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Amendments to the Communications Bill

Communications Bill


AMENDMENTS
TO BE MOVED
ON REPORT


 

Clause 3

 

THE BARONESS HOWE OF IDLICOTE

Page 3, line 29, at end insert—
"(g)  the availability of adequate means for considering and, where necessary, redressing complaints from the public about alleged lapses from the standards referred to in paragraphs (e) and (f)"
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 4, line 22, at end insert "and publish the reasoning for the resolution of any conflict between their general duties"
 

Clause 8

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

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"
Page 9, line 45, at end insert—
"(   )  It shall also be the duty of OFCOM to publish each year, as soon as is 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)."
 

Clause 11

 

THE LORD GORDON OF STRATHBLANE

Page 12, line 12, leave out subsection (8)
 

THE LORD DUBS

Page 12, line 21, at end insert "and OFCOM shall publish the criteria it will apply in carrying out its duty under this subsection"
 

Clause 12

 

THE BARONESS HOWE OF IDLICOTE

Page 13, line 6, after "networks" insert "including consideration of (and, where necessary, redressing) complaints under section 3(2)(g)"
 

Clause 24

 

THE LORD GORDON OF STRATHBLANE

Page 23, line 6, leave out "television and radio" and insert "broadcasting and telecommunications"
 

Clause 28

 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

Page 26, line 31, at end insert—
"(   )  Where, under contractual arrangements in place prior to the commencement of this Act, liability is established for payment of charges levied by pre-commencement regulators, such arrangements shall continue to have effect after the abolition of the pre-commencement regulators as if they applied to charges levied by OFCOM."
 

Clause 91

 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

Page 87, line 29, leave out "give that person a notification" and insert "conduct an investigation"
Page 87, line 30, leave out line 30 and insert "The power conferred by subsection (1) is to be exercised by a notice in writing; and a notice must—"
Page 87, line 31, leave out "sets out the determination" and insert "indicate the reasons for the investigation being"
Page 87, line 32, leave out "specifies" and insert "specify"
Page 87, line 32, leave out from "which" to "; and" in line 33 and insert "the investigation is being made"
Page 87, line 34, leave out "specifies" and insert "specify"
Page 87, line 35, leave out from "opportunity" to end and insert "to make representations about the matters notified."
Page 87, line 36, leave out subsection (3)
Page 87, line 41, leave out subsections (4) to (11) and insert—
"(   )  OFCOM may by regulations make rules and procedures in connection with the carrying into effect of the provisions of sections 91 to 100.
(   )  Section 396 applies to the power of OFCOM to make regulations under this section."
 

Clause 101

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD AVEBURY

Page 97, line 1, leave out paragraph (a)
 

Clause 103

 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

Page 98, line 41, at end insert—
"(   )  In this section persons to whom the electronic communications code may be applied shall not be restricted to telecommunications operators."
 

Clause 118

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 112, line 18, at end insert—
"(   )  that the provisions of the code will not discourage innovation and investment in new forms of content based communications services;"
 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

Page 112, line 18, at end insert—
"(   )  that the provisions of the code will not discourage innovation and investment in new forms of content based communications services;"
 

After Clause 131

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Insert the following new Clause—
  "Restrictive covenants affecting freehold property
(1)  This section applies where by virtue of a restrictive covenant, the owner of any premises is restricted, either absolutely or to any extent—
(a)  in choosing electronic communications services,
(b)  in choosing a supplier of such services, or
(c)  with respect to any other electronic communications matter.
(2)  Where this section applies, the covenant, to the extent that it restricts the owner of premises as mentioned in subsection (1)—
(a)  if it requires (expressly or otherwise) the consent of any person to be obtained before anything to which the restriction relates is done, shall have effect as if it required that consent not to be unreasonably withheld; and
(b)  in any other case, shall have effect as if it required the consent of the person entitled to the benefit of the restrictive covenant to the doing of anything to which the restriction relates not to be unreasonably withheld.
(3)  Subsections (5) to (7) of section 131 shall apply in relation to a restriction falling within subsection (2) above as those subsections apply in relation to a prohibition or restriction falling within subsection (1) or (2) of section 131.
(4)  Section 396 applies to the powers of OFCOM to make orders under this section."
 

Clause 156

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 143, line 14, at end insert—
"(1A)  OFCOM shall not issue any regulations under subsection (1) until they have consulted all interested parties, and considered any representations received, on whether the application of such regulations to any particular circumstances of use is appropriate and proportionate, having regard to all the circumstances."
 

Schedule 5

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 370, line 38, leave out paragraph (c)
Page 371, line 22, at end insert "but such a revocation or modification may only be made with the consent of that person, or where that person has contravened a condition or restriction of the grant and OFCOM consider that the revocation or the proposed modification is proportionate and appropriate in the circumstances of that contravention"
Page 371, line 26, leave out from beginning to end of line 3 on page 372 and insert "give notice of the proposal to the holder of the grant, and that notice shall state the reasons for the proposal.
(1A)      The holder of a grant who receives a notice under sub-paragraph (1) shall be entitled to make representations to OFCOM within such period, not being less than one month after the day the notice was given to the holder, and OFCOM may, if they think fit, extend that period on one or more occasions.
(1B)      OFCOM may specify a shorter period than one month in the notice given under sub-paragraph (1) if—"
Page 372, line 5, leave out "or an urgent case"
Page 372, line 8, leave out paragraph (c)
Page 372, line 9, leave out sub-paragraph (7)
Page 372, line 33, at end insert "or such shorter period as may be agreed with the person to whom the notification was given"
Page 372, line 35, leave out from "proposal" to "; and" in line 36
Page 372, line 46, leave out from "modification" to "compliance" in line 47 and insert "in order to secure"
 

Clause 158

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 145, line 1, leave out subsection (3)
 

Clause 161

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 147, line 13, leave out "and grants of recognised spectrum access"
Page 147, line 16, leave out "and grants of recognised spectrum access"
Page 147, line 20, leave out "and grants of recognised spectrum access"
Page 147, line 21, leave out "or made"
Page 147, line 23, leave out "or grants of spectrum access made"
Page 147, leave out lines 37 to 39
 

Clause 165

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

Page 150, line 30, at end insert "and"
Page 150, line 34, leave out from second "and" to end of line 42
Page 150, line 44, leave out "or grant of recognised spectrum access"
Page 151, line 4, leave out "or grant"
Page 151, line 8, leave out "or grant of recognised spectrum access"
Page 151, line 9, leave out "or making"
Page 151, line 31, at end insert—
"(   )  Paragraphs (a), (c), (d), (i), (j) and (k) of subsection (3) shall also have effect as if they applied to the grant of recognised spectrum access."
Page 151, line 32, leave out "or grant of recognised spectrum access"
 

Clause 195

 

THE LORD GORDON OF STRATHBLANE

Page 175, line 11, leave out from "OFCOM" to end of line 15 and insert—
"(a)  to approve or amend all BBC Statements of Programme Policy and to satisfy themselves that the Governors of the BBC have ensured adherence to them;
(b)  to advise the Secretary of State as to whether the BBC should be permitted to introduce new television or radio services, alter the character of existing services or cease to provide them;
(c)  to satisfy themselves that the BBC has followed best practice in its expenditure of funds raised by the licence fee and from other sources;
(d)  to ensure that any cross promotion by the BBC does not unduly distort any market; and
(e)  "
 

THE VISCOUNT ASTOR

Page 176, line 4, 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 VISCOUNT ASTOR

Insert the following new Clause—
  "Investigation of the BBC by the National Audit Office
  In Part 2 of Schedule 4 to the National Audit Act 1983 (c. 44) (nationalised industries and other public authorities) "the British Broadcasting Corporation" is omitted."
Insert 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)  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 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 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 on the review.
(5)  In this section—
 "Charter" means the Royal Charter for the Continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation of 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."
Insert the following new Clause—
  "OFCOM 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 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;
(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 256(4);
(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 of 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 to 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 BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD McNALLY

Insert 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."
Insert 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 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) (national audit office)."

 
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19 June 2003