Examination of Witness (Questions 117-119)|
MONDAY 27 MAY 2002
Chairman: Mr Goddard, thank you for being with
us. Lord Pilkington has a question.
Lord Pilkington of Oxenford
117. It is a question asked of your predecessor
who was giving evidenceand I do not know if you were here
listening. What are the advantages of spectrum management becoming
a function of OFCOM rather than being an executive agency in itself?
In other words, are you going to benefit from being included in
this vast organisation? When the Radio Authority spoke to us they
spoke about expertise and the very fine way in which they had
managed it and the large number of expert staff they had doing
thisa large number I gather.
In view of all that, do you think that merging you with OFCOM
will be better for us or worse?
(Mr Goddard) The very straightforward
answer is better because a large amount of the radio spectrum
and the most valuable part of the radio spectrum significantly
underpins the communications broadcasting businesses. As it is
at the moment whenever we are either looking for new spectrum
for telecommunications or broadcasting or re-engineering or re-farming
that spectrum, we have to work very closely with the regulatory
bodies and parts of government. I think this arrangement with
OFCOM will produce a much more coherent policy.
118. Might you be cutting staff? If the Radio
Authority needs so many, are you going to keep all your expertise
in this new body or will there be economies of scale and would
it be a good thing?
(Mr Goddard) There might be some economies of scale
at the margins in terms of common services, but in terms of the
detailed management of the radio spectrum, the Government's White
Paper made it clear that all our functions should transfer to
OFCOM, so we believe more or less the resources we have now would
continue through into OFCOM.
119. You are saying in words of one syllable
that you must keep your present staffing at least?
(Mr Goddard) At least in the early days. I have not
got a crystal ball in the future. We have contracted out services
in the past and we may be able to do so in the future. I think
the activities we carry out now will transfer entirely to OFCOM.
1 20 to 25. See Q 63. Back