Bob Downes appointed as first Ofcom Board member for Scotland

01 February 2018

The Scottish Ministers today appointed Bob Downes as the first Ofcom Board Member for Scotland.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, has today confirmed the appointment following consultation with the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Bob Downes is the current chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and of CENSIS, an innovation centre for sensors and imaging systems. Bob is a trustee of the Mackintosh Campus Renewal Appeal for Glasgow School of Art, and an advisor to a number of small technology businesses. Formerly he was a senior executive with BT Group.

Bob Downes said:

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to take on this new role at an important time for Ofcom. The communications sector provides essential services to everyone across Scotland and the wider UK – including to our most rural and remote areas – and is critical to the future success of the economy”.

Ofcom Chairman, Terry Burns, said:

“I am delighted Bob Downes has been confirmed as the first Ofcom Board member for Scotland. His appointment is a further step in ensuring Ofcom’s Board has voices representing consumers and citizens from across the UK. I am grateful to my predecessor, Dame Patricia Hodgson, for her part in securing this appointment. Board members for Northern Ireland and Wales will be appointed in due course”.

Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said:

“Bob Downes brings with him a wide range of experience that is highly relevant to Ofcom’s regulatory responsibilities. I am looking forward to working together as we deliver on Ofcom’s priorities”.

Notes to editors

  • Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. We have responsibilities across television, radio, video on demand, telecoms, wireless communications and postal services. News releases and other resources for journalists can be found at media.ofcom.org.uk.
  • The Smith Commission Agreement, published on 27 November 2014, made several proposals specific to Ofcom, including the provision of a formal consultative role for the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament in setting the strategic priorities for Ofcom with respect to its activities in Scotland.
  • The Agreement also recommended that Scottish Ministers should appoint a new member to Ofcom’s Board.
  • The process relating to the appointment is set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and the Office of Communications. The appointee has the same UK-wide responsibilities as other non-executive members of Ofcom.
  • As Ofcom is a UK-wide public body, the appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.
  • Remuneration for this role is £42,519 for two days a week. The term of appointment will last for four years.