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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    294

 

Government requirements for licensed services

 332   Government requirements for licensed services

     (1)    If it appears to the Secretary of State or any other Minister of the Crown to be

appropriate to do so in connection with any of his functions, the Secretary of

State or that Minister may at any time by notice require OFCOM to give a

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direction under subsection (2).

     (2)    A direction under this subsection is a direction to the holders of the

Broadcasting Act licences specified in the notice under subsection (1) to include

an announcement so specified in their licensed services.

     (3)    The direction may specify the times at which the announcement is to be

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broadcast or otherwise transmitted.

     (4)    Where the holder of a Broadcasting Act licence includes an announcement in

his licensed service in pursuance of a direction under this section, he may

announce that he is doing so in pursuance of such a direction.

     (5)    The Secretary of State may, at any time, by notice require OFCOM to direct the

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holders of the Broadcasting Act licences specified in the notice to refrain from

including in their licensed services any matter, or description of matter,

specified in the notice.

     (6)    Where—

           (a)           OFCOM have given the holder of a Broadcasting Act licence a direction

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in accordance with a notice under subsection (5),

           (b)           in consequence of the revocation by the Secretary of State of such a

notice, OFCOM have revoked such a direction, or

           (c)           such a notice has expired,

            the holder of the licence in question may include in the licensed service an

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announcement of the giving or revocation of the direction or of the expiration

of the notice, as the case may be.

     (7)    OFCOM must comply with every requirement contained in a notice under this

section.

     (8)    The powers conferred by this section are in addition to any powers specifically

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conferred on the Secretary of State by or under this Act or any other enactment.

     (9)    In this section “Minister of the Crown” includes the Treasury.

Equal opportunities and training

 333   Promotion of equal opportunities and training

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every service to which this section applies includes

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the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for requiring the licence

holder to make arrangements for promoting, in relation to employment with

the licence holder, equality of opportunity—

           (a)           between men and women; and

           (b)           between persons of different racial groups.

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Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

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     (2)    That regime includes conditions requiring the licence holder to make

arrangements for promoting, in relation to employment with the licence

holder, the fair treatment of disabled persons.

     (3)    The regulatory regime for every service to which this section applies includes

the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for requiring the licence

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holder to make arrangements for the training and retraining of persons whom

he employs, in or in connection with—

           (a)           the provision of the licensed service; or

           (b)           the making of programmes to be included in that service.

     (4)    The conditions imposed by virtue of subsections (1) to (3) must contain

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provision, in relation to the arrangements made in pursuance of those

conditions, requiring the person providing the service in question—

           (a)           to take appropriate steps to make those affected by the arrangements

aware of them (including such publication of the arrangements as may

be required in accordance with the conditions);

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           (b)           from time to time, to review the arrangements; and

           (c)           from time to time (and at least annually) to publish, in such manner as

he considers appropriate, his observations on the current operation and

effectiveness of the arrangements.

     (5)    The conditions imposed by virtue of this section may include provision for

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treating obligations to make the arrangements mentioned in subsections (1) to

(3), or to do anything mentioned in subsection (4), as discharged where a

member of a group of companies to which the licence holder belongs—

           (a)           has made the required arrangements in relation to employment with

the licence holder; or

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           (b)           has done anything required by subsection (4) in relation to those

arrangements.

     (6)    This section applies to a service if—

           (a)           it is a service the provision of which is authorised by a Broadcasting Act

licence; and

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           (b)                         the requirements of both subsections (7) and (8) are satisfied in the case

of that service.

     (7)    The requirements of this subsection are satisfied in the case of a service

provided by a person if—

           (a)           that person employs, or is likely to employ, more than the threshold

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number of individuals in connection with the provision of licensed

services; or

           (b)           the threshold number is exceeded by the aggregate number of

individuals who are, or are likely to be, employed in that connection by

members of a group of companies comprising that person and one or

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more other bodies corporate.

     (8)           The requirements of this subsection are satisfied in the case of a service if the

licence authorising the provision of that service authorises either that service

or another service authorised by that licence to be provided on a number of

days in any year which exceeds the threshold number of days (whether or not

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the service is in fact provided on those days).

     (9)    In this section—

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    296

 

                    “disabled” has the same meaning as in the Disability Discrimination Act

1995 (c. 50);

                    “licensed service”, in relation to an employee or likely employee of a

person, means a service the provision of which—

                  (a)                 by that person, or

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                  (b)                 by a body corporate which is a member of the same group of

companies as that person,

                         is authorised by a Broadcasting Act licence;

                    “racial group” has the same meaning as in the Race Relations Act 1976

(c. 74) or, in Northern Ireland, the Race Relations (Northern Ireland)

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Order 1997 (S.I. 1997/869 (N.I. 6));

                    “the threshold number” means—

                  (a)                 in relation to individuals, twenty; and

                  (b)                 in relation to days, thirty-one.

     (10)   For the purposes of this section a person is a member of a group of companies

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to which a person licensed to provide a service belongs if, and only if, both of

them are bodies corporate and either—

           (a)           one of them is controlled by the other; or

           (b)           both of them are controlled by the same person.

     (11)          In subsection (10) “controlled” has the same meaning as in Part 1 of Schedule 2

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to the 1990 Act.

     (12)   The Secretary of State may, by order—

           (a)           amend subsection (1) by adding any other form of equality of

opportunity that he considers appropriate;

           (b)           amend the definition of “the threshold number” in subsection (9).

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     (13)   No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (12)

unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

resolution of each House.

Corresponding rules for the BBC and Welsh Authority

 334   Corresponding rules for the BBC and the Welsh Authority

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Schedule 12 (which provides for the imposition on the BBC and the Welsh

Authority of obligations corresponding to obligations included in the

regulatory regime for licensed providers) shall have effect.

Enforcement against the Welsh Authority

 335   Review of fulfilment by Welsh Authority of public service remits

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     (1)    The Secretary of State may carry out a review of the performance by the Welsh

Authority of their duty to secure that each of the following public service

remits—

           (a)           that for S4C;

           (b)           that for S4C Digital; and

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           (c)           that for each of the television programme services provided by them

with the approval of the Secretary of State under section 203,

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

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            is fulfilled in relation the services to which it applies.

     (2)    The first review carried out under this section—

           (a)           shall be a review relating to the period since the passing of this Act; and

           (b)           must not be carried out before the end of the period of five years

beginning with the day of the passing of this Act.

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     (3)    A subsequent review—

           (a)           shall be a review relating to the period since the end of the period to

which the previous review related; and

           (b)           must not be carried out less than five years after the day of the

publication of the report of the previous review.

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     (4)    On a review under this section the Secretary of State—

           (a)           shall consult the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Authority

on the matters under review; and

           (b)           shall have regard to their opinions when reaching his conclusions.

     (5)    The Secretary of State shall also consult such other persons as he considers are

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likely to be affected by whether, and in what manner, the Welsh Authority

perform the duty mentioned in subsection (1).

     (6)    As soon as practicable after the conclusion of a review under this section the

Secretary of State must publish a report of his conclusions.

 336   Directions to Welsh Authority to take remedial action

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     (1)    This section applies if the Secretary of State’s conclusions on a review under

section 335 include a finding—

           (a)           that the Welsh Authority has failed in any respect to perform their duty

to secure that the public service remit for a service mentioned in that

section is fulfilled; and

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           (b)           that there is no reasonable excuse for the failure.

     (2)    The Secretary of State may give the Welsh Authority general or specific

directions requiring them to take the steps that he considers will ensure that the

Authority perform their duty properly in future.

     (3)    The Secretary of State is not to give a direction under this section unless a draft

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of the proposed direction has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

resolution of each House.

     (4)    Before laying a proposed direction before Parliament, the Secretary of State

must consult the Welsh Authority.

     (5)    It shall be the duty of the Welsh Authority to comply with every direction

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under this section.

 337   Imposition of penalties on the Welsh Authority

     (1)    This section applies to the following requirements so far as they are imposed

on the Welsh Authority in relation to services provided by them—

           (a)           the requirements imposed by or under paragraphs 7 and 8 of Schedule

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12 (programme quotas);

           (b)           the requirements imposed by paragraph 9(1) and (3) of that Schedule

(news and current affairs);

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

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           (c)                         the requirements imposed by paragraph 10 of that Schedule (code

relating to programme commissioning) or by a direction under sub-

paragraph (3)(d) of that paragraph;

           (d)           the requirement imposed by virtue of paragraph 12 of that Schedule to

comply with standards set under section 315, so far as that requirement

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relates to standards set otherwise than for the purpose of securing the

objectives set out in subsection (2)(c) or (d) of that section;

           (e)           the requirements imposed by paragraphs 14 and 16 of that Schedule

(advertising or sponsorship) to comply with a direction under those

paragraphs;

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           (f)           the requirement imposed by paragraph 17 of that Schedule (observance

of the fairness code);

           (g)           the requirement imposed by paragraph 19 of that Schedule (publicising

complaints procedure);

           (h)           the requirement imposed by paragraph 20 of that Schedule (monitoring

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of programmes);

           (i)           the requirement imposed by paragraph 21 of that Schedule

(international obligations) to comply with a direction under that

paragraph;

           (j)           the requirement under paragraph 22 of that Schedule (assistance for

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disabled people) to comply with the code for the time being in force

under section 300;

           (k)           the requirement to comply with a direction under section 119(1) of the

1996 Act (directions in respect of fairness matters).

     (2)    If OFCOM are satisfied that there has been a contravention of a requirement to

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which this section applies, they may serve on the Welsh Authority a notice

requiring the Authority, within the specified period, to pay OFCOM a

specified penalty.

     (3)    The amount of the penalty must not exceed £250,000.

     (4)    OFCOM are not to serve a notice on the Welsh Authority under this section

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unless they have given them a reasonable opportunity of making

representations to OFCOM about the matters appearing to OFCOM to provide

grounds for the service of the notice.

     (5)    An exercise by OFCOM of their powers under this section does not preclude

any exercise by them of their powers under paragraph 15 of Schedule 12 in

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respect of the same contravention.

     (6)    The Secretary of State may by order substitute a different sum for the sum for

the time being specified in subsection (3).

     (7)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (6)

unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

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resolution of each House.

 338   Contraventions recorded in Welsh Authority’s annual report

In paragraph 13 of Schedule 6 to the 1990 Act (annual report of the Welsh

Authority)—

           (a)           in sub-paragraph (2), the words from “and shall include” onwards shall

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be omitted; and

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

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           (b)           after that sub-paragraph there shall be inserted—

                                    “(3)                      The report shall also—

                           (a)                          set out every contravention notification given by

OFCOM to the Authority during the year; and

                           (b)                          include such other information (including

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information relating to the Authority’s financial

position) as the Secretary of State may from time to

time direct.

                                    (4)                      In sub-paragraph (3), ‘contravention notification’ means a

notification of a determination by OFCOM of a contravention

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by the Authority of any obligation imposed by or under this

Act, the 1996 Act or Part 3 of the Communications Act 2003.”

 339   Provision of information by Welsh Authority

     (1)    It shall be the duty of the Welsh Authority to comply with every direction

given to them by OFCOM to provide OFCOM with information falling within

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subsection (2).

     (2)    The information that the Welsh Authority may be directed to provide is any

information which OFCOM may reasonably require for the purposes of

carrying out their functions in relation to the Welsh Authority under this Act,

the 1990 Act or the 1996 Act.

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     (3)    Information that is required to be provided by a direction under this section

must be provided in such manner and at such times as may be required by the

direction.

Enforcement of licence conditions

 340   Transmission of statement of findings

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     (1)    Sections 40 and 109 of the 1990 Act (power to direct licensee to broadcast

correction or apology) shall be amended as follows.

     (2)    For “apology”, wherever occurring, there shall be substituted “a statement of

findings”.

     (3)    After subsection (5), there shall be inserted—

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           “(6)              For the purposes of this section a statement of findings, in relation to a

case in which OFCOM are satisfied that the holder of a licence has

contravened the conditions of his licence, is a statement of OFCOM’s

findings in relation to that contravention.”

 341   Financial penalties imposable on licence holders

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Schedule 13 (which modifies the maximum penalties that may be imposed on

the holders of Broadcasting Act licences) shall have effect.

 342   Recovery of fees and penalties

     (1)    This section applies to the following amounts—

           (a)           any amount payable to OFCOM under a Broadcasting Act licence;

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Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

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           (b)           the amount of a penalty imposed by OFCOM under Part 1 or 3 of the

1990 Act, Part 1 or 2 of the 1996 Act or this Part of this Act.

     (2)    Every amount to which this section applies shall be recoverable by OFCOM as

a debt due to them from the person obliged to pay it.

     (3)    The following liabilities—

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           (a)           a person’s liability to have a penalty imposed on him under Part 1 or 3

of the 1990 Act, Part 1 or 2 of the 1996 Act or this Part in respect of acts

or omissions of his occurring while he was the holder of a Broadcasting

Act licence, and

           (b)           a liability of a person as the holder of such a licence to pay an amount

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to which this section applies,

            are not affected by that person’s Broadcasting Act licence having ceased (for

any reason) to be in force before the imposition of the penalty or the payment

of that amount.

Broadcasting Act licence fees

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 343   Statement of charging principles

     (1)    OFCOM are not to fix a tariff under section 4(3) or 87(3) of the 1990 Act or

under section 4(3) or 43(3) of the 1996 Act (tariffs for fees payable under

Broadcasting      Act licences for recovering OFCOM’s costs) unless—

           (a)           at the time they do so, there is in force a statement of the principles that

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OFCOM are proposing to apply in fixing that tariff; and

           (b)           the tariff is fixed in accordance with those principles.

     (2)    Those principles must be such as appear to OFCOM to be likely to secure, on

the basis of such estimates of the likely costs that it is practicable for them to

make—

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           (a)           that the aggregate amount of the Broadcasting Act licence fees that are

required to be paid to OFCOM during a financial year is sufficient to

enable them to meet, but does not exceed, the cost to them of the

carrying out during that year of their functions relating to the

regulation of broadcasting;

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           (b)           that the requirement imposed by virtue of paragraph (a) is satisfied by

the application to such fees of tariffs that are justifiable and

proportionate to the matters in respect of which they are imposed; and

           (c)           that the relationship between meeting the cost of carrying out those

functions and the tariffs applied to such fees is transparent.

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     (3)    Before making or revising a statement of principles OFCOM must consult such

of the persons who, in OFCOM’s opinion, are likely to be affected by those

principles as they think fit.

     (4)    The making or revision of a statement of principles for the purposes of this

section has to be by the publication of the statement, or revised statement, in

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such manner as OFCOM consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention

of the persons who, in their opinion, are likely to be affected by it.

     (5)    As soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year, OFCOM

must publish a statement setting out, for that year—

           (a)           the aggregate amount received by them during that year in respect of

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Broadcasting Act licence fees required to be paid during that year;

 

 

 
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