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

House of Lords

back to previous amendments

 

Clause 118

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

70Page 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 McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

71Page 112, line 22, at end insert—
"(   )  OFCOM are not for those purposes to approve so much of a code as imposes an obligation as respects a premium rate service on a person who is a provider of the service by virtue only of section 117(11A) ("the relevant provider") unless they are satisfied that the obligation—
(a)  arises only if there is no one who is a provider of the service otherwise than by virtue of section 117(11A) against whom it is practicable to take action;
(b)  arises only after a notice identifying the service and setting out respects in which requirements of the code have been contravened in relation to it has been given to the relevant provider by the person responsible for enforcing the code; and
(c)  is confined to an obligation to secure that electronic communications networks provided by the relevant provider are not used for making the service available to persons who are in the United Kingdom."
 

Clause 119

 

THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

72Page 113, line 41, at end insert—
"(   )  An order under this section is not to impose an obligation as respects a premium rate service on a person who is a provider of the service by virtue only of section 117(11A) ("the relevant provider") unless the obligation—
(a)  arises only if there is no one who is a provider of the service otherwise than by virtue of section 117(11A) against whom it is practicable to take action;
(b)  arises only after a notice identifying the service and setting out respects in which requirements of the order have been contravened in relation to it has been given to the relevant provider by OFCOM; and
(c)  is confined to an obligation to secure that electronic communications networks provided by the relevant provider are not used for making the service available to persons who are in the United Kingdom."
 

After Clause 131

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

73Insert 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 134

 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

73A*Page 126, line 26, at end insert—
"(7)  In a case where a requirement for information under section 132 or 133 includes a requirement for any person to answer a question, make a statement, provide an opinion or otherwise to provide information, whether orally or in writing, such answer, statement, opinion or other provision of information shall not be used by OFCOM in relation to any action to be taken against that person under any of sections 34, 38, 93, 109 or 136 without the consent in writing of that person."
 

Clause 153

 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

73B*Page 141, line 33, leave out "3A" and insert "3"
73C*Page 141, line 34, leave out from "licences" to end of line 35
 

Clause 156

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

74Page 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."
75Page 143, line 25, leave out subsections (5) to (7)
 

Schedule 5

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

76Page 370, line 38, leave out paragraph (c)
77Page 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"
78Page 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—"
79Page 372, line 5, leave out "or an urgent case"
80Page 372, line 8, leave out paragraph (c)
81Page 372, line 9, leave out sub-paragraph (7)
82Page 372, line 33, at end insert "or such shorter period as may be agreed with the person to whom the notification was given"
83Page 372, line 35, leave out from "proposal" to "; and" in line 36
84Page 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
THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

85Page 145, line 1, leave out subsection (3)
 

Clause 159

 

THE LORD AVEBURY
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND

85A*Leave out Clause 159
 

Clause 161

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

86Page 147, line 13, leave out "and grants of recognised spectrum access"
87Page 147, line 16, leave out "and grants of recognised spectrum access"
88Page 147, line 20, leave out "and grants of recognised spectrum access"
89Page 147, line 21, leave out "or made"
90Page 147, line 23, leave out "or grants of spectrum access made"
91Page 147, leave out lines 37 to 39
 

Clause 165

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

92Page 150, line 30, at end insert "and"
93Page 150, line 34, leave out from second "and" to end of line 42
94Page 150, line 44, leave out "or grant of recognised spectrum access"
95Page 151, line 4, leave out "or grant"
96Page 151, line 8, leave out "or grant of recognised spectrum access"
97Page 151, line 9, leave out "or making"
98Page 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."
99Page 151, line 32, leave out "or grant of recognised spectrum access"
 

Clause 195

 

THE LORD GORDON OF STRATHBLANE

100Page 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 LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY

101Page 175, line 13, leave out paragraph (a) and insert—
"(a)  the BBC Charter and Agreement, and"
102Page 175, line 19, leave out "an agreement falling within subsection (1)(a)" and insert "or under the BBC Charter and Agreement"
103Page 175, line 22, leave out "the agreement" and insert "that Charter and Agreement"
104Page 175, line 23, leave out "such an agreement" and insert "that Charter and Agreement"
105Page 175, line 24, leave out subsection (3) and insert—
"(3)  The BBC must pay OFCOM such penalties in respect of contraventions by the BBC of provision made by or under—
(a)  this Part, or
(b)  the BBC Charter and Agreement,
  as are imposed by OFCOM in exercise of powers conferred on them by that Charter and Agreement."
106Page 175, line 32, leave out "by virtue of subsection (3)" and insert "by OFCOM in exercise of a power conferred by virtue of the BBC Charter and Agreement"
 

THE VISCOUNT ASTOR
THE LORD ALLI

107Page 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 BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE VISCOUNT ASTOR
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD McNALLY

108Insert 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."
 

THE VISCOUNT ASTOR

109Insert 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."
110Insert 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 VISCOUNT ASTOR
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE LORD McNALLY

111Insert 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)."
 

THE LORD LIPSEY
THE LORD McNALLY

112Insert 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."

 
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23 June 2003