Joint Committee on Draft Communications Bill Report


(a) The framework for better regulation

60. Regulation by independent bodies operating at arm's length from Government plays an important role in the economy and society. Greater attention has been devoted recently to ensuring that the standards of those regulators both reflect the best aspects of good practice in Government and the public service and respond to the particular needs of the regulatory process. This has been most apparent in the work of the Better Regulation Task Force, which has established five principles for good regulation - transparency, accountability, proportionality, consistency and targeting.[124] The establishment and conferring of functions on OFCOM provide Parliament with an opportunity to ensure that these principles are fully reflected in the new regulator's statutory framework.

61. Section 3 of the Office of Communications Act 2002 requires OFCOM, in managing its affairs, to have regard to such general guidance concerning the management of the affairs of public bodies as OFCOM considers appropriate. The Explanatory Notes to that Act indicate that this phrase is intended to refer in part to the Guidance on Codes of Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies issued by the Cabinet Office in February 2000.[125] That guidance reminds Board members of the need to "observe the highest standards of propriety", to "maximise value for money through ensuring that services are delivered in the most economical, efficient and effective way", to "be accountable to Parliament, users of services, individual citizens and staff" and to comply with Government policy on openness and responsiveness.[126]

62. The draft Bill builds upon the foundation laid in section 3 of the Office of Communications Act 2002 by referring explicitly to the principles of good regulation in OFCOM's general duties. Clause 3(2)(a) and (b) require OFCOM to "have regard" to "the principles under which regulatory activities should be transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted only at cases in which action is needed" and "to any other principles appearing to OFCOM to represent the best regulatory practice". Some witnesses expressed disappointment that these principles were in subsection (2) of Clause 3, under the factors to which OFCOM shall have regard, rather than in the duties listed in subsection (1).[127] We are not convinced that anything of importance would be achieved by moving the location of this phrase in Clause 3. Rather, we have devoted our attention to examining whether the best principles for regulation are properly reflected in the provisions of the draft Bill taken as a whole.

(b) The level of regulation

63. The aim of the Government since the White Paper has been to ensure that regulation be kept "to the minimum necessary for ensuring that the interests of citizens and consumers are fully safeguarded".[128] The Policy document accompanying the draft Bill states:

    "Unnecessary regulations need to be removed wherever possible. By eliminating undue burdens on business we can drive innovation, increase investment, raise employment and bring better services to consumers."[129]

—  The overall thrust of the Government's proposals in the draft Bill is, in its own assessment, "deregulatory".[130]

64. The deregulatory impulse is most apparent in Clause 5 of the draft Bill, which is entitled "Duties to secure light touch regulation". This Clause requires OFCOM to publish periodic statements on proposals "to secure that regulation by OFCOM does not involve the imposition or maintenance of unnecessary burdens".[131] This requirement, and the wider commitment to "light touch" regulation symbolised by the title of Clause 5, was welcomed by some witnesses. Rob Borthwick of Vodafone argued that "light touch regulation should run through the Bill almost like letters on a stick of rock".[132]

65. Others were sceptical about whether "light touch" regulation was desirable either in particular instances or as a general goal. A number of submissions argued that "appropriate and proportionate" regulation was more important than "light touch" regulation: in some cases, particularly in relation to anti-competitive behaviour by dominant players, regulation might have to be the very opposite of "light touch".[133] In this context, it is important to note that the transition from sector-specific regulation to competition law regulation, one element of the deregulatory package proposed in the draft Bill, does not necessarily entail more "light touch" regulation, since the powers available under the Competition Act, and subsequently the Enterprise Act, are extensive, and potentially intrusive.[134]

66. An additional problem with Clause 5 relates to its application to non-economic regulation. The genesis of the proposals in Clause 5 has been linked explicitly by the Government to the work of the Better Regulation Task Force on economic regulators.[135] However, the Government has also made it clear that the provisions of Clause 5 will apply not only to price controls and licence conditions, but to any form of regulatory burden.[136] Both the Consumers' Association and the Plaid Cymru Parliamentary Group were concerned that there was no cross-reference from the commitment to review unnecessary regulatory burdens to the public interest and the citizen's interest in certain types of regulatory burden.[137]

67. During the course of this inquiry, we have become ever more convinced that the rhetorical commitment to "light touch" regulation by OFCOM is in great danger of becoming an albatross around the new regulator's neck. On each occasion when OFCOM determines that tough and firm regulatory action is required, it will have thrown back in its face its "duties to secure light touch regulation". There is potential for this phrase to be prayed in aid when OFCOM's activities are subject to judicial review, even though the term is not defined in the draft Bill. Patricia Hewitt agreed that regulation had to be tough on occasions and saw "light touch" as being synonymous with the phrase "appropriate and proportionate".[138] This reinforces the case for foregoing the use of the former phrase. We support the duty on OFCOM to have regard to the principles that regulatory activities should be "proportionate, consistent and targeted only at cases in which action is needed". We recommend that these principles, rather than an undefined commitment to "light touch" regulation, should govern the provisions of the final Bill regarding regulatory burdens.

68. This recommendation does not mean that we wish to see the pressure on OFCOM to minimise its regulatory interventions diminished. Indeed, we will propose recommendations to reinforce that pressure. Rather, we consider it essential to ensure that, when needed, OFCOM's regulatory powers are robust and effective. With regard to the provisions of Clause 5, we consider it essential to anchor the duty to review regulatory burdens in the wider context of OFCOM's duties and functions. We recommend that Clause 5(1) be amended to require OFCOM to review its activities and functions to ensure that regulation is at the minimum level necessary to enable OFCOM to fulfil its general duties, and for the purpose of fulfilling Community obligations and its functions under competition law.

(c) Self-regulation

69. The general commitment to regulation at the minimum necessary level should be reinforced by clearer signposts for any move from statutory regulation to self-regulation. The Communications White Paper made it clear that a key component in delivering regulation at the minimum necessary level was the encouragement and monitoring of alternatives to formal regulation in the forms of self-regulation and co-regulation.[139] The Government has stated that "self-regulation will be extended wherever possible", but it is not evident from the draft Bill how this will be encouraged to happen.[140]

70. The Policy document accompanying the draft Bill states that "it will be for OFCOM to establish suitable links with non-statutory regulatory groups" such as ICSTIS and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).[141] Elsewhere, that document refers to OFCOM's likely co-operation with self-regulatory bodies concerned with Internet content.[142] While ICSTIS and the Internet Watch Foundation both welcomed reference to their roles, they wished to see greater clarity about their relations with OFCOM.[143] While accepting that legislation could not be expected to refer by name to bodies lacking a statutory basis, the Internet Watch Foundation suggested that OFCOM could be required "to consult as widely as possible with existing self-regulatory or co-regulatory institutions".[144]

71. We have concluded that OFCOM's general role in relation to areas that are or might become subject to self-regulation ought to be set out on the face of the Bill. Our aim is to see a mechanism established that will enable operators in such sectors to have clear standards to aim for that would justify self-regulation rather than on-going statutory regulation. We envisage that the move to self-regulation need not be a one-way street: OFCOM would retain back-stop powers and the statutory right to re-impose detailed regulation where self-regulation had failed to comply with agreed standards. We propose that such standards be overseen by a system of accreditation. We recommend that, in order to reinforce the duty to maintain the minimum regulation necessary under Clause 5, OFCOM be given a power to review and foster the development of effective and accredited self-regulatory bodies in the communications sector. Accreditation would depend upon those bodies meeting criteria relating, for example, to:

  • the policy objectives to be implemented;
  • the adequacy of funding available to the body;
  • the independence of the self-regulatory mechanism from the sector being regulated;
  • the transparency and accountability of the body, including a requirement to publish a full annual report on its activities, available to Parliament.

—  Accreditation would bring with it an expectation that the sector concerned would be subject to less statutory regulation. Withdrawal of accreditation similarly would imply the need for additional or re-imposed statutory regulation. Accreditation should also be able to extend to Codes of Practice as an alternative to statutory regulation, consistent with the general approach used in the Regulatory Reform Act 2001.

72. Accredited self-regulation may represent an important way forward in the difficult area of advertising. Standards in advertising in the non-broadcast media are overseen by a self-regulatory body, the ASA. The ASA has successfully assumed responsibility for regulation of Internet advertising.[145] The Communications White Paper praised the work of the ASA and mooted the idea of self-regulatory mechanisms playing a greater role in future in the regulation of broadcast advertising.[146] The advertising industry was therefore justifiably disappointed that the draft Bill does not mark a clearer move in this direction.[147] The Consumers' Association was more critical of the current system of self-regulation in advertising and saw no case for its extension.[148]

73. There was, however, common ground in the proposition that convergence would blur distinctions between broadcast and non-broadcast media and make the two distinct regulatory systems harder to operate.[149] The Government and the ITC have advanced several reasons why self-regulation of broadcast advertising will not be sufficient: first, broadcast participation in the existing system for prior vetting of advertisements is not universal; second, broadcasters have a direct regulatory responsibility for the advertisements they carry; third, the EC Television without Frontiers Directive requires Member States to regulate aspects of television advertising.[150] In view of these impediments, we accept that the time may not yet have come for accredited self-regulation of broadcast advertising and acknowledge the need for the retention of back-stop powers by OFCOM. We were encouraged that Tessa Jowell confirmed that she was happy to discuss with advertisers the safeguards needed "were a system that were closer to self-regulation to evolve over time" and rightly stressed the need for a regime of self-regulation "in which the public can have confidence".[151] We consider that it should be an early priority for OFCOM to consult on the scope for creating a more coherent system of advertising regulation, with a greater element of self-regulation for broadcast media. We recommend that the Government seek to ensure that the final Bill does not erect unnecessary barriers to the evolution of accredited self-regulation in broadcast advertising.

(d) Regulatory impact and charging

74. The regulatory impact of OFCOM's activities will be determined not simply by its general obligations to review regulatory burdens. The final Bill, drawing upon recommendations by the Better Regulation Task Force, will require OFCOM to publish and consult on an impact assessment of substantial proposed regulations and of any proposals that impose a significant regulatory burden.[152] The Government has noted that the process of regulatory impact assessment can prove valuable "in identifying more cost-effective ways of achieving the same outcome".[153] Our capacity to consider this issue has been greatly constrained by the absence of the relevant Clauses from the draft Bill. We are left with the task of commenting on what we wish in principle to see in Clauses that have yet to materialise, rather than engaging in the pure pre-legislative task of examining draft Clauses. We agree with the argument advanced by NTL and Telewest that regulatory impact assessments must review the impact of proposals on markets as a whole, not simply on the companies that are the target of the regulation.[154] We recommend that OFCOM be required to conduct regulatory impact assessments, including competition assessments, for all of its regulatory activities that may have a significant effect not simply in terms of regulatory burdens but in terms of market behaviour and competition within markets.

75. The regulatory impact of OFCOM will be felt not only in the regulatory burdens it imposes but also in the charges it levies on regulated organisations. It is intended that the costs of OFCOM will be met almost entirely from those it regulates.[155] This broadly replicates the way in which the current costs of the five existing regulators of £118 million are met, although at present the Exchequer meets half the running costs of the BSC, an arrangement that is to be discontinued under the new legislation, and some of the costs of Oftel.[156] Both the Radiocommunications Agency and Oftel have forecast increases in the future in the costs of regulating the sectors for which they are responsible. Taken together with the transitional costs associated with the move to a single regulator, this may, according the Government, lead to "some modest increases in the pecuniary cost of the new regime", with the savings associated with merger accruing over a longer timescale.[157]

76. A number of companies were concerned at the lack of savings foreseen following the move from five regulators to a single regulator.[158] Stephen Carter of NTL felt that merger ought to bring clear savings from shared resources.[159] David Wickham, the then Chief Executive of Energis, told us that he ran a company with twice the number of staff proposed for OFCOM with the same total budget envisaged of £118 million.[160] Dawn Airey, Chief Executive of Channel 5, was concerned that the trend towards a more efficient and less costly regulatory regime for broadcasters established by the ITC would be reversed.[161] There was also a concern expressed by several organisations that they should not be asked to fund activities unrelated to their sector, a concern expressed by BT, by the Internet Service Providers Association and by broadcasters.[162]

77. Tessa Jowell and Patricia Hewitt shared the view that the creation of OFCOM ought to bring savings in regulatory costs. Tessa Jowell said: "It would be quite extraordinary if there were not some economies of scale as a result of bringing together the five regulators, and economies of scale which would release money to fund the new functions".[163] We agree that there should be some cost savings from combining five regulators as one, but we urge caution in seeking to apply too much pressure on OFCOM to secure cost reductions. This may lead to false economy and strike at the heart of the purposes of the Bill. Effective regulation does not come cheap, and the long-term costs to industry and to the public will be greater if OFCOM lacks the resources to undertake effective regulation.

78. In terms of the distribution of costs, the draft Bill offers considerable protection for those companies subject to OFCOM's jurisdiction pursuant to Chapter 1 of Part 2. Clauses 29 and 30 seek to give effect to the requirements of the EC Authorisation Directive, under which charges must meet the general need for non-discrimination, proportionality and transparency and relate only to administrative costs associated with the authorisation scheme proposed in that part of the Bill.[164] These provisions leave it uncertain whether OFCOM could charge an organisation providing an electronic communications network or service for the performance of central functions or policy development or for the exercise of OFCOM's functions under the Competition Act or the forthcoming Enterprise Act.[165]

79. Although the ITC has developed general principles of cost-based apportionments, an assessment of regulatory exposure and the ability of licensees to pay, there are no statutory provisions for broadcasting or for wireless telegraphy directly analogous to those in Clause 29.[166] This at least makes it theoretically possible that the entire burden of OFCOM's general costs that cannot be attributed to functions under Chapter 1 of Part 2 will fall entirely on other sectors. This would in our view be unfair and unacceptable. We recommend that the principles underpinning charges under Clause 29, namely that charges should be fixed in accordance with clear principles and related only to relevant functions, be extended to all administrative charges under the Communications Bill and the broadcasting legislation that it amends, except where incentive charging for wider purposes is intended.

80. This creates a potential gap with regard to OFCOM's central services and its competition law functions, which cannot easily be allocated in advance to particular parts of the communications sector. We will examine OFCOM's powers under competition law and its capacity to exercise them later, but it is evident that these powers will require OFCOM to employ high quality staff with specialist skills of a kind that it is unlikely to inherit from the existing regulators. Don Cruickshank, a former Director-General of Telecommunications, pointed out that the OFT and Competition Commission were funded from the Exchequer and that their capacity to attract resources was helped by the Treasury's commitment to competitive markets.[167] To ensure that OFCOM has adequate resources to undertake its competition law functions, we recommend that those functions be funded directly by the Exchequer. We would prefer to see OFCOM's central functions funded proportionately and transparently through a levy on all companies above a certain size in the regulated sectors. If this proves incompatible with the EC Directives, we recommend that such costs should also be met from the Exchequer.

(e) Promptness standards

81. During our inquiry it has been evident that a major concern about the regulators that OFCOM will replace is the time taken to conduct investigations and reach decisions. Some telecommunications operators considered that Oftel's decision-making "is still so slow that there is often no point in complaining to the regulator at all".[168] Stephen Carter of NTL expressed this frustration when he said, "whether it is light touch or heavy touch, whether it is appropriate and proportionate or disproportionate and inappropriate, if it is done slowly and languorously over time, in an industry that is changing apace, it is of no value to anyone".[169]

82. The draft Bill imposes a number of requirements on OFCOM to undertake particular functions within specified periods.[170] It also seems likely that the provisions of the final Bill to provide for dispute resolution procedures between networks and services operators will reflect the requirement on OFCOM under Article 20 of the EC Framework Directive to issue a binding decision to resolve the dispute "in the shortest possible time frame and in any case within four months except in exceptional circumstances".[171] In addition, it is the stated policy of the Government that OFCOM be put "under an obligation to publish and meet promptness standards for the carrying out of their functions".[172]

83. Clause 6 seeks to give effect to this policy commitment, which is reflected in the title of the Clause - "Duty to publish and meet promptness standards". The duty to publish promptness standards is evident in the provisions of the Clause; the duty to meet them is not so evident. The Clause requires OFCOM to publish the promptness standards it is proposing to meet and requires them to "have regard" to the statement of those standards in their work. There is no explicit requirement on OFCOM to meet its own promptness standards and no sanction if it does not do so.[173] The current regulatory attitude to such standards was epitomised when we asked David Edmonds whether the provisions of Clause 6 would affect his work at Oftel. He replied: "Promptness would not, I have tough targets already. We meet those targets … I think the promptness Clause is important underpinning but in terms of how I operate at the moment it would not make a difference."[174] If the sole purpose of Clause 6 is to establish a benchmark viewed by OFCOM itself as satisfactory, then it will be a waste of time.

84. We heard various suggestions as to how the provisions of Clause 6 could be given real bite. First, it was suggested that time limits for investigations and decisions could be set out either on the face of the Bill or in secondary legislation.[175] Second, Clifford Chance proposed that OFCOM be required to undertake public consultation on its proposed promptness standards before finalising them.[176] Third, NTL argued that an aggrieved party ought to have a right of appeal when OFCOM failed to reach a conclusion on a reasonable timescale.[177] In this context, BSkyB noted that the Government has not brought into force powers in paragraph 7 of Schedule 5 and paragraph 7 of Schedule 6 to the Competition Act 1998 that allow companies to seek directions from the courts to ensure that the Office of Fair Trading reaches decisions without "undue delay".[178] The Government confirmed that these paragraphs had not been brought into force, and stated that it was "considering a suitable commencement date" for them. When they are finally brought into force, they will apply to OFCOM when exercising its Competition Act functions.[179]

85. Patricia Hewitt thought it was best for OFCOM to set its own promptness standards, after consultation.[180] We do not believe this is an adequate discipline. Clause 6 fails to impose necessary requirements on OFCOM to meet promptness standards. First, we recommend that time limits be specified on the face of the Bill, including a requirement for the completion of market analyses and market power determinations under Clause 64 within four months other than in exceptional circumstances of a kind to be specified in the Bill. Second, we recommend that promptness standards under Clause 6 be determined by the Secretary of State following consultation with OFCOM and other interested parties, rather than by OFCOM itself. Third, we recommend that OFCOM be placed under a statutory duty to account for all failures to meet time limits and promptness standards in its annual report. Fourth, we recommend that, by analogy with the relevant provisions of the Competition Act, a party aggrieved by a failure of OFCOM to determine a matter for decision in accordance with time limits or promptness standards be enabled to seek a direction by a court to OFCOM if the court is satisfied that there has been undue delay by OFCOM. Finally, we recommend that paragraph 7 of Schedule 5 and paragraph 7 of Schedule 6 to the Competition Act 1998 be brought into force at the earliest possible opportunity.

(f) Transparency

86. The regulatory principle of transparency is reflected in OFCOM's general duties in Clause 3(2)(a) and in various provisions throughout the draft Bill requiring OFCOM to publish statements or reviews.[181] It is the Government's stated policy that "OFCOM will be expected to conduct its business with openness and transparency wherever possible and consistent with duties to protect the privacy of information provided to it".[182] It has been suggested that the provisions of the final Bill could go further in reinforcing this policy.

87. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has twice recommended that the Board of OFCOM ought to meet in public, unless issues of commercial confidentiality make this inappropriate.[183] When the Chairman of that Committee, the Rt Hon Gerald Kaufman MP, raised the issue with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on 7 May 2002, Tessa Jowell replied:

    "It will be a matter for the bodies themselves whether they meet in public; clearly, there will be occasions on which matters of commercial sensitivity will need to be considered. I entirely share my Right Hon Friend's view, however, that, as an operating principle, public bodies such as these should meet in public, and provide specific reasons as to why it might be necessary to meet in camera from time to time."[184]

88. Several organisations wished to see this operating principle appear as a statutory duty on the face of the Bill.[185] Anthony Parrish, Executive Chairman of Intellect, viewed such an open process as crucial in enabling wider understanding of the way in which OFCOM's decisions were made.[186] Both BECTU and the Satellite and Cable Broadcasters' Group saw particular benefit from such openness in the case of the Content Board.[187] The Government has subsequently argued that OFCOM ought to be left to choose whether to meet in public: "there is a danger that a requirement for meetings to be held in public could result in these meetings becoming set pieces, with the real decisions taken elsewhere".[188] We accept there is some force in the argument, but equally the notion of public bodies being required to undertake some of their work in public is not a novel or radical one.[189]

89. Tessa Jowell again made clear in evidence to us that she had sympathy for the notion that OFCOM should hold at least some or part of its meetings in public and that, "as OFCOM establishes itself, they will hear that message loud and clear".[190] We welcome this statement. In these circumstances, we do not favour a formal statutory duty on OFCOM to meet in public. We nevertheless urge the main Board of OFCOM and its subsidiary bodies to give early and careful consideration to ways of ensuring wider public engagement with its work; this might include regular meetings at which Board members would listen to, and exchange views with, members of the public across the United Kingdom.

90. One of the aims of the Communications White Paper was that the Board of OFCOM would "resolve any conflicts between the regulator's different objectives in a clear and transparent way".[191] The Better Regulation Task Force's report on economic regulators drew attention to the importance for stakeholders of being able to predict how competing objectives might be reconciled and how particular decisions relate to objectives.[192] In its response to that report, the Government agreed:

    "on the benefits of making priorities and the basis of individual decisions as clear as possible. Greater transparency helps business by reducing uncertainty. While it is ultimately for individual regulators to decide what material to publish, it will clearly be useful to stakeholders to have these objectives and priorities clear set out."[193]

91. Some submissions questioned whether it was necessary to leave it to OFCOM's discretion to publish statements of this kind. BSkyB, BT and the mobile phone operators were among those who argued that OFCOM ought to be under an obligation to give reasons for significant decisions by reference to its objectives and provide more general guidance on how it interprets its duties.[194] Clifford Chance drew particular attention to the need for guidance on how OFCOM will make decisions at an early stage in its work.[195] Some telecommunications operators were, nevertheless, concerned that, if OFCOM's duties remained as complex as proposed, "OFCOM could spend all its time on such balancing exercises, giving no time for actually doing its job. Or, worse, OFCOM might devote an unwarranted amount of legal resource to complying with procedures designed to demonstrate that it is complying with its duties, without actually doing so in any meaningful way."[196]

92. We accept that a balance needs to be struck between the desirability of OFCOM being transparent in the interpretation of its duties and the potential burden of requiring OFCOM to engage in an onerous and potentially formulaic explanation of all its decisions by reference to its general duties. We consider that a solution to this dilemma lies in the primacy of a principal duty on OFCOM that we have already proposed. We recommend that OFCOM be required to include in its annual report an interpretation of its principal duty and an account of the way in which that interpretation has informed its work during the period. We further recommend that OFCOM be required to make a statement on decisions that, in its opinion, give rise to significant issues relating to the interpretation of the principal duty and be encouraged to give reasons generally for its decisions wherever possible.

(g) Accountability

93. One of the principles of regulation set out by the Government in its Communications Green Paper was that "Parliament must have an effective means of holding regulators to account".[197] Neither the White Paper nor the draft Bill indicates what these means are. Paragraph 12 of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 imposes a standard requirement on OFCOM to make an annual report to the Secretary of State which she will lay before each House of Parliament.

94. It should go without saying that OFCOM will have a range of regulatory powers of crucial public interest that are deserving of continuous parliamentary scrutiny. In addition to the regulatory powers that we discuss throughout this Report, it has powers of a legislative character in respect of orders and regulations of a kind more normally reserved for Ministers.[198] In respect of the proposed use of order-making powers by OFCOM under Clause 82, we share the view of the House of Lords Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform that the power in question (to vary the lower limit under the electronic communications code below which compensation is not payable) is more properly exercised by the Secretary of State than by OFCOM.

95. It would not be appropriate for the Communications Bill to make provision for the way in which OFCOM is held accountable to Parliament; that is principally a matter for the two Houses of Parliament and their committees to determine. However, we are in no doubt that the scope of OFCOM's regulatory activities is such that it will be incumbent on the two Houses to improve their effectiveness in holding regulators to account. The House of Lords Liaison Committee has already declared itself in favour in principle of the establishment of a House of Lords Communications Select Committee when the new legislation has come into force. This is a welcome development. As far as the House of Commons is concerned, Chris Smith has suggested that a special joint sub-committee of the Culture, Media and Sport and Trade and Industry Committees be established to monitor the work of OFCOM, receive reports from it on a regular basis and hold it to account.[199] Although this is ultimately a matter for the House of Commons and its committees to determine, we consider that, given the breadth of OFCOM's remit, this proposal has very considerable merit.

124   Economic Regulators, p 42. Back

125   Explanatory Notes to the Office of Communications Act 2002, para 17. Back

126   Guidance on Codes of Practice for Board Members of Public Bodies, Cabinet Office, February 2000, para 2. Back

127   Ev 131, para 14; Ev 222, para 20. Back

128   Cm 5010, p 13. Back

129   Policy, p 3. Back

130   HC Deb, 7 May 2002, col 35. Back

131   Clause 5(2). Back

132   Q 258. Back

133   Memorandum submitted by COLT; Ev 88; QQ 219, 266; contributions to online forum from Steve Green, Steve Hurley and David Harrington. Back

134   QQ 625-627. Back

135   Policy, para 5.2.2. Back

136   RIA, para 34. Back

137   Ev 470; Ev 613, para 6.2. Back

138   Q 952. Back

139   Cm 5010, pp 82-83. Back

140   HC Deb, 7 May 2002, col 35. Back

141   Policy, para 4.4.3. Back

142   Ibid, para Back

143   Ev 489-90; Ev 144, paras 14-20; Q 399. Back

144   Q 403. Back

145   Safo Kordestani (Periodical Publishers Association), contribution to online forum. Back

146   Cm 5010, para 6.83. Back

147   Policy, paras; Ev 494, paras 5.14-5.18; Ev 432 and 437. Back

148   Ev 470. Back

149   Richard Allan MP, contribution to online forum; Ev 472. Back

150   Policy, paras; Appendix 107; Q 1002. Back

151   Q 1022. Back

152   Economic Regulators, pp 30, 32; Policy, paras 4.6.1, 5.2.3. Back

153   Economic Regulators: Government Response, para 12. Back

154   Ev 122. Back

155   EN, para 474. Back

156   Appendix 106, paras 18-22; Ev 76; Ev 97; Ev 1, Ev 38 paras 1-10, 16; EN, para 474. Back

157   RIA, paras 10-11, A28-A33. Back

158   Memorandum submitted by Energis; Ev 233. Back

159   Q 225. Back

160   Q 287. Back

161   QQ 679-680. Back

162   Ev 100, section 9.4; Ev 121; Ev 213 para 4.4; Ev 189, para 8; Ev 233. Back

163   Q 973. Back

164   Directive 2002/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services (hereafter Authorisation Directive), Article 6(1), Article 12. Back

165   See Ev 100, para 9.4.3 and Q 972. Back

166   Ev 1. Back

167   Q 876. Back

168   Memorandum submitted by COLT. Back

169   Q 219. Back

170   See, for example, Clauses 27(4)(a), 44(4), 87(4), 105(4), 125 and 181(8) and Schedule 4, paragraph 6(10). Back

171   Framework Directive, Article 20(1), Policy, p 35. Back

172   Policy, para 5.2.3; emphasis added. Back

173   Memorandum submitted by COLT. Back

174   Q 84. Back

175   Memorandum submitted by COLT; Ev 557; Q 222. Back

176   Ev 454, para 3.2. Back

177   Ev 62. Back

178   Ev 223, para 23. Back

179   Ev 410, Q 10; see also Q 970. Back

180   QQ 967-969. Back

181   See, for example, Clauses 5(2), 29(7), 43(5), 55(6), 75(2), 62(8), 96(7), 104(1), 111(1), 218(3) and 234(6). Back

182   Policy, para 4.5.6. Back

183   HC (2000-01) 161-I, para 139; HC (2001-02) 539-I, para 28. Back

184   HC Deb, 7 May 2002, col 42. Back

185   Ev 131, para 15; Ev 135; Q 374. Back

186   Q 371. Back

187   Ev 331, para 5; Ev 539, para 2.8. Back

188   Government Response to the Fourth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Session 2001-02, Communications, July 2002, Cm 5554, p 3. Back

189   Fifth Report from the Select Committee on Public Administration, Mapping the Quango State, HC (2000-01) 367-I, para 32. Back

190   Q 975. Back

191   Cm 5010, para 8.6.1. Back

192   Economic Regulators, pp 28,29. Back

193   Economic Regulators: Government Response, paras 8-9, emphasis added. Back

194   Ev 223, para 24, Ev 96, para 4.2; Ev 78, para 1.6. Back

195   Ev 453, para 3.1. Back

196   Memorandum submitted by COLT. Back

197   Cm 4022, p 37. Back

198   Clause 255(1) and (2); Annex 6, Appendix 1, paras 72-90. Back

199   Ev 550, para 8. Back

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