received in one year—

      (a) to be treated as referable to costs incurred in that year and in one or more subsequent years; and

      (b) to be brought into account, in each of those years, in accordance with an apportionment for which provision is made in the statement.

    (7)   A deficit or surplus shown (after applying this subsection for all previous years) by an account prepared under section 390(4) is to be carried forward and taken into account in determining what is required by OFCOM in relation to the following year for meeting the costs of carrying out the functions mentioned in subsection (4) of this section.

    (8)   A statement of principles under this section—

      (a) if it is expressed to apply for a limited period, does not apply to any amounts paid to OFCOM after the end of that period; and

      (b) in any event, does not apply to amounts paid to them after a withdrawal of the statement takes effect.

    (9)   OFCOM may revise a statement made under this section.

    (10)   The consent of the Treasury is required for the making, revision or withdrawal of a statement under this section.

    (11)   Where OFCOM make or revise a statement of this section they must publish so much of the statement or revised statement as appears to them necessary for demonstrating that the statement or revision complies with subsection (3).'.

Deterrence of piracy, counterfeiting etc.


Mr Chris Smith [R]


To move the following Clause:—

       'OFCOM may, if they think fit, undertake discussions with, and seek agreement from, broadcasters, producers, service providers and telecommunications companies, in order to assist the deterrence of piracy, counterfeiting and the unauthorised digital transference of moving image material; including in such discussions the promotion of common technical standards in order to facilitate deterrence, prevention, and detection.'.

Duty to promote new telecommunications technologies


Mr Tim Yeo
Mr Crispin Blunt
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Henry Bellingham
Hugh Robertson
Mr Mark Field


To move the following Clause:—

       'It shall be the duty of OFCOM to promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for telecommunications consumers and encourage the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies, including broadband.'.

Duty of OFCOM to review and report on press self-regulation


Mr Clive Soley
Mr Chris Mullin


To move the following Clause:—

       'OFCOM shall, from time to time, review and report on the effectiveness of self-regulation by the press.'.

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