Under Schedule 9 of the Communications Act (“The Act”) 2003 Channel 4 Corporation (“C4C”) has an obligation to submit to Ofcom a set of Arrangements which propose to secure, as far as reasonably possible, that all significant risks from C4C’s “other activities” to the carrying out of its “primary functions” (as defined in the Act) are identified, evaluated and properly managed.
The existing arrangements were approved by Ofcom in 2006 (the “2006 Arrangements”) and in each of its annual reviews of the 2006 Arrangements since 2006, Deloitte, the external auditor, has found C4C to have complied with them in all material respects.
The Digital Economy Act (“DEA”) in 2010 amended the definition of C4C’s “primary functions”. As a result the 2006 Arrangements needed to be updated in order to remain fit for purpose.
In accordance with our obligations under the 2003 Act, therefore, we gave C4C a notification on 23 March 2011 requiring them to submit proposals for new arrangements to secure that C4C’s amended functions are appropriately safeguarded. In addition we asked C4C to provide a statement to explain how its proposals will secure compliance with the statutory requirements.
The 2003 Act requires Ofcom to consider C4C’s proposals for revising the arrangements and, if we are satisfied with the proposals, to approve them. Alternatively Ofcom may require the proposals to be modified for the purpose of approving them or it may require C4C to submit revised proposals.
Having considered C4C’s proposals for new arrangements (“the Proposed Arrangements”) we issued a consultation in November 2011 explaining that we considered that the Proposed Arrangements were likely to be fit for purpose and that they adequately met the Schedule 9 requirements, but that we were seeking views from stakeholders before reaching a final decision.
In this statement we set out that we have decided to approve C4C’s Proposed Arrangements. Ofcom is required to publish the approved Arrangements and they can be found below and also on C4C’s website.
Under paragraph 6 of Schedule 9 C4C has a duty to act in accordance with the approved Arrangements. Consequently, with immediate effect, C4C is required to comply with the approved Arrangements. C4C’s compliance with the Arrangements will continue to be audited on an annual basis in line with the Schedule 9 requirements.