Joint Committee on Draft Communications Bill Report


ANNEX 7

HOUSE OF LORDS SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION

Letter from the Chairman

CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE SCRUTINY OF THE DRAFT COMMUNICATIONS BILL

The Constitution Committee, which I chair, have been appointed by the House of Lords "to examine the constitutional implications of all public bills coming before the House; and to keep under review the operation of the constitution". We set out our approach to this task in chapter 3 of our first Report (Session 2001-02, HL Paper 11).

The Committee have agreed that the draft Communications Bill raises no important question of principle about a principal part of the constitution. I should note that our terms of reference will however oblige us to examine any such Bill on introduction to the House.

Our current inquiry is into the working of devolution within the United Kingdom. We have received evidence to the effect that United Kingdom non-departmental public bodies since devolution have been losing direct Scottish and Welsh representation. You may wish to consider whether the responsibility for sub-state cultural diversity should be provided for by direct representation on the board of the Office of Communications (Ofcom) or by specifically charging Ofcom with the responsibility. This is an issue outside the call for evidence of our current inquiry.

NORTON OF LOUTH

11 June 2002


 
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