Communications Bill—
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lordscontinued

House of Lords

back to previous amendments

 

Clause 15

 

THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND
THE LORD McNALLY

63Page 16, line 40, at end insert ", with due regard to the need to prioritise the Panel's activities and make best use of its resources"
64Page 17, line 4, leave out subsection (5)
 

THE BARONESS BLACKSTONE

65Page 17, line 5, leave out "matters that concern" and insert "any matter (other than one referred to them for advice by OFCOM) that concerns"
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

66*Page 17, line 17, after "matter" insert "(apart from matters that concern the contents of anything which is or may be broadcast or otherwise transmitted by means of electronic communications networks)"
 

THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND
THE LORD McNALLY

67Page 17, line 21, at end insert—
"(e)  to draw up and publish a memorandum of understanding with OFCOM"
68Page 17, line 28, leave out from "information" to "; and" in line 31 and insert "it is necessary to disclose to the Panel for the purpose of enabling the Panel to carry out their functions, unless its disclosure would, or might, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of an individual or of a particular body, having regard to the public interest"
69Page 17, line 35, leave out from "if" to end of line 38 and insert—
"(a)  its disclosure would, or might, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of an individual or of a particular body; or
(b)  having regard to the public interest in the provision of that information it is reasonable for OFCOM to refuse to disclose it to the Panel."
70Page 17, line 38, at end insert—
"(   )  Where information is withheld from the Panel under subsection (9)(a), it shall be the duty of OFCOM to specify a time limit for reviewing the withholding of information as soon as provision would no longer seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of any person or body."
 

Clause 16

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

71Page 18, line 19, leave out from "by" to end of line 22 and insert "the Secretary of State, acting with the advice of OFCOM, and shall comprise a chairman and such other members as the Secretary of State may determine"
 

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

72Page 18, line 19, leave out from "by" to end of line 22 and insert "the Secretary of State, acting with the advice of OFCOM.
(   )  The chairman of the Consumer Panel shall be chosen by the Panel from among their members."
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

73Page 18, line 23, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "the Secretary of State"
74Page 18, line 31, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "Secretary of State"
75Page 18, line 41, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "Secretary of State"
 

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

76Page 19, line 3, leave out "The chairman and"
77Page 19, leave out line 8 and insert "the Secretary of State, acting with the advice of OFCOM"
 

Clause 17

 

THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD THOMSON OF MONIFIETH
THE LORD THOMAS OF GRESFORD
THE LORD ALDERDICE

78Page 19, line 14, at end insert—
"(   )  The arrangements must include the establishment and maintenance of committees able to give informed advice about the interests of persons living in—
(a)  England,
(b)  Scotland,
(c)  Wales, and
(d)  Northern Ireland."
 

THE BARONESS WILKINS
THE LORD ASHLEY OF STOKE
THE LORD ADDINGTON

79Page 19, line 22, at end insert—
"(   )  The committees established by the Panel shall include a committee representing the interests of disabled and elderly people; and any such committee shall include a majority of members who are themselves disabled people or of pensionable age."
 

THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND
THE LORD McNALLY

80Page 19, line 27, at end insert—
"(7)  It shall be the responsibility of the Panel to report annually on how it has carried out its functions with regard to the interests of domestic consumers and small businesses in general, and with regard to representing the diversity of consumer interests."
 

Clause 23

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

81Page 22, line 44, at end insert "having regard to the need to make the information or advice accessible to persons with disabilities"
 

Clause 24

 

THE LORD GORDON OF STRATHBLANE

82Page 23, line 6, after "providing" insert "telecommunications"
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

83Page 23, line 6, after "television" insert ", telecommunications, internet"
84Page 23, line 12, after "television" insert ", telecommunications, internet"
 

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

85Page 23, line 27, leave out subsections (6) and (7)
 

After Clause 24

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD McNALLY
THE BARONESS COHEN OF PIMLICO
THE LORD PEYTON OF YEOVIL

86Insert the following new Clause—
  "Backstop powers in respect of training
(1)  In pursuance of their duty specified in section 24(1), OFCOM may, in the circumstances specified in subsection (2), exercise the powers granted under this section.
(2)  Those circumstances are that—
(a)  OFCOM is not satisfied that adequate opportunities for the training and retraining of persons for employment and work in connection with the provision of television and radio services are being provided, and
(b)  OFCOM is satisfied that the failings identified in accordance with paragraph (a) cannot be remedied by the exercise of their relevant powers under section 330.
(3)  OFCOM may impose a training levy to be fixed by OFCOM in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(4)  OFCOM shall not fix a training levy unless—
(a)  at the time the levy is fixed there is in force a statement by OFCOM of the principles that OFCOM are proposing to apply in—
(i)  fixing the levy; and
(ii)  distributing the receipts of the levy; and
(b)  the levy is fixed in accordance with those principles.
(5)  Those principles must be such as appear to OFCOM to be likely to secure that—
(a)  the levy is fixed in such a way as to ensure that levels of payment of the levy relate to the benefits to those paying the levy of the training and retraining to be provided; and
(b)  the money received from the levy is expended in ways that relate to OFCOM's duty aggregate amount of the charges payable to OFCOM in section 24(1)."
 

After Clause 25

 

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

87Insert the following new Clause—
  "Charging principles
(1)  Other than in the circumstances specified in subsection (3), OFCOM shall not fix any administrative charge for any functions undertaken by OFCOM for any charging year unless—
(a)  at the time the charge is fixed there is in force a statement by OFCOM of the principles that OFCOM are proposing to apply in fixing charges for the relevant functions for that year; and
(b)  the charge is fixed in accordance with those charging principles.
(2)  Those principles must be such as appear to OFCOM to be likely to secure, on the basis of such estimates of the likely costs as it is practicable for them to make—
(a)  that, on a year by year basis, the aggregate amount of the charges payable to OFCOM in accordance with the relevant statement is sufficient to meet, but does not exceed, the annual cost to OFCOM of carrying out the functions to which the relevant statement applies;
(b)  that the cost of carrying out those functions is met by the imposition of charges that are objectively justifiable and proportionate to the matters in respect of which they are imposed; and
(c)  that the relationship between the meeting of the cost of carrying out those functions and the amounts of the charges is transparent.
(3)  The provisions of this section do not apply to—
(a)  administrative charges under Chapter 1 of Part 2 of this Act;
(b)  charges, fees or payments under the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum;
(c)  any other payment made to OFCOM which is to be paid into the appropriate Consolidated Fund by virtue of section 393;
(d)  charges under section (Charges in respect of OFCOM's central functions); and
(e)  charges relating to costs incurred by OFCOM prior to the radio and television transfer dates.
(4)  A relevant statement of charging principles for the purposes of this section shall specify—
(a)  the relevant functions carried out by OFCOM, and
(b)  the statutory basis for those functions.
(5)  No tariff shall be fixed by OFCOM under sections 4 and 87 of the 1990 Act and sections 4 and 43 of the 1996 Act (general licence conditions) except in accordance with the relevant statement of charging principles.
(6)  As soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each charging year, OFCOM shall publish a statement setting out, in respect of each service for which a relevant statement of charging principles has been made and of that year—
(a)  the aggregate amounts of the administrative charges for that year that have been received by OFCOM;
(b)  the aggregate amount of the administrative charges for that year that remain outstanding and are likely to be paid or recovered; and
(c)  the cost to OFCOM of carrying out the functions specified in the relevant statement of charging principles.
(7)  Any deficit or surplus shown (after applying this subsection for all previous years) by a statement under subsection (6) shall be carried forward and taken into account in determining what is required to satisfy the requirement imposed by virtue of subsection (2)(a) in relation to the following year.
(8)  The provisions of section 36(1), (5) and (6) shall apply to a statement of charging principles made under this section.
(9)  In this section "charging year" has the same meaning as in section 35."
88Insert the following new Clause—
  "Funding for competition law functions
(1)  OFCOM shall not levy any administrative charge for any functions undertaken by them under Part 5.
(2)  OFCOM shall, in respect of each financial year, publish a statement, on the basis of such estimates as it is practicable for them to make, of the likely costs of carrying out their functions under Part 5.
(3)  The Secretary of State may, with the consent of the Treasury, make grants to OFCOM of such sums as are specified in a statement published under subsection (2).
(4)  Grants under this section shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament.
(5)  As soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year, OFCOM shall publish a statement setting out, in respect of that financial year—
(a)  the sums received in grants under subsection (3); and
(b)  the cost to OFCOM of carrying out their functions under Part 5.
(6)  Any deficit or surplus shown (after applying this subsection for all previous financial years) by a statement under subsection (5) shall be carried forward and taken into account in publishing a statement under subsection (2) in relation to the following financial year.
(7)  In this section "financial year" means—
(a)  the period of not more than twelve months beginning with the date on which section 362 comes into force and ending with 31st March; and
(b)  every subsequent period of twelve months ending with 31st March."
89Insert the following new Clause—
  "Charges in respect of OFCOM's central functions
(1)  The costs of OFCOM's central functions shall be met from charges fixed by OFCOM in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, "OFCOM's central functions" are any general functions relating to the administration, management and policy of OFCOM which, in the opinion of OFCOM, are not functions to which subsection (3) applies.
(3)  These are any functions of OFCOM—
(a)  in respect of which a statement of charging principles can, in the opinion of OFCOM, be made under section (Charging principles);
(b)  in respect of which administrative charges can be fixed under Chapter 1 of Part 2;
(c)  under the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum;
(d)  relating to payments made to OFCOM which are to be paid into the appropriate Consolidated Fund by virtue of section 393;
(e)  under Part 5.
(4)  OFCOM shall not fix a charge for OFCOM's central functions for any charging year unless—
(a)  at the time the charge is fixed there is in force a statement by OFCOM of the principles that OFCOM are proposing to apply in fixing charges for those functions for that year; and
(b)  the charge is fixed in accordance with those charging principles.
(5)  Those principles must be such as appear to OFCOM to be likely to secure, on the basis of such estimates of the likely costs as it is practicable for them to make—
(a)  that, on a year by year basis, the aggregate amount of the charges payable to OFCOM in accordance with the statement is sufficient to meet, but does not exceed, the annual cost to OFCOM of carrying out their central functions; and
(b)  that the relationship between the meeting of the cost of carrying out those functions and the amounts of the charges is transparent.
(6)  As soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each charging year, OFCOM shall publish a statement setting out, in respect of that year—
(a)  the aggregate amounts of the charges for that year under this section that have been received by OFCOM;
(b)  the aggregate amount of the charges for that year under this section that remain outstanding and are likely to be paid or recovered; and
(c)  the cost to OFCOM of carrying out their central functions.
(7)  Any deficit or surplus shown (after applying this subsection for all previous years) by a statement under subsection (6) shall be carried forward and taken into account in determining what is required to satisfy the requirement imposed by virtue of subsection (5)(a) in relation to the following year.
(8)  The provisions of section 36(1), (5) and (6) shall apply to a statement made under this section.
(9)  In this section "charging year" has the same meaning as in section 35."
90Insert the following new Clause—
  "Funding for OFCOM's central functions
(1)  OFCOM shall not levy any administrative charge to meet the costs of their central functions.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, "OFCOM's central functions" are any general functions relating to the administration, management and policy of OFCOM which, in the opinion of OFCOM, are not functions to which subsection (3) applies.
(3)  These are any functions of OFCOM—
(a)  in respect of which a statement of charging principles can, in the opinion of OFCOM, be made under section (Charging principles);
(b)  in respect of which administrative charges can be fixed under Chapter 1 of Part 2;
(c)  under the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum;
(d)  relating to payments made to OFCOM which are to be paid into the appropriate Consolidated Fund by virtue of section 393;
(e)  under Part 5.
(4)  OFCOM shall, in respect of each financial year, publish a statement, on the basis of such estimates as it is practicable for them to make, of the likely costs of carrying out their central functions.
(5)  The Secretary of State may, with the consent of the Treasury, make grants to OFCOM of such sums as are specified in a statement published under subsection (4).
(6)  Grants under this section shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament.
(7)  As soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year, OFCOM shall publish a statement setting out, in respect of that financial year—
(a)  the sums received in grants under subsection (5); and
(b)  the cost to OFCOM of carrying out their central functions.
(8)  Any deficit or surplus shown (after applying this subsection for all previous financial years) by a statement under subsection (7) shall be carried forward and taken into account in publishing a statement under subsection (4) in relation to the following financial year.
(9)  In this section "financial year" means—
(a)  the period of not more than twelve months beginning with the date on which section 1 comes into force and ending with 31st March; and
(b)  every subsequent period of twelve months ending with 31st March."

 
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28 April 2003