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

House of Lords

back to previous amendments

 

After Clause 12

 

THE LORD ADDINGTON
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE

31*Insert the following new Clause—
  "Duty to establish and maintain Disability and Older People's Advisory Board
(1)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in accordance with the following provisions of this section, to exercise their powers under paragraph 14 of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11) (committees of OFCOM and advisory committee) to establish and maintain a committee to be known as "Disability and Older People's Advisory Board".
(2)  The Disability and Older People's Advisory Board shall consist of—
(a)  a chairman appointed by OFCOM; and
(b)  such number of other members appointed by OFCOM as OFCOM think fit.
(3)  The chairman of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board must be a non-executive member of OFCOM or a member of their Content Board but is not to be the chairman of OFCOM.
(4)  In appointing persons to be members of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board OFCOM must secure that the Advisory Board are able to give informed advice about matters referable to—
(a)  the interests of persons with disabilities;
(b)  the interests of persons of pensionable age;
(c)  the development of domestic electronic communications apparatus which is capable of being used with ease and without modification by the widest possible range of individuals including those with disabilities;
(d)  the development of technologies which facilitate access by disabled or older people to electronic communications services;
(e)  telecommunications services for disabled or older people;
(f)  television and other broadcasting services for disabled or older people; and
(g)  employment and training opportunities for disabled or older people in the broadcasting and telecommunications industries.
 

THE LORD ADDINGTON

32*Insert the following new Clause—
  "Functions of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board
(1)  The Disability and Older People's Advisory Board shall have such functions as OFCOM, in exercise of their powers under the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11), may confer on the Board.
(2)  The functions conferred on the Board shall include advising OFCOM or their Content Board on—
(a)  any matter affecting the needs of disabled and older people in respect of which any of OFCOM's or the Content Board's functions is exercisable, in particular—
(i)  the development of domestic electronic communications apparatus which are capable of being used with ease and without modification by the widest possible range of individuals including those with disabilities;
(ii)  the development of technologies which facilitate access by disabled or older people to electronic communications services;
(iii)  telecommunications services for disabled or older people;
(iv)  television and other broadcasting services for disabled or older people; and
(v)  employment and training opportunities for disabled or older people in the broadcasting and telecommunications industries;
  and which is referred to it by OFCOM or their Content Board or is a matter on which it considers it should offer its advice.
(2)  The functions conferred on the Board may include, to such extent and subject to such restrictions and approvals as OFCOM may determine, the carrying out on OFCOM's behalf of—
(a)  functions in relation to matters that concern the needs of disabled or older people;
(b)  functions in relation to the encouragement of the availability of easily usable domestic electronic communications apparatus; and
(c)  functions in relation to the promotion of equal employment and training opportunities for disabled people in the broadcasting industry."
(5)  The validity of any proceedings of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board shall not be affected by any failure by OFCOM to comply with subsection (4).
(6)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM when appointing members of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board in accordance with paragraph 14(3) of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11) (at least one member of non-advisory committee to be member or employee of OFCOM) to secure, so far as practicable, that a majority of the members of the Board (counting the chairman) consists of persons who are neither members nor employees of OFCOM.
(7)  The following shall be disqualified from being the chairman or another member of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board—
(a)  governors and employees of the BBC;
(b)  members and employees of the Welsh Authority; and
(c)  members and employees of C4C.
(8)  Before appointing a person to be the chairman or another member of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board, OFCOM must satisfy themselves that he will not have any financial or other interest which would be likely prejudicially to affect the carrying out by him of any of his functions as chairman or member of the Board.
(9)  A person is not to be taken to have such an interest by reason only that he is or will be a member or employee of OFCOM.
(10)  Every person whom OFCOM propose to appoint to be the chairman or another member of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board, shall, whenever requested to do so by OFCOM, furnish OFCOM with any information they consider necessary for the performance of their duty under subsection (8).
(11)  In addition to paying remuneration and expenses under paragraph 14(4) of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002, OFCOM may—
(a)  pay to, or in respect of, any member of the Disability and Older People's Advisory Board who is not a member or employee of OFCOM, such sums by way of pensions, allowances or gratuities as OFCOM may determine; and
(b)  provide for the making of such payments to or in respect of any such member of the Board.
(12)  In subsection (11)—
(a)  the reference to pensions, allowances and gratuities includes a reference to similar benefits payable on death or retirement; and
(b)  the reference to providing for the payment of a pension, allowance or gratuity to, or in respect of, a person includes a reference to the making of payments towards the provision or payment of a pension, allowance or gratuity, or of any such similar benefits, to or in respect of that person."
 

Clause 15

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE LORD SAATCHI

33*Page 17, line 5, leave out from "matter" to end
 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

34Page 17, line 46, at end insert—
"(   )  The Consumer Panel must—
(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 of twelve months,
  prepare a report on the carrying out of their functions in that period.
(   )  The Consumer Panel must publish each report—
(a)  as soon as practicable after its preparation is complete; and
(b)  in such manner as they consider appropriate."
 

THE LORD RANDALL OF ST BUDEAUX

35*Page 18, leave out lines 4 to 6 and insert "is not"
 

Clause 16

 

THE LORD RANDALL OF ST BUDEAUX

36*Page 18, line 19, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "the Secretary of State"
37*Page 18, line 20, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "the Secretary of State"
38*Page 18, line 21, leave out subsection (2)
39*Page 18, line 23, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "the Secretary of State"
40*Page 18, line 31, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "the Secretary of State"
41*Page 18, line 41, leave out "OFCOM" and insert "the Secretary of State"
42*Page 19, line 8, leave out "OFCOM with the approval of"
 

Clause 17

 

THE LORD RANDALL OF ST BUDEAUX

43*Page 19, line 12, leave out subsection (1) and insert—
"(1)  The Consumer Panel is required to monitor the effectiveness of OFCOM's performance on behalf of consumers and to report on their findings on an annual basis; and such reports will be publicly available.
(1A)  The Consumer Panel shall, as soon as practicable after the appointed day, establish advisory bodies for matters affecting England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively; and each body so established shall consist of such members as they may from time to time appoint.
(1B)  In establishing a body under section (1A) above, the Consumer Panel shall have regard to the desirability of having members who are familiar with the special requirements and circumstances of the part of the United Kingdom concerned (including, in particular, the special requirements and circumstances of consumers, purchasers and other users in that part of communication services and communication apparatus).
(1C)  Subject to subsection (1B) above, the Consumer Panel may establish such advisory bodies as they think fit consisting in each case of such members as they may from time to time appoint.
(1D)  Without prejudice to their power under subsection (1C) above, the Consumer Panel shall, as soon as practicable after the appointed day, establish an advisory body for matters affecting small businesses."
44*Page 19, line 15, leave out "may make such other" and insert "is required to make"
45*Page 19, line 17, leave out ", as they think fit"
 

THE LORD ADDINGTON

46*Page 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."
 

Clause 24

 

THE LORD GORDON OF STRATHBLANE

47Page 23, line 6, leave out "television and radio" and insert "broadcasting and telecommunications"
 

THE LORD ADDINGTON
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE

48*Page 23, line 16, after "of" insert "equalisation of opportunities for"
 

THE LORD ADDINGTON
THE BARONESS DARCY DE KNAYTH

49*Page 23, line 20, at end insert—
"(c)  between disabled persons and persons who are not disabled; and
(d)  between persons who have had disabilities and persons who are not disabled and have not had any disabilities."
 

After Clause 24

 

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

50*Insert 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 are 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 are 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 any 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 under section 24(1)."
 

Clause 28

 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

51Page 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."
 

After Clause 28

 

THE LORD McNALLY

52*Insert the following new Clause—
  "
(1)  It shall be the duty of OFCOM to make such arrangements as they think fit to provide for the enforcement of the Code of Practice issued by the Press Complaints Commission.
(2)  In pursuance of its duty under subsection (1), OFCOM may—
(a)  issue such directions as they think fit to the Commission, and
(b)  impose penalties in accordance with subsections (3) and (4).
(3)  OFCOM may impose a penalty on any party to the Code if that party has, in the opinion of the Commission, breached the terms of the Code.
(4)  A penalty under subsection (3) is to be such amount not exceeding #500,000 as OFCOM determine to be—
(a)  appropriate; and
(b)  proportionate to the breach of the Code in respect of which it is imposed.
(5)  In this section—
 "the Code of Practice" and the "Code" mean the Code of Practice issued by the Press Complaints Commission in December 1999 and any subsequent revision of that Code (including any such revision of the coming into force of this section),
 "a party to the Code" means any person engaged in the publication of a newspaper or magazine who has agreed not to comply with its provisions, and
 "Press Complaints Commission" and "Commission" mean the body first established in 1991."

 
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20 June 2003