Annual Plan 2011-12
Our work programme for 2011/12
1.1 This Annual Plan presents our strategic purposes, our priorities and our work programme for the twelve months from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.
1.2 Our plan has been developed following consultation with stakeholders. A range of issues were raised in consultation responses. These have been responded to in the plan itself and also in more detail in the annex. Alongside this plan we have published a table on our website (-1-) that sets out our programme of work.
1.3 Ofcom’s principal duty is to further the interests of citizens in relation to communications matters and to further the interests of consumers in relevant markets, where appropriate by promoting competition.
1.4 This principal duty is embodied in our five strategic purposes. These are to:
- Promote effective and sustainable competition.
- Promote the efficient use of public assets.
- Help communications markets to work for consumers.
- Provide appropriate assurances to audiences on standards.
- Contribute to and implement public policy defined by Parliament.
1.5 It is important that we are able to assess our progress against these strategic purposes. Therefore we have identified clear and positive outcomes that we are seeking to secure for citizens and consumers.
Wider economic challenges
1.6 The government has set out its plans in the 2010 Spending Review to address the UK’s public finances. We are required to reduce our spending over the next four years with the majority of savings made in the first year. By 2014/15 we will deliver a 28.2% real-terms saving on Ofcom’s current annual funding cap of £143m.
1.7 We have reviewed how we deliver effective and targeted regulation while striving to maintain value for money. We have begun delivering our proposals for reducing expenditure and providing greater organisational effectiveness. These proposals allow us to provide high quality sector-specific regulation and fulfil our strategic purposes within the financial constraints set by government.
1.8 Ofcom is well prepared to implement the necessary savings, albeit from a base that does not provide easy opportunities to reduce our spending. We will therefore stop certain activities and will deliver our objectives through different approaches which offer material efficiency gains.
1.9 These include our plan to make significant changes to our governance structure and supporting advisory bodies that will allow us to make savings and refine our decision-making process. However, some of these measures will depend on legislative changes in the Public Bodies Bill.
1.10 We believe these changes can ensure that we meet our financial objectives without undermining our strategic purposes and priorities. Inevitably, there will be more difficult choices to make in relation to resource allocation than at any point in Ofcom’s history. In making these choices we will be guided by our strategic purposes and our core duty to promote the interests of the citizen and consumer.
New or revised duties
1.11 There are amendments to UK legislation, implemented or proposed by government, that will change our duties. Some of these will enable us to reduce our costs while others will require us to undertake new responsibilities. They include:
- Implementing the provisions in the Digital Economy Act 2010 aimed at addressing online copyright infringement.
- The Public Bodies Reform Bill, through which the government has proposed to reduce Ofcom’s duties in some areas; for example, the frequency of the media ownership review and the public service broadcasting review.
- The proposed transfer of the regulation of postal services to Ofcom from Postcomm, in the Postal Services Bill.
1.12 There are also requirements for Ofcom to comply with specific provisions of the revised European Communications Framework. These include:
- Revising our General Conditions and Universal Service Conditions.
- Changes to the dispute resolution and enforcement processes.
- Amendments to our market review processes; for example, the requirement for market reviews in certain markets to be conducted every three years.
1.13 We will continue to engage with the European Commission (EC) on its Radio Spectrum Policy Programme, where we will support proposals that are consistent with the UK’s Digital Switchover (DSO) and spectrum clearance timetable.
Our priorities for 2011/2012
1.14 Our priorities for the coming year are based on our strategic purposes, in the context of our programme of budget reductions and efficiencies, and take into account our consultations and stakeholder events. The priority issues that we have identified for the next financial year will be our primary focus, and for each priority we have identified the outcome we would like to achieve.
Annual Plan 2011/12 priorities
1.15 In addition to these priorities, we will continue to deliver important services to consumers and other stakeholders, as well as a number of other major work areas which are an important part of our 2011/12 work programme.
1.16 We will remain responsive to new developments such as emerging market failures or new issues for consumers across the UK, as well as government requests for Ofcom’s technical expertise.
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Full print version
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Annual Report 2011 – 12
Download our latest annual report:
Annual Report 2011-12