Pre-appointment hearing with the Chairman-elect of Ofcom, Dr Colette Bowe - Business and Enterprise Committee Contents

3  The candidate: Dr Colette Bowe

Biographical information

8.  Dr Bowe trained as an economist at the University of London (Queen Mary College and the London School of Economics). She began her career as an economist at the then Department of Trade and Industry. She has since held a variety of senior positions both in the private and public sectors, including Chief Executive of the Personal Investment Authority (1994-97) and Executive Chairman of Fleming Funds Management (1998-2001). Dr Bowe was also the founding Chairman of the Telecoms Ombudsman Council (2002-03) and chaired Ofcom's Consumer Panel (2003-07). Her current roles include Board Member of Axa Framlington, Morgan Stanley Bank International, Electra Private Equity plc and London and Continental Railways. Dr Bowe is also Chairman of Council at Queen Mary College, London and is a Board Member of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. A full curriculum vitae can be found in the Appendix on page 9.

Our evidence

9.  In oral evidence we asked Dr Bowe about the following specific matters:

10.  The session also included discussion of various policy matters, which are priorities for the regulator in 2009-10, namely:

  • Competition in pay TV, and its impact on money going into sport;
  • The future of public service broadcasting, and, in particular, children's television;
  • The evolution of radio;
  • Spectrum management, the digital dividend and digital switchover;
  • The regulation of broadcast content;
  • Ofcom's role in the nations and regions;
  • Regulation of and access to broadband and next generation networks; and
  • Regulation of the Internet.


11.  We note that Dr Bowe has a number of other non-executive roles, including the Chairmanship of the Audit Committee of Morgan Stanley Bank International. We were concerned about the amount of time Dr Bowe would have to carry out her Ofcom responsibilities, given the impressive range of other posts she holds. Dr Bowe assured us that she was "well able to give 60% of my time to Ofcom; and Ofcom will be my primary role".[6] We welcome this commitment, and intend to hold her to it. We believe the Secretaries of State should reassure themselves that the priority of Dr Bowe's Ofcom role is understood by all concerned.

12.  Having questioned Dr Colette Bowe we consider her a suitable candidate for the post, and look forward to working with her in the future.

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