Functions and Role
Historically the regulatory regimes for broadcasting, telecommunications and spectrum management have encompassed a broad range of governance models.
These have included oversight by Government-appointed Commission, by Director-General and by Government Agency.
Ofcom’s governance structure is different. It is based upon a model which is familiar to the commercial sector but which marks a departure from the past.
Ofcom has a Board with a Chairman and both executive and non-executive members. The Executive runs the organisation and answers to the Board, whilst the work of both Board and Executive is informed by the contribution of a number of advisory bodies.
The Ofcom Board provides strategic direction for Ofcom. It is the main statutory instrument of regulation with a fundamental role in the effective implementation of the Communications Act 2003.
The Board is chaired by Colette Bowe. Its membership is published. There are up to nine additional members including the Chief Executive of Ofcom and up to three members of the executive. (The Board currently comprises six non executive members and three executive members.)
The Ofcom Board meets at least once a month (with the exception of August). Agendas and notes of meetings are published regularly on the Ofcom website.
The Board has a central governance function, with oversight over the fulfilment of Ofcom’s general duties and specific statutory responsibilities as well as its adherence to the ethos of a public service organisation. The Board also has oversight of Ofcom’s overall funding and expenditure.
The Board acts on a collective basis. As the body charged with governing Ofcom’s strategic direction, the Board has agreed that its members will abide by the following principles:
- The Board will operate on the principles of collective responsibility, support and respect.
- Board members should have access to all the information necessary to ensure vigorous debate and effective decision-making.
- In all situations, all Board members will be deemed to have agreed with all decisions.
- External pressure will not alter Board processes except for potential timelines.
- Board members’ behaviour in response to decisions is required to be the same inside and outside Ofcom.
- Minority views will not be made public internally or externally.
- Nominated Board members (other than those who disagreed with a decision) may be required to explain and articulate specific decisions.
- If a Board member resigns he or she may state the basis for the disagreement, but may not publicly rehearse the arguments of other Board members.
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Annual Report 2011 – 12
Download our latest annual report:
Annual Report 2011-12