Draft work programme for 2011/12

07 January 2011

Ofcom today published its draft 2011/12 Annual Plan for consultation.

Doing more for less

In 2011/12 Ofcom will take on new responsibilities as defined by Parliament. But Ofcom will aim to meet its objectives for significantly less money as part of the overall reduction in public expenditure.

This follows a major review of Ofcom's expenditure which will deliver a 28.2 per cent saving on its current funding cap over a four year period, with the majority of the savings delivered in 2011/12. These substantial savings are possible as a result of changes in legislation, savings in the costs of administration and overheads, and changes to the approach to regulation in some key areas. These changes are being consulted on where appropriate.

Ofcom believes that with these changes that have been planned and prepared over a period of more than six months, the organisation's duties and priorities can still be met with a reduced cost base.

The priorities for the year

Ofcom's proposed priorities are to: 

  1. Promote effective and sustainable competition. This includes ensuring fair and effective competition in the delivery of pay TV services and promoting competition and investment in superfast broadband.
  2. Promote the efficient use of public assets. This includes the release of prime chunks of spectrum and safeguarding the necessary frequencies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  3. Help communications markets work for consumers. This includes ensuring communications providers provide clear information so that broadband customers can make informed choices and enable consumers to switch providers easily.
  4. Provide appropriate assurance to audiences on standards. This includes streamlining the broadcasting standards procedures and considering new regulatory approaches to content regulation.
  5. Contribute to and implement public policy defined by Parliament. This includes preparing to take over the regulation of postal services, implementing the provisions around online copyright infringement and preparing to report to the Government on the licensing arrangements for Channel 3 and 5 when the current licences expire in 2014.

Next steps

The draft Annual Plan can be found here.

The consultation closes on 1 March 2011. Ofcom will publish its Annual Plan at the end of March along with details of its budget for the financial year.