Statutory Duties and Regulatory Principles
Ofcom was established as a body corporate by the Office of Communications Act 2002. Ofcom is the regulator for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.
Ofcom’s Statutory Duties
Under the Communications Act 2003:
” 3(1) It shall be the principal duty of Ofcom, in carrying out their functions;
(a) to further the interests of citizens in relation to communications matters; and
(b) to further the interests of consumers in relevant markets, where appropriate by promoting competition”
Ofcom’s specific duties fall into six areas:
- Ensuring the optimal use of the electro-magnetic spectrum
- Ensuring that a wide range of electronic communications services – including high speed data services – is available throughout the UK
- Ensuring a wide range of TV and radio services of high quality and wide appeal
- Maintaining plurality in the provision of broadcasting
- Applying adequate protection for audiences against offensive or harmful material
- Applying adequate protection for audiences against unfairness or the infringement of privacy
Ofcom’s Regulatory Principles
- Ofcom will regulate with a clearly articulated and publicly reviewed annual plan, with stated policy objectives.
- Ofcom will intervene where there is a specific statutory duty to work towards a public policy goal which markets alone cannot achieve.
- Ofcom will operate with a bias against intervention, but with a willingness to intervene firmly, promptly and effectively where required.
- Ofcom will strive to ensure its interventions will be evidence-based, proportionate, consistent, accountable and transparent in both deliberation and outcome.
- Ofcom will always seek the least intrusive regulatory mechanisms to achieve its policy objectives.
- Ofcom will research markets constantly and will aim to remain at the forefront of technological understanding.
- Ofcom will consult widely with all relevant stakeholders and assess the impact of regulatory action before imposing regulation upon a market.
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If you want advice from Ofcom please visit our advice pages or call us on 0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3040.
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Annual Report 2011 – 12
Download our latest annual report:
Annual Report 2011-12