15 December 2021

Bob Downes reappointed as Ofcom Board member for Scotland

The Scottish Ministers have reappointed Bob Downes as the Ofcom Board Member for Scotland.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes MSP, has confirmed the reappointment following consultation with the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Bob Downes was first appointed to the Ofcom Board for four years with effect from 1 February 2018. He is Interim Chair of the Content Board and a member of the People Committee.  Bob is the current Chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. He also chairs the Commission for Communications Regulation’s Independent Oversight Body, which will oversee the implementation and operation of an enhanced Regulatory Governance Model in Ireland by Eir. Bob Chairs Cryptic, an arts production company. He is also an advisor to a number of technology businesses, including Kube Networks.

Bob Downes said: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve a further four years as the Board member for Scotland at an important time for Ofcom, as it takes on new duties relating to online safety.  The communications sector provides essential services to everyone across Scotland and the wider UK – including our most rural and remote areas – and is critical to the future success of the economy as it recovers from the pandemic.”

Maggie Carver, Ofcom’s Interim Chair, said: “Bob is a much respected and hardworking member of our Board. I am delighted he has been reappointed as the Ofcom Board member for Scotland. It comes as Ofcom and the sectors it regulates undergo fundamental change. Bob will continue to be a strong voice in his role representing the views of citizens and consumers in Scotland at the Ofcom Board, which is vital to ensure Ofcom regulates for the whole of the UK.”

Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy said: “I am very pleased that Bob Downes has accepted this key appointment. Ofcom has a crucial role in supporting access to high quality mobile and broadband connectivity in Scotland. Bob has provided a strong voice to represent the needs of Scottish consumers and citizens, especially those in the most hard to reach and rural areas that are so prevalent in Scotland.

I am confident Bob will continue to be a strong advocate for Scottish interests. I look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure Scotland’s interests are properly reflected in this vital area of regulation and to enable digital connectivity across all of Scotland.”

Angus Robertson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture said: “We welcome Bob Downes’ reappointment as Ofcom’s Board Member for Scotland. Mr Downes has developed an excellent understanding of the broadcasting sector and his contributions to date have ensured the interests of Scotland and its audiences have been well represented.”

Notes to editors

  1. Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. We have responsibilities across television, radio, video on demand, video sharing platforms, telecoms, wireless communications and postal services.  Ofcom is also preparing to regulate online safety under the UK Government's proposed Online Safety Act.
  2. 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.
  3. The Agreement also recommended that Scottish Ministers should appoint a new member to Ofcom’s Board.  This was given effect by the Scotland Act 2016.
  4. The process relating to the appointment is set out in a 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.
  5. As Ofcom is a UK-wide public body, the reappointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.
  6. Remuneration for this role is £42,519 for two days a week. The term of appointment will last for four years.