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Parliamentary Oral Question (Correction)

Volume 518: debated on Tuesday 16 November 2010

My hon. Friend, the spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the House of Lords, Baroness Rawlings, has made the following written ministerial statement:

The answers I provided to supplementary questions asked by the noble Lord, Lord Borrie and Baroness Jones of Whitchurch on Ofcom on 11 November 2010, Official Report, column 277 were incorrect.

I would like to clarify that Ofcom remains in schedule 7 of the Public Bodies Bill and there are no plans to remove it. There are certain functions that the Government intend should remain outside the scope of future reviews and the powers in the Bill. These include the economic and network regulatory functions of bodies such as Ofcom, where the Government wish to ensure that regulatory stability is maintained.

The Government have identified several of Ofcom’s duties which should be amended or removed. The purpose of these changes is to return the policy setting role to the Secretary of State, to reduce unnecessary expense and to avoid duplication. These proposals do not include changes to Ofcom’s economic and network regulatory functions. To facilitate these proposals Ofcom is named in schedules 4 and 5 of the Public Bodies Bill.