Joint Committee on The Draft Communications Bill Minutes of Evidence



Note by the Bill Team on the draft Bill's reflection of future legislation

  There are a number of areas where the draft Bill does not reflect the full extent of Government's plans for the legislation. These issues were identified in the Policy document that was published alongside the draft Bill. For the most part these issues are matters of minor detail, and we do not intend to publish amended or additional clauses until the Bill is introduced into Parliament. There are some issues, however, where the issues involved are substantive, and on these issues we aim to produce draft clauses as soon as possible. This table sets out the areas where additional draft clauses are foreseen, and the timetable on which we hope to make them available. The second table indicates the main areas where new clauses will be needed on introduction, but we believe that the policy as set out in the Policy document provides a fully sufficient basis for consultation.

Table 1

ISSUES ON WHICH DRAFT CLAUSES WILL BE PUBLISHED PRIOR TO INTRODUCTION

 

Issue

Policy

Timing of Draft Clauses

Media Ownership (except newspaper ownership)

In "Policy" at section 9

by end May

Newspaper Ownership

In "Policy" at section 9.7

as soon as possible in the light of the Enterprise Bill

Must offer/must carry Consideration of special position of public service broadcasters when regulating the price of access to satellite conditional access systems

In "Policy" at 8.2.2.5

during July

 

Table 2

ISSUES ON WHICH NEW OR AMENDED CLAUSES WILL BE PUBLISHED AT INTRODUCTION

 

Issue

Policy

Channel Four powers/regulation

In "Policy" at 8.2.7

Welsh Authority Powers

In "Policy" at 8.2.8

Radio licensing regime
Requirement for OFCOM to take into account the applicant's proposals for providing a simulcast service when assessing national analogue licence applications

New duty on OFCOM to promote and protect the local content and character of local radio

Ability for OFCOM to review the onward sale of local licences

In "Policy" at 8.4.1.8

Public Teletext Service

To be decided in light of consultation

ITV Networking arrangements
Retain current requirements, with ITC's responsibilities transferring to OFCOM

In "Policy" at 8.2.6

Networks and services dispute resolution

In "Policy" at 6.6

Handling of agreements dependent on existing telecommunications licenses

In "Policy" at 6.3.2, for consultation

Gaelic broadcasting

In "Policy" at 8.6.2

Impact assessments

In "Policy" at 4.6.1 and 5.2.3

Spectrum Clauses

Will be set out in Government's response to the Independent Review on Spectrum—to be published in the summer.

Appeals
Any necessary amendments in the light of the Enterprise Bill

Statutory appeal equivalent to Judicial Review where full appeal route does not apply

The Communications Bill will have to reflect current law when it is introduced—this may require some changes to the draft Bill in the light of the Enterprise Bill currently before Parliament.

Appeals
Any necessary amendments in the light of the Enterprise Bill

Statutory appeal equivalent to Judicial Review where full appeal route does not apply

The Communications Bill will have to reflect current law when it is introduced—this may require some changes to the draft Bill in the light of the Enterprise Bill currently before Parliament.

Currently considering whether statutory appeal is necessary/desirable in this case.

Competition provisions
Any necessary amendments in the light of the Enterprise Bill

The Communications Bill will have to reflect current law when it is introduced—this may require some changes to the draft Bill in the light of the Enterprise Bill currently before Parliament.

Consumer protection
Any necessary amendments on the light of the Enterprise Bill

The Communications Bill will have to reflect current law when it is introduced—this may require some changes to the draft Bill in the light of the Enterprise Bill currently before Parliament.

Arrangements for staff
o ensure the rights of staff affected by the creation of OFCOM are safeguarded

Following consultation with OFCOM Board and existing regulators on best way of giving effect to arrangements for the transfer of staff.

National security issues

Further consideration being undertaken.

May 2002

 

 

 


 
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