The penalty guidelines published 13 June 2011 replace the penalty guidelines published December 2003. The text of the December 2003 guidelines is available at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/policies-and-guidelines/superseded-guidelines/
1. Section 392 of the Communications Act 2003 ("the Act") requires Ofcom to prepare and publish a statement containing the guidelines it proposes to follow in determining the amount of penalties imposed by Ofcom under the Act or any other enactment apart from the Competition Act 1998. This statement contains Ofcom's penalty guidelines.
2. By virtue of section 392(6) of the Act, Ofcom must have regard to the statement for the time being in force when setting the amount of any penalty under this Act or any other enactment (apart from the Competition Act 1998).
3. Ofcom will consider all the circumstances of the case in the round in order to determine the appropriate and proportionate amount of any penalty. The central objective of imposing a penalty is deterrence. The amount of any penalty must be sufficient to ensure that it will act as an effective incentive to compliance, having regard to the seriousness of the infringement.
4. The factors taken into account in each case will vary, depending on what is relevant. Some examples of potentially relevant factors are:
5. Annex 1 sets out how Ofcom will consider some of these factors where programming has been complied on behalf of the ITV Network by a compliance licensee.
6. Ofcom will have regard to any relevant precedents set by previous cases, but may depart from them depending on the facts and the context of each case.
7. Ofcom will have regard to the need for transparency in applying these guidelines, particularly as regards the weighting of the factors considered.
8. Ofcom may increase the penalty where the regulated body in breach has failed to cooperate fully with our investigation.
9. Ofcom will ensure that the overall amount does not exceed the maximum penalty for the particular type of contravention.
10. Ofcom will have regard to any representations made to us by the regulated body in breach.
11. Section 392(2) of the Act provides that Ofcom may from time to time revise our statement as we think fit. Ofcom must first consult the Secretary of State and other such persons as we consider appropriate.
12. This statement will be reviewed in the light of experience in applying it over time.
13. In these guidelines, 'regulated body' means any person or body subject to regulation by Ofcom under any enactment apart from the Competition Act 1998.