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

House of Lords

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Clause 304

 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

160Page 269, line 11, at end insert—
"(   )  The practices required by the code must also include the incorporation of such features in electronic programme guides as OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that persons with disabilities affecting their sight or hearing or both —
(a)  are able, so far as practicable, to make use of such guides for all the same purposes as persons without such disabilities; and
(b)  are informed about, and are able to make use of, whatever assistance for disabled people is provided in relation to the programmes listed or promoted."
 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE BARONESS O'CATHAIN
THE BARONESS HOWE OF IDLICOTE

161Page 269, line 11, at end insert—
"(2A)  In assessing the degree of prominence for the purpose of subsection (2), OFCOM must ensure that—
(a)  the degree of prominence at least matches the degree of prominence in existence at the date of the passing of this Act; and
(b)  where there is more than one version of a public service channel available on an electronic programme guide, that any version intended for a particular area, region or nation is the most prominent listing of that public service channel in the electronic programme guide for that area, region or nation.
(2B)  For the purposes of this section there is more than one version of a public service channel available if, in the service of television programmes provided, there are different programmes being broadcast or distributed at the same time for audiences in different areas, regions or nations of the UK in the same service.
(2C)  OFCOM shall perform its duty to draw up a code under subsection (1) within six months from the commencement of this section."
 

THE LORD LIPSEY

162Page 269, line 11, at end insert—
"(   )  In assessing the appropriate degree of prominence under subsection (2), OFCOM shall endeavour to ensure that the degree of prominence at least matches the degree of prominence in existence at the date of the commencement of the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11)."
 

THE BARONESS GIBSON OF MARKET RASEN

163Page 269, line 20, at end insert—
"(   )  Before drawing up or revising the code, OFCOM shall consult the public service channels as defined in subsection (3)."
 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

164Page 269, line 28, leave out paragraph (a)
 

Clause 306

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD McNALLY

165Page 270, leave out lines 13 to 16 and insert—
    "(b)  that the departure would not narrow the range of programmes (including in particular the diversity of music) available by way of relevant independent radio services to persons living in the area or locality for which the service is to be provided;"
 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

165APage 270, line 23, at end insert—
    "(1B)  The matters to which OFCOM must have regard in determining for the purposes of this section the character of a service provided under a local licence include, in particular, the selection of spoken material and music in programmes included in the service.""
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD McNALLY

166Page 270, line 23, at end insert—
    "(1B)  Before consenting to any departure from the character of the licensed service, OFCOM must publish a notification—
    (a)  stating that they are proposing to consent to a departure specified in the notification;
    (b)  setting out the effect of the departure;
    (c)  giving their reasons for consenting to the departure; and
    (d)  specifying the period within which representations may be made to OFCOM about their proposal.
    (1C)  The period specified in paragraph (d) of subsection (1B) must end no less than one month after the day of the publication of the notification.
    (1D)  OFCOM may give effect, with or without modifications, to a departure with respect to which they have published a notification under subsection (1B) only if—
    (a)  they have considered every representation about the proposal that is made to them within the period specified in the notification; and
    (b)  they have had regard to every international obligation of the United Kingdom (if any) which has been notified to them for the purposes of this paragraph by the Secretary of State.
    (1E)  The publication of a notification under this section must be in such manner as appears to OFCOM to be appropriate for bringing the contents of the notification to the attention of the persons who, in OFCOM's opinion, are likely to be affected by the departure."
 

After Clause 306

 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

166AInsert the following new Clause—
  "Consultation about change of character of local services
  After section 106 of the 1990 Act there shall be inserted—
    "106ZAConsultation about change of character of local services
    (1)  Before deciding for the purposes of a condition imposed under section 106(1A) whether to consent to a departure from the character of a service provided under a local licence, OFCOM must publish a notice specifying—
    (a)  the proposed departure; and
    (b)  the period in which representations may be made to OFCOM about the proposal.
    (2)  That period must end not less than 28 days after the date of publication of the notice.
    (3)  The notice must be published in such manner as appears to OFCOM to be appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the persons who, in OFCOM's opinion, are likely to be affected by the departure.
    (4)  OFCOM—
    (a)  are not required to publish a notice under this section, and
    (b)  may specify a period of less than 28 days in such a notice as the period for representations,
      if they consider that the publication of the notice, or allowing a longer period for representations, would result in a delay that would be likely prejudicially to affect the interests of the licence holder.
    (5)  OFCOM are not required under this section—
    (a)  to publish any matter that is confidential in accordance with subsection (5) or (6); or
    (b)  to publish anything that it would not be reasonably practicable to publish without disclosing such a matter.
    (6)  A matter is confidential under this subsection if—
    (a)  it relates specifically to the affairs of a particular body; and
    (b)  its publication would or might, in OFCOM's opinion, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that body.
    (7)  A matter is confidential under this subsection if—
    (a)  it relates specifically to the private affairs of an individual; and
    (b)  its publication would or might, in OFCOM's opinion, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual.""
 

Clause 307

 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

166BPage 271, line 6, after "services" insert "but, in the case of each such service, only if and to the extent (if any) that OFCOM consider appropriate in that case"
166CPage 271, line 7, leave out from "that" to end of line 8 and insert ",where such programmes are included in such a service, what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable proportion of them consists of locally-made programmes."
166DPage 271, line 10, leave out "a code giving"
166EPage 271, line 12, leave out "code" and insert "guidance"
166FPage 271, line 14, leave out subsections (3) and (4)
166GPage 271, line 31, leave out "code may make different provision" and insert "guidance may be different"
166HPage 271, line 32, leave out "code" and insert "guidance"
166JPage 271, line 33, leave out "code" and insert "guidance"
166KPage 271, line 39, leave out "code and every revision of the code" and insert "guidance and every revision of it"
166LPage 271, line 42, leave out from beginning to end of line 2 on page 272
166MPage 272, line 4, leave out "(including news)"
166NPage 272, line 10, at end insert "or a part of it"
166PPage 272, line 13, at end insert—
 ""material" includes news, information and other spoken material and music; and
 "programme" does not include an advertisement."
166QPage 272, line 14, leave out second "in" and insert "within"
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

167Leave out Clause 307
 

Clause 310

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

168Page 273, line 32, leave out "and"
169Page 273, line 34, at end insert "; and
(e)  every power of theirs to issue a code of practice or guidance to holders of such a licence."
170Page 273, line 35, leave out subsection (2) and insert—
"(2)  OFCOM shall not exercise any of their Broadcasting Act powers in relation to any matter to the extent that such matter is capable of being dealt with under the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41)."
171Page 273, line 39, leave out subsection (3)
 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

172Page 273, line 42, at end insert—
"(3A)  If OFCOM have decided to exercise any of their Broadcasting Act powers for a competition purpose, they must, on or before doing so, give a notification of their decision.
(3B)  A notification under subsection (3A) must—
(a)  be given to such persons, or published in such manner, as appears to OFCOM to be appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the persons who, in OFCOM's opinion, are likely to be affected by their decision; and
(b)  must describe the rights conferred by subsection (4) on the persons affected by that decision."
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

173Page 273, line 44, after "powers" insert—
"(a)  "
174Page 273, line 44, after "purpose" insert ", or
(b)  in the fulfilment of their general duties under section 3"
175Page 274, line 21, leave out "285 to 289" and insert "259 to 308 or 312 to 339"
176Page 274, line 27, at end insert "save where, under sections 259 to 308 or 312 to 339, any such power is in fact exercised for a competition purpose."
 

After Clause 310

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

177Insert the following new Clause—
  "Tests for setting or modifying conditions or directions
(1)  When exercising any of their Broadcasting Act powers OFCOM must not—
(a)  set a condition or issue a direction; or
(b)  modify such a condition or direction,
  unless they are satisfied that the condition or direction or (as the case may be) the modification satisfies the test in subsection (2).
(2)  That test is that the condition, direction or modification is—
(a)  objectively justifiable in relation to the services to which it relates;
(b)  not such as to discriminate unduly against particular persons or against a particular description of persons;
(c)  proportionate to what it is intended to achieve; and
(d)  in relation to what it is intended to achieve, transparent."
 

Clause 311

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

178Page 274, line 35, leave out from first "of" to end of line 36 and insert "the following"
179Page 274, line 42, after "provision" insert "; and
(d)  every condition imposed by them under or for the purposes of a broadcasting provision"
180Page 275, line 3, leave out subsection (4)
181Page 275, leave out lines 14 and 15
 

Clause 312

 

THE LORD GORDON OF STRATHBLANE
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE LORD SAATCHI
THE LORD BORRIE

182Page 275, line 37, leave out "unsuitable" and insert "which may be misleading, harmful or offensive"

 
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1 July 2003