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Amendments to the Communications Bill

Communications Bill


AMENDMENTS
TO BE MOVED
IN COMMITTEE


 

Clause 3

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

Page 3, line 3, after "the" insert "principal"
Page 3, line 4, leave out ", where appropriate by promoting competition"
 

THE BARONESS O'NEILL OF BENGARVE
THE BARONESS HOWE OF IDLICOTE

Page 3, line 6, leave out paragraph (b) and insert—
"(b)  to support and further the communication industry's capacity to contribute to public, civil and cultural life"
 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

Page 3, line 7, at end insert "and to do so wherever possible by promoting effective competition in national, regional and local communications markets throughout the United Kingdom"
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 3, line 29, at end insert—
"(   )  It shall also be the duty of OFCOM in carrying out their functions, and in performing their duties under subsection (1)—
(a)  to act impartially and transparently; and
(b)  to comply with the additional principles of good regulation, namely that regulatory activities should be accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted only at cases in which action is needed."
 

THE BARONESS HOWE OF IDLICOTE

Page 4, line 9, after "Kingdom" insert "of people of different ethnic origins and communities"
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

Page 4, line 12, at end insert—
"(   )  the desirability of open standards for technology for technological security systems to prevent unauthorised use of personal data and copyrighted content."
Page 4, line 14, after "consumers" insert ", including disabled, elderly and low income consumers,"
Page 4, line 22, at end insert "and publish the reasoning for the resolution of any conflict between their general duties"
Page 5, line 2, at end insert—
"(   )  OFCOM's report under paragraph 12 of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11) (annual report) for each financial year must contain a statement by OFCOM summarising those circumstances where, in OFCOM's opinion, they have been required to reconcile general duties which have been in conflict with each other and how they have sought to do so in the circumstances."
 

After Clause 3

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

Insert the following new Clause—
  "Application of general duties to the Secretary of State
(1)  Except as provided for in subsection (2), in carrying out his functions under the relevant enactments, the Secretary of State shall have regard to the general duties imposed by virtue of section 3.
(2)  The provisions of subsection (1) do not apply when the Secretary of State is carrying out his functions under—
(a)  the provisions of this Act set out in—
(i)  section 5,
(ii)  section 20,
(iii)  section 26,
(iv)  section 27,
(v)  section 129,
(vi)  section 153,
(vii)  section 160,
(viii)  section 329,
(ix)  Chapter 5 of Part 3,
(x)  Part 4, and
(xi)  Schedule 2;
(b)  sections 5 to 7 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c. 54);
(c)  section 7A of the Marine, &.c, Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967 (c. 41);
(d)  Part 5 and section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 (c. 12);
(e)  section 63 of the 1990 Act; and
(f)  section 132 of the 1996 Act.
(3)  In this section, "the relevant enactments" means—
(a)  this Act;
(b)  the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum (so far as not comprised in this Act and Part 6 of the Telecommunications Act 1984);
(c)  the Telecommunications Act 1984;
(d)  the 1990 Act;
(e)  the 1996 Act; and
(f)  the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11)."
 

Clause 6

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

Page 7, line 33, at end insert—
"(   )  to seek the views of persons providing services and facilities in relation to which OFCOM have functions on which of the functions should be subject to review."
Page 7, line 40, at end insert—
"(   )  whether the procedures for self-regulation offer adequate opportunities for public scrutiny and for reporting on those activities to OFCOM, to the Secretary of State and to Parliament as appropriate."
 

After Clause 6

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

Insert the following new Clause—
  "Additional duties in relation to effective self-regulation
(1)  In considering for the purposes of section 6(2)(a) the extent to which matters which OFCOM are required under section 3 to further or secure are already furthered or secured, or are likely to be furthered or secured, by effective self-regulation, OFCOM shall have regard to the guidance prepared under subsection (2).
(2)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM to prepare, and from time to time review and revise, such guidance on standards for effective self-regulation as appear to them best calculated to promote effective self-regulation and the self-regulation standards objectives.
(3)  The self-regulation standards objectives are—
(a)  that the method of self-regulation offers protection or other benefits for members of the public in respect of a particular service beyond or in addition to those offered by the general law;
(b)  that a proper degree of responsibility is accepted and exercised by all participants in the method of self-regulation;
(c)  that the participants in the method of self-regulation, so far as practicable, include all providers of the relevant service in the United Kingdom;
(d)  that the person or body responsible for monitoring and enforcement of the method of self-regulation has an appropriate measure of independence from providers of the relevant service;
(e)  that adequate funding is available to the person or body undertaking functions in accordance with paragraph (d); and
(f)  that the operations of the person or body undertaking functions in accordance with paragraph (d) are transparent and accountable.
(4)  OFCOM shall make such arrangements as they consider appropriate for the accreditation of methods of self-regulation complying with the standards set out in guidance prepared in accordance with subsection (2).
(5)  The Secretary of State may lay before Parliament an annual report giving an account of activities under a method of self-regulation that has been accredited in accordance with subsection (4)."
 

Clause 7

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

Page 8, line 45, at end insert—
"(   )  An assessment carried out under this section shall include an assessment, as appropriate, of the impact of the proposal upon the general duties of OFCOM and, in particular, the furthering of the interests of consumers through competition as set out in section 3(1)."
 

Clause 8

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

Page 9, line 31, after "publish" insert ", and on an annual basis review"
Page 9, line 45, leave out from "have" to end and insert "due regard to the statement for the time being in force under this section with a view to compliance with the standards contained in it unless exceptional circumstances prevent this"
Page 9, line 45, at end insert—
"(   )  It shall also be the duty of OFCOM to publish each year, as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the previous year, a report of their performance during that year in relation to the promptness standards described in the statement under subsection (1)."
 

After Clause 8

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

Insert the following new Clause—
  "Undue delay on the part of OFCOM
(1)  This section applies if the court is satisfied, on the application of a person aggrieved by the failure of OFCOM to comply with the promptness standards set out in the statement for the time being in force under section 8, that there has been undue delay on the part of OFCOM in—
(a)  the carrying out of their different functions; or
(b)  the transaction of business for purposes connected with the carrying out of those functions.
(2)  The court may give such directions to OFCOM as it considers appropriate for securing that the functions or business that are the subject of the application under subsection (1) shall be carried out or transacted without unnecessary further delay.
(3)  In this section "the court" means—
(a)  in England and Wales, the High Court;
(b)  in Scotland, the Court of Session; and
(c)  in Northern Ireland, the High Court."
 

After Clause 9

 

THE LORD ASHLEY OF STOKE

Insert the following new Clause—
  "Duty to promote inclusive design and disabled access
(1)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM to take such steps, and to enter into such arrangements, as appear to them calculated—
(a)  to bring about a better awareness and understanding of inclusive design principles, techniques and standards among—
(i)  the designers and manufacturers of apparatus designed or adapted for use in connection with electronic communications services or associated facilities; and
(ii)  the providers of electronic communications services;
(b)  to encourage the designers, manufacturers and service providers mentioned in paragraph (a) to adopt inclusive design principles and techniques in the development of new apparatus, facilities and services; and
(c)  to bring about a better public awareness and understanding of inclusive design in relation to electronic communications apparatus, facilities and services.
(2)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM to encourage electronic communications network operators to co-operate with—
(a)  the manufacturers of apparatus designed or adapted for use in connection with electronic communications services or associated facilities; and
(b)  the manufacturers of assistive devices for disabled people,
  in order to facilitate access by disabled users to electronic communications services.
(3)  References in this section to "inclusive design" are references to designs which result in apparatus and services which are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible, and to the greatest extent possible, without the need for special adaptation or specialised design.
(4)  References in this section to "electronic communications services" includes web sites."
 

Clause 10

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

Page 11, line 17, at end insert—
"(   )  to promote awareness and understanding of the issues in paragraphs (a) to (e) among people whose disabilities, age or personal circumstances might otherwise impede their access to information."
 

Clause 11

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

Page 11, line 31, after "OFCOM" insert—
"(aa)  a member who is a non-executive member of OFCOM but is not either the chairman of OFCOM or the chairman of the Content Board;"
 

Clause 12

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

Page 12, line 43, at beginning insert "Subject to the provisions of subsection (1A),"
Page 12, line 43, at beginning insert "Subject to the provisions of subsection (1B),"
Page 12, line 45, at end insert—
"(1A)  The Content Board shall carry out the functions of OFCOM under sections 312 to 321."
Page 12, line 45, at end insert—
"(1B)  The Content Board shall carry out the functions of OFCOM under section 10."
Page 13, line 6, after "networks" insert—
"(aa)  functions conferred on OFCOM under sections 195, 200, 208, 260 to 267 and 273 to 284 and Schedule 8;"
Page 13, line 25, at end insert—
"(4A)  The Content Board may publish such information about the carrying out of their functions as they think fit."
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

Page 13, line 31, at end insert—
"(   )  In particular, OFCOM shall give consideration to the advisability of authorising the Content Board to establish a committee or panel to advise on the interests of people with disabilities or special needs resulting from age or personal circumstances."

 
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©Parliamentary copyright 2003
27 March 2003