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Amendments to the Communications Bill

Communications Bill


REVISED
FIFTH
MARSHALLED
LIST OF AMENDMENTS
TO BE MOVED
IN COMMITTEE


The amendments have been marshalled in accordance with the Instruction of 10th April 2003, as follows—

Clauses 195 to 196
Schedule 9
Clauses 197 to 216
Schedule 10
Clauses 217 to 267
Clause 61
Clauses 72 and 73
Clauses 268 to 289
Schedule 11
Clauses 290 to 331
Schedule 12
Clauses 332 to 338
Schedule 13
Clauses 339 to 342
Schedule 14
Clauses 343 to 353
Schedule 15
Clauses 354 to 382
Schedule 16
Clauses 383 to 399
Schedules 17 to 19
Clauses 400 to 403
[Amendments marked * are new or have been altered]

Amendment
No.

 

Clause 195

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

146Page 175, line 27, at end insert "and to enforce the terms of the BBC Fair Trading Commitment as currently drafted"
147Page 175, line 33, at end insert—
"(   )  In exercising their functions under this section, OFCOM shall consult with and have regard to the views of persons providing services and facilities other than the BBC who, in their opinion, are likely to be affected by the BBC's services."
148Page 176, line 1, at end insert—
"(   )  It shall be the duty of the BBC to provide OFCOM with any information which OFCOM may reasonably require for the purposes of carrying out their functions under the agreement mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or other functions under this Act."
 

THE VISCOUNT ASTOR

149Page 176, line 15, at end insert—
"(10)  It shall be the function of OFCOM to oversee the terms of trade between the producers of independent radio and the BBC.
(11)  In subsection (10), a reference to the producers of independent radio is a reference to such producers as the Secretary of State may by order specify."
 

After Clause 195

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE

150Insert the following new Clause—
  "Duty of Comptroller to fulfil review and reporting obligations
(1)  It shall be the duty of the Comptroller—
(a)  as soon as is practicable after the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this section; and
(b)  as soon as practicable after the end of each subsequent period as may be selected by the Comptroller for the purposes of this section,
  to fulfil the review and reporting obligations.
(2)  The period selected by the Comptroller for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) must be a period of not more than three years beginning with the end of the previous period for which the Comptroller has satisfied those reviews and reporting obligations.
(3)  The review and reporting obligations for a period are—
(a)  an obligation to carry out an examination into the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of the BBC's services;
(b)  an obligation to prepare and publish a report on the matters found on the review.
(4)  Subsection (3) shall not be construed as entitling the Comptroller to question the merits of the policy objectives of the BBC's services.
(5)  In this section—
 "BBC's services" means the television and radio broadcast services provided by the BBC;
 "the Comptroller" means the Comptroller and Auditor General as identified in section 3(1)(a) of the National Audit Act 1983 (c. 44)."
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD LUKE
THE LORD LIPSEY

151Insert the following new Clause—
  "Amendment to Schedule 4 to the National Audit Office Act 1983
  In Part 2 of Schedule 4 to the National Audit Office Act 1983 (c. 44), the words "the British Broadcasting Corporation" shall be omitted."
 

THE LORD LIPSEY
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE

152Insert the following new Clause—
  "Monitoring of commercial activities of BBC companies
(1)  It shall be a function of OFCOM to monitor compliance by BBC companies with any guidelines published by the BBC which subsidiaries of the BBC are required to follow in carrying on any commercial activities.
(2)  In carrying out its functions under this section, OFCOM shall not take account of—
(a)  any activities carried on outside the United Kingdom, or
(b)  any activities which are not directly concerned with the making, acquisition or selling of television or radio programmes.
(3)  OFCOM may require any BBC company to provide OFCOM with such information, including access to any books of account or contractual documents or any other documents, as OFCOM consider necessary for the purposes of carrying out their functions under this section.
(4)  A company required to provide information or access to documents under subsection (3) must provide it within a reasonable time and in such manner, time and place, if any, as OFCOM may specify.
(5)  Sections 135 and 136 (enforcement of information requirements under section 132) shall apply in relation to a requirement under this section as they apply in relation to a requirement under section 132.
(6)  The BBC shall use its best endeavours to ensure that any BBC company which has been required to provide information to OFCOM complies with that requirement.
(7)  OFCOM shall report to the Secretary of State on the exercise by them of their functions under this section.
(8)  A report under subsection (7) shall be for a calendar year (or in the case of the year in which the date of commencement of this section falls, for the period from that date to the end of the year) and shall be made before the end of March in the year following the year to which the report relates.
(9)  The Secretary of State shall lay any report received by him under this section before Parliament."
 

THE VISCOUNT ASTOR

153Insert the following new Clause—
  "BBC statements of programme policy
(1)  Any agreement made (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) between the BBC and the Secretary of State to regulate the provision of the BBC's services shall include (and in the event the agreement does not so include shall be deemed to include) an obligation on the BBC—
(a)  as soon as practicable after the coming into force of this section and subsequently at annual intervals to prepare and publish a statement of programme policy for each of the BBC's services; and
(b)  for the BBC to monitor its own performance in the carrying out of proposals contained in the statements.
(2)  Every statement of programme policy must include—
(a)  proposals for securing that during the following year—
(i)  the public service role of the BBC and the BBC's services will be fulfilled;
(ii)  the functions, duties and obligations of the BBC and the BBC services as set out in the Charter and Agreement will be fulfilled;
(iii)  such other matters as OFCOM may determine from time to time;
(b)  a report on the performance of the BBC in the carrying out, during the period since the previous statement, of the proposals contained in that statement.
(3)  The BBC shall comply with subsection (4) in the case of a statement of programme policy containing proposals for a significant change.
(4)  This subsection requires the BBC—
(a)  to consult OFCOM before preparing the statement; and
(b)  to take into account, in the preparation of the statement, of any opinions expressed by OFCOM.
(5)  If it appears to OFCOM that a statement of programme policy has been prepared by the BBC in contravention of a condition imposed under subsection (4), the BBC must—
(a)  revise that statement in accordance with any directions given to it by OFCOM; and
(b)  publish a revision of the statement in accordance with any such directions only after the revision has been approved by OFCOM.
(6)  A change is a significant change for its purposes of this section if it is a change as a result of which the service would in any year be materially different in character from in previous years.
(7)  In determining under this section whether a change is a significant change—
(a)  regard must be had to any guidance issued by OFCOM;
(b)  the changes to be considered include any changes that, together with any proposed change for a particular year, would constitute a change occurring gradually over a period of not more than three years; and
(c)  the previous years with which a comparison is to be made must be those immediately preceding the year in which the change is made, or in which the changes comprised in it began to occur.
(8)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM—
(a)  from time to time to review the guidance for the time being in force for the purposes of this section; and
(b)  to make such revisions of that guidance as they think fit."
153AInsert the following new Clause—
  "Duty of OFCOM in relation to the BBC's new services
(1)  Prior to the Secretary of State approving under the Charter or the Agreement the provision by the BBC of any new service or changes to an existing service whether or not a broadcasting or programme supply service, it shall be the duty of OFCOM to prepare and publish a report commenting on whether the proposed new service or changes to the existing service will satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2).
(2)  The objectives referred to in subsection (1) are—
(a)  that the new service or the changes to the existing service are compatible with the BBC's primary public service role as set out in the Charter and Agreement and that it shall further any or all of the public purposes of the BBC or any of the services it provides as set out in those documents;
(b)  that the value to the public of the new service or changes to an existing service will be proportionate to the likely impact on the market;
(c)  that the new service will be universally accessible within a reasonable period of time and free at the point of use;
(d)  that the new service or the changes to the existing service will represent value for money for licence fee payers.
(3)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM—
(a)  as soon as practicable after the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this section; and
(b)  as soon as practicable after the end of each subsequent period as may be selected by OFCOM for the purposes of this section;
  to satisfy, for that period, the review and reporting obligations of subsection (4).
(4)  The review and reporting obligations are—
(a)  an obligation to carry out a review of the extent to which new services provided by the BBC and changes to existing services—
(i)  comply with the terms of the approval granted by the Secretary of State for such new services or changes to existing services; and
(ii)  satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2);
(b)  an obligation to prepare a report on the matters found in the review.
(5)  In this section—
 "Charter" means the Royal Charter for the Continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation (May 1996) and any renewal or replacement thereof;
 "Agreement" means any agreement made (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) between the BBC and the Secretary of State to regulate the provision of the BBC's services and the carrying on by the BBC of other activities for purposes connected with the provision of those services.
(6)  In this section for the purposes of the review and reporting obligations of OFCOM "new services" shall mean all new services approved (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) by the Secretary of State under the Charter or the Agreement."
153BInsert the following new Clause—
  "OFCOM to review duties in relation to BBC's services
(1)  Prior to the Secretary of State approving under the Charter or the Agreement the provision by the BBC of any new service or changes to an existing service whether or not a broadcasting or programme supply service it shall be the duty of OFCOM to prepare and publish a report commenting on whether the proposed new service or changes to the existing service will satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2).
(2)  The objectives referred to in subsection (1) are—
(a)  that the new service or the changes to the existing service are compatible with the BBC's primary public service role as set out in the Charter and the Agreement and that it shall further any or all of the public purposes of the BBC or any of the services it provides as set out in those documents;
(b)  that the value to the public of the new service or changes to an existing service will be proportionate to the likely impact on the market;
(c)  that the new service will be universally accessible within a reasonable period of time and free at the point of use;
(d)  that the new service or the changes to the existing service will represent value for money for licence fee payers.
(3)  The BBC shall—
(a)  as soon as practicable after the coming into force of this section and subsequently at annual intervals prepare and publish a statement of programme policy for each of the BBC's services; and
(b)  monitor its own performance in the carrying out of the proposals contained in the statements.
(4)  Every statement of programme policy must include—
(a)  proposals for securing that during the following year—
(i)  the public service role of the BBC and the BBC's services will be fulfilled;
(ii)  the functions, duties and obligations of the BBC and the BBC's services as set out in the Charter and Agreement will be fulfilled; and
(iii)  such other matters as OFCOM may determine from time to time;
(b)  a report on the performance of the BBC in the carrying out, during the period since the previous statement, of the proposals contained in that statement.
(5)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM as soon as practicable after the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the commencement of this section and thereafter at such periods as OFCOM may determine to prepare and publish a report which must—
(a)  comment on the extent to which new services provided by the BBC and changes to existing services—
(i)  comply with the terms of the approval granted by the Secretary of State for such new services or changes to existing services; and
(ii)  satisfy the objectives set out in subsection (2);
(b)  comment on the extent to which the BBC has—
(i)  fulfilled any statement of programme policy made by it;
(ii)  made an adequate contribution towards the satisfaction of the general purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom set out in section 260(4); and
(c)  specify the changes which in the opinion of OFCOM are required to the agreement between the BBC and the Secretary of State to ensure that the BBC fulfils the statements of programme policy referred to in subsection (3) and that the BBC makes an adequate contribution to public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom.
(6)  In this section—
 "Charter" means the Royal Charter for the Continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation (May 1996) and any renewal or replacement thereof;
 "Agreement" means any agreement made (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) between the BBC and the Secretary of State to regulate the provision of the BBC's services and the carrying on by the BBC of other activities for purposes connected with the provision of those services.
(7)  In this section "new services" shall mean all new services approved (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) by the Secretary of State under the Charter or the Agreement."
 

THE LORD PEARSON OF RANNOCH

153CInsert the following new Clause—
  "BBC public service remit: monitoring and reporting
  The BBC shall establish a committee of the Governors to monitor and report annually to Parliament on the BBC's discharge of its public service remit, including the delivery of a politically impartial and wide-ranging news service."
153DInsert the following new Clause—
  "Independent advisers to BBC Governors
  The BBC shall make available to each of its Governors a full-time independent personal assistant, chosen from outside the Corporation by each Governor personally."

 
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22 May 2003