World Intellectual Property Organization

Ireland

Broadcasting Act 2009

 

 

Broadcasting Act 2009

 

 

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Number 18 of 2009

 

 


 

 

BROADCASTING ACT 2009

 

 


 

 

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

 

 

PART 1

 

 

Preliminary and General matters

 

 

Section

 

 

1. Short title.

 

 

2. Definitions.

 

 

3. Repeals.

 

 

4. Expenses.

 

 

PART 2

 

 

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

 

 

5. Establishment day.

 

 

6. Establishment of Authority, Contract Awards and Compliance Committees.

 

 

7. Body corporate and seal.

 

 

8. Appointment of Authority, Contract Awards Committee and Compliance Committee.

 

 

9. Criteria for membership.

 

 

10. Terms and removal.

 

 

11. Chairperson of Authority or statutory committee.

 

 

12. Exclusions from membership of Authority or statutory committee.

 

 

13. Meetings of Authority or statutory committee.

 

 

14. Chief executive officer of Authority.

 

 

15. Staff.

 

 

16. Superannuation.

 

 

17. Advisory committees.

 

 

18. Consultants and advisers.

 

 

19. Accountability of chief executive to Committee of Public Accounts.

 

 

20. Accountability of chief executive and chairpersons of Authority and statutory committees to other Oireachtas Committees.

 

 

21. Disclosure by members of Authority and statutory committee of certain interests.

 

 

22. Disclosure by staff of Authority of certain interests.

 

 

23. Code of conduct.

 

 

24. Independence.

 

 

25. Objectives of Authority.

 

 

26. Functions of Authority.

 

 

27. Functions of Contract Awards Committee.

 

 

28. Functions of Compliance Committee.

 

 

29. Strategy statements.

 

 

30. Policy communications.

 

 

31. Powers.

 

 

32. Duties of Authority and statutory committees.

 

 

33. Levy.

 

 

34. Exchequer funding.

 

 

35. Borrowings.

 

 

36. Deposits and charges for services.

 

 

37. Accounts and audits.

 

 

38. Reports to Minister.

 

 

PART 3

 

 

Broadcasters � Duties, Codes and Rules

 

 

39. Duties of broadcasters.

 

 

40. Recording of broadcasts.

 

 

41. Advertising.

 

 

42. Broadcasting codes.

 

 

43. Broadcasting rules.

 

 

44. Inspection of draft broadcasting codes and rules.

 

 

45. Presentation of broadcasting codes and rules to Minister.

 

 

46. Co-operation with other parties � standards and self-regulation.

 

 

PART 4

 

 

Redress

 

 

47. Code of practice � complaints handling.

 

 

48. Complaints process.

 

 

49. Right of reply.

 

 

PART 5

 

 

Enforcement

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Compliance with terms of contract

 

 

50. Investigation into affairs of contractor.

 

 

51. Termination or suspension of contract under Part 6 or 8.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

 

Financial Sanctions

 

 

52. Definitions (Chapter 2).

 

 

53. Investigation into affairs of broadcaster.

 

 

54. Report, findings, recommendations and procedures relating to outcome of investigation.

 

 

55. Financial sanctions.

 

 

56. Matters to be considered in determining the amount of financial sanction.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

 

Notifications

 

 

57. Notifications.

 

 

PART 6

 

 

Broadcasting Contracts and Content Provision Contracts � Commercial and Community Broadcasters

 

 

58. Interpretation (Part 6).

 

 

59. Broadcasting licence.

 

 

60. Variation of broadcasting licence.

 

 

61. Emergencies.

 

 

62. Restriction on award of sound broadcasting contract.

 

 

63. Sound broadcasting contracts.

 

 

64. Community sound broadcasting contracts.

 

 

65. Applications for sound broadcasting contracts.

 

 

66. Determination of applications for award of sound broadcasting contracts and television programme service contract.

 

 

67. Fast-track application process for award of sound broadcasting contracts.

 

 

68. Sound broadcasting contracts for temporary or institutional sound broadcasting services.

 

 

69. Terms and conditions of broadcasting contract.

 

 

70. Television programme service contract.

 

 

71. Content provision contracts.

 

 

72. Community content provision contracts.

 

 

73. Assessment of community needs in respect of broadcasting.

 

 

74. Electronic programme guides.

 

 

75. Rules with respect to programme guide contracts.

 

 

76. Transmission of broadcasting services by MMD system.

 

 

77. Must-carry and must-offer obligations.

 

 

78. Offences (Part 6).

 

 

PART 7

 

 

Public Service Broadcasting

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Public Service Broadcasting Corporations � Common Provisions

 

 

79. Bodies corporate.

 

 

80. Seals of corporations.

 

 

81. Appointment of board.

 

 

82. Criteria for board membership.

 

 

83. Appointment of staff member.

 

 

84. Terms and removal.

 

 

85. Chairperson.

 

 

86. Exclusions from board membership.

 

 

87. Duties of board members.

 

 

88. Meetings.

 

 

89. Director general.

 

 

90. Staff.

 

 

91. Superannuation.

 

 

92. Accountability of director general and chairperson to Oireachtas Committees.

 

 

93. Disclosure by members of corporation of certain interests.

 

 

94. Disclosure by staff and contractors for services of certain interests.

 

 

95. Code of conduct.

 

 

96. Audience council.

 

 

97. Advisory committees.

 

 

98. Independence.

 

 

99. Statement of strategy.

 

 

100. Sectoral impact assessments by Authority.

 

 

101. Public service statement.

 

 

102. Annual statement of performance commitments.

 

 

103. Ministerial consent for new services and variations in channels.

 

 

104. Establishment of subsidiaries and joint ventures.

 

 

105. Duty of corporation with respect to its revenue.

 

 

106. Advertisements.

 

 

107. Borrowings.

 

 

108. Transactions between public service and commercial opportunities.

 

 

109. Accounts and audit.

 

 

110. Reports and information.

 

 

111. Access to archives.

 

 

112. Code of fair trading practice.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

 

Provisions specific to RT�

 

 

113. Raidi� Teilif�s �ireann.

 

 

114. Principal objects and associated powers of RT�.

 

 

115. Broadcasting infrastructure.

 

 

116. Independent programme account.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

 

Provisions specific to TG4

 

 

117. Continuance of Teilif�s na Gaeilge.

 

 

118. Principal objects and associated powers of TG4.

 

 

119. Accountability of director general of TG4 to Committee of Public Accounts.

 

 

Chapter 4

 

 

Exchange of Programme Material and Spectrum Licencing

 

 

120. Duty to supply programme material.

 

 

121. Public service broadcasting licence.

 

 

122. Emergencies.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

 

Allocation of Public Funding to RT� and TG4

 

 

123. Allocation of public funding.

 

 

124. Recommendations as to changes to public funding.

 

 

Chapter 6

 

 

Bealach Thithe an Oireachtais and Bealach Scann�n na h�ireann

 

 

125. Bealach Thithe an Oireachtais (Houses of the Oireachtas Channel).

 

 

126. Amendment of Schedule to Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003.

 

 

127. Bealach Scann�n na h�ireann (Irish Film Channel).

 

 

128. Oversight of public funding of Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and Irish Film Channel.

 

 

PART 8

 

 

Digital Broadcasting and Analogue Switch-Off

 

 

129. Definitions (Part 8).

 

 

130. Additional functions of RT�.

 

 

131. Additional functions of Authority.

 

 

132. Duty of Communications Regulator in respect of digital terrestrial television multiplexes.

 

 

133. Duty of Communications Regulator in respect of digital terrestrial sound broadcasting multiplexes.

 

 

134. Amendment of sound broadcasting contracts for listed simulcast services.

 

 

135. Regulations prescribing fees.

 

 

136. Applications for multiplex contracts.

 

 

137. Determination of applications for award of multiplex contracts.

 

 

138. Terms and conditions of multiplex contracts.

 

 

139. Analogue switch-off.

 

 

PART 9

 

 

Television Licence

 

 

140. Definitions (Part 9) � order � �specified place�.

 

 

141. Laying regulations and orders � Part 9.

 

 

142. Restrictions on possession of television set.

 

 

143. Grant of television licences.

 

 

144. Regulations in regard to television licences.

 

 

145. Issue of television licences by agent.

 

 

146. Request to show television licence.

 

 

147. Statutory declaration.

 

 

148. Offences for not having television licence.

 

 

149. Reminder notification and fixed payment notice.

 

 

150. Reminder notification � effective date of television licence and recovery of licence fees.

 

 

151. Prosecution of offences.

 

 

152. Miscellaneous amendments.

 

 

PART 10

 

 

Broadcasting Fund

 

 

153. Definitions (Part 10).

 

 

154. Broadcasting funding scheme.

 

 

155. Objectives of scheme.

 

 

156. Amounts to be paid by Minister to scheme.

 

 

157. Broadcasting fund.

 

 

158. Reviews of scheme.

 

 

159. Winding-up and dissolution of scheme.

 

 

PART 11

 

 

Major Events Television Coverage

 

 

160. Definitions (Part 11).

 

 

161. Application.

 

 

162. Designation of major events.

 

 

163. Consultation.

 

 

164. Broadcasters� duties with respect to designated events.

 

 

165. Broadcasters� duties with respect to Member State events.

 

 

166. Civil remedies.

 

 

167. Reasonable market rates.

 

 

168. Qualifying broadcaster may apply to High Court to obtain rights from event organiser to provide coverage of designated event on free television services in State, etc.

 

 

169. Arbitration in respect of reasonable market rates where event organiser is willing to sell broadcasting rights to designated event to qualifying broadcaster.

 

 

170. Criteria for determining reasonable market rates.

 

 

171. Obligation to give copy of agreement or arrangement to broadcasting rights to Minister.

 

 

172. Service of directions and notification.

 

 

173. Review of designated events.

 

 

PART 12

 

 

Transitional Provisions

 

 

174. Dissolution of BCI and saver.

 

 

175. Dissolution of BCC and saver.

 

 

176. Transitional provisions � BCI.

 

 

177. Transitional provisions � BCC.

 

 

178. Final accounts of BCI.

 

 

179. Continuance of Ministerial consents given in respect of public service broadcasters.

 

 

PART 13

 

 

Wireless Telegraphy

 

 

180. Collective citations � Wireless Telegraphy Acts.

 

 

181. Amendment of Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Acts (increase of fines, etc.).

 

 

182. Matters relating to wireless telegraphy.

 

 

PART 14

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

183. Amendment to definitions in Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000.

 

 

184. Minister�s functions in relation to electronic communications networks and electronic communications services.

 

 

185. Amendment of section 5 of Act of 1998 (advertisement, etc., by Referendum Commission).

 

 

SCHEDULE 1

 

 

Enactments Repealed

 

 

SCHEDULE 2

 

 

Sections 5 to 9 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1926

 

 


 

 

Acts Referred to

 

 

British-Irish Agreement Act 1999

1999, No. 1

Broadcasting (Amendment) Act 2007

2007, No. 15

Broadcasting (Funding) Act 2003

2003, No. 43

Broadcasting (Major Events Television Coverage) (Amendment) Act 2003

2003, No. 13

Broadcasting (Major Events Television Coverage) Act 1999

1999, No. 28

Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1968

1968, No. 35

Broadcasting (Offences) Acts 1968 and 1988

 

Broadcasting Act 1990

1990, No. 24

Broadcasting Act 2001

2001, No. 4

Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Act 1988

1988, No. 19

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1964

1964, No. 4

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1966

1966, No. 7

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1971

1971, No. 2

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1973

1973, No. 1

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1974

1974, No. 33

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1976

1976, No. 37

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1979

1979, No. 36

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act 1993

1993, No. 15

Broadcasting Authority Act 1960

1960, No. 10

Communications Regulation Act 2002

2002, No. 20

Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007

2007, No. 22

Companies Act 1963

1963, No. 33

Companies Act 1990

1990, No. 33

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993

1993, No. 8

Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000

2000, No. 28

Disability Act 2005

2005, No. 14

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995

1995, No. 22

European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993

1993, No. 25

European Parliament Elections Act 1997

1997, No. 2

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003

2003, No. 28

Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003

2003, No. 31

Local Government Act 2001

2001, No. 37

Maritime Safety Act 2005

2005, No. 11

Mercantile Marine Act 1955

1955, No. 29

Police (Property) Act 1897

60 & 61 Vic. c. 30.

Postal and Telecommunications Services Act 1983

1983, No. 24

Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989

1989, No. 19

Radio and Television Act 1988

1988, No. 20

Referendum Act 1998

1998, No. 1

Registration of Clubs (Ireland) Act 1904

4 Edw. 7, c. 9

Road Traffic Act 1961

1961, No. 24

Wireless Telegraphy Act 1926

1926, No. 45

Wireless Telegraphy Act 1972

1972, No. 5

Wireless Telegraphy Acts 1926 to 1988

 

Wireless Telegraph Act 1956

1956, No. 4

 

 

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Number 18 of 2009

 

 


 

 

BROADCASTING ACT 2009

 

 


 

 

AN ACT TO REVISE THE LAW RELATING TO BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CONTENT AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO ESTABLISH AN AUTHORITY TO BE KNOWN AS, IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF IRELAND OR, IN THE IRISH LANGUAGE, �DAR�S CRAOLACH�IN NA h�IREANN, TO DISSOLVE THE BROADCASTING COMMISSION OF IRELAND AND THE BROADCASTING COMPLAINTS COMMISSION, TO AMEND AND REPEAL CERTAIN ENACTMENTS RELATING TO BROADCASTING, TO PROVIDE FOR MATTERS RELATING TO TELEVISION LICENCES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION AND PROVISION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AND TO PROVIDE FOR CONNECTED MATTERS.

 

 

[12th July, 2009]

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

 

 

PART 1

Preliminary and General matters

 

Short title.

1.� This Act may be cited as the Broadcasting Act 2009.

 

Definitions.

2.� In this Act�

 

 

�Act of 1926� means Wireless Telegraphy Act 1926 ;

 

 

�Act of 1972� means Wireless Telegraphy Act 1972 ;

 

 

�Act of 1988� means Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Act 1988 ;

 

 

�Act of 1998� means Referendum Act 1998 ;

 

 

�Act of 2001� means Broadcasting Act 2001 ;

 

 

�Authority� means Broadcasting Authority of Ireland;

 

 

�BCC� means Broadcasting Complaints Commission;

 

 

� BCI � means Broadcasting Commission of Ireland;

 

 

� broadcast � means the transmission, relaying or distribution by electronic communications network of communications, sounds, signs, visual images or signals, intended for direct reception by the general public whether such communications, sounds, signs, visual images or signals are actually received or not;

 

 

� broadcaster � means a person who supplies a compilation of programme material for the purpose of its being transmitted, relayed or distributed as a broadcasting service (whether that person transmits, relays or distributes that material as such a service or not);

 

 

� broadcasting code � means a code prepared under section 42 ;

 

 

� broadcasting contract � means a contract entered into under section 63 , 64 , 68 or 70 ;

 

 

�broadcasting contractor� means a person holding a broadcasting contract;

 

 

�broadcasting rules� means rules prepared under section 43 ;

 

 

broadcasting service� means a service which comprises a compilation of programme material of any description and which is transmitted, relayed or distributed by means of an electronic communications network, directly or indirectly for simultaneous or near-simultaneous reception by the general public, whether that material is actually received or not, and where the programmes are provided in a pre-scheduled and linear order, but does not include:

 

 

(a) a service provided in a non-linear manner where each user of the service chooses a programme from a catalogue of programmes, or

 

 

(b) other audio and audiovisual services provided by way of the Internet;

 

 

� children � means persons under the age of 18 years;

 

 

� Communications Regulator � means Commission for Communications Regulation;

 

 

� communications media � means�

 

 

(a) the provision of a broadcasting service,

 

 

(b) the provision of a broadcasting services platform, or

 

 

(c) the publication of newspapers or periodicals consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs;

 

 

�community broadcaster� means a person holding a contract under sections 64 , 68 (1)(b) or 72 ;

 

 

� community of interest � means a group of persons with a shared interest, association or bond;

 

 

�Compliance Committee� means the committee of the Authority established to undertake the functions set out in section 28 ;

 

 

� content provision contract � has the meaning assigned to it in section 71 ;

 

 

� Contract Awards Committee � means the committee of the Authority established to undertake the functions set out in section 27 ;

 

 

� corporation � means RT� or TG4 or both, as the case may be;

 

 

�Council Directive� means Council Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 1989 1 on the co-ordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities as amended by Directive 97/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 1997 2 and by Directive 2007/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2007 3 ;

 

 

� director general � means a person appointed as the director general of a corporation under section 89 (1);

 

 

� electronic communications network � means transmission systems including, where applicable�

 

 

(a) switching equipment,

 

 

(b) routing equipment, or

 

 

(c) other resources,

 

 

which permit the conveyance of signals by wire, by radio, by optical or by other electromagnetic means, and such conveyance includes the use of�

 

 

(i) satellite networks,

 

 

(ii) electricity cable systems, to the extent that they are used for the purposes of transmitting signals,

 

 

(iii) fixed terrestrial networks (both circuit-switched and packet-switched, including the Internet),

 

 

(iv) mobile terrestrial networks,

 

 

(v) networks used for either or both sound and television broadcasting, and

 

 

(vi) cable television and internet protocol television networks,

 

 

irrespective of the type of information conveyed;

 

 

�EEA Agreement� has the meaning assigned to it in the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993 ;

 

 

�electronic programme guide� has the meaning assigned to it by section 74 ;

 

 

�electronic programme guide contract� has the meaning assigned to it by section 74 ;

 

 

� employment � includes�

 

 

(a) full-time employment,

 

 

(b) part-time paid employment, where such employment is ongoing in the year of appointment or which arises in subsequent years,

 

 

(c) temporary paid employment, being for a period of 16 weeks or more in the year of appointment or in subsequent years, or

 

 

(d) being retained under contract, directly or indirectly, in any capacity as an adviser, consultant or lobbyist, or for the provision of services, by or in any business related to the functions of the public body concerned;

 

 

�establishment day� means the day appointed by the Minister under section 5 to be the establishment day for the purposes of Part 2 , sections 49 , 157 and Part 12 ;

 

 

�excepted person� means a person who is under the jurisdiction of another Member State and, for the purposes of this definition, the Council Directive applies for the purpose of determining the state under the jurisdiction of which the person falls;

 

 

�exploitation of commercial opportunities object� means an activity undertaken by a corporation in pursuance of paragraph (j) of section 114 (1) or paragraph (i) of section 118 (1);

 

 

� free-to-air service � means a broadcasting service for the reception of which no charge is made by the person providing the service;

 

 

� holder � means�

 

 

(a) in relation to a contract entered into under this Act, the person with whom the Authority has entered into the contract,

 

 

(b) in relation to a licence granted under this Act or any other enactment, the person to whom the licence has been granted;

 

 

�holding company� has the same meaning as in the Companies Act 1963 ;

 

 

�interests� includes�

 

 

(a) employment by or on behalf of�

 

 

(i) any business related to the functions of the public body concerned,

 

 

(ii) any organisation representative of any business related to the functions of the public body concerned,

 

 

(b) ownership of any business related to the functions of the public body concerned,

 

 

(c) shares in, bonds or debentures of, or other like investments in any business related to the functions of the public body concerned, where the aggregate of such holdings exceeds �13,000,

 

 

(d) a directorship or shadow directorship (within the meaning of the Companies Acts) in any business related to the functions of the public body concerned, held currently or during the previous two years, or

 

 

(e) gifts of travel, holidays, transport or other benefits (in excess of �650), including benefits from any beneficial interest in or connected with any business related to the functions of the public body concerned, during the previous two years which were received by the person concerned or by his or her spouse;

 

 

� Joint Oireachtas Committee � means a Joint Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas to which those Houses have assigned the role of examining matters relating to broadcasting;

 

 

� local community � means the community of a town or other urban or rural area;

 

 

� media literacy � means to bring about a better public understanding of:

 

 

(a) the nature and characteristics of material published by means of broadcast and related electronic media,

 

 

(b) the processes by which such material is selected, or made available, for publication by broadcast and related electronic media,

 

 

(c) the processes by which individuals and communities can create and publish audio or audio-visual material by means of broadcast and related electronic media, and

 

 

(d) the available systems by which access to material published by means of broadcast and related electronic media is or can be regulated;

 

 

� Member State � includes a state that is a contracting state to the EEA Agreement;

 

 

� Minister � means Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources;

 

 

� MMD system � means a multipoint microwave distribution system used for the transmission of broadcasting services on a point to multipoint basis;

 

 

� multiplex � has the meaning assigned to it by section 129 ;

 

 

� multiplex contractor � means the holder of a contract entered into under section 131 ;

 

 

� multiplex licence � has the meaning assigned to it by section 129 ;

 

 

� national emergency � means an emergency declared under section 10 of the Act of 1926;

 

 

� ownership � includes any proprietary interest in any business related to the functions of the public body concerned, whether that interest is freehold, leasehold or beneficial, and applies where the interest�

 

 

(a) is held solely by the person concerned or shared with one or more persons, and

 

 

(b) has a value of �5,000 or more;

 

 

� programme material � means audio-visual material or audio material and includes advertisements and material which, when transmitted, will constitute a direct offer to the public for the sale or supply to them of goods or other property (whether real or personal) or services;

 

 

� provide a broadcasting service � means to supply a compilation of programme material for the purpose of its being transmitted, relayed or distributed as a broadcasting service;

 

 

� public service broadcaster � means RT�, TG4, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel;

 

 

� public service broadcasting licence � means a licence issued under section 121 ;

 

 

� public service objects � shall mean an activity undertaken by a corporation in pursuance of paragraphs (a) to (i) of section 114 (1) or paragraphs (a) to (h) of section 118 (1);

 

 

�Raidi� Teilif�s �ireann� means the authority established under section 3 of the Broadcasting Authority Act 1960 ;

 

 

� RT� � means Raidi� Teilif�s �ireann;

 

 

� sectoral � means pertaining to the provision of broadcasting and broadcasting related services;

 

 

� sound broadcasting service � means a broadcasting service which transmits, relays or distributes, by wireless telegraphy, communications, sounds, signs or signals intended for direct reception by the general public whether such communications, sounds, signs or signals are actually received or not;

 

 

� statutory committee � means the Contract Awards Committee or the Compliance Committee or both, as the case may be;

 

 

� subscription or pay-per-view basis �, in relation to the making available of a broadcasting service, means any basis for making a charge on a person in respect of the reception by him or her of a broadcasting service, and includes the basis of making such a charge by reference to the number of items of programme material viewed by him or her;

 

 

�subsidiary� has the same meaning as in the Companies Act 1963 ;

 

 

�superannuation benefits� means pensions, gratuities or other allowances payable on resignation, retirement or death;

 

 

�Teilif�s na Gaeilge� means the body established by section 44 of the Act of 2001;

 

 

� TG4 � means Teilif�s na Gaeilge;

 

 

�television programme service� means a service which comprises a compilation of audio-visual programme material of any description and is transmitted, distributed or relayed by means of wireless telegraphy directly or indirectly for reception by the general public;

 

 

�television programme service contract� and �television programme service contractor� have the same meaning as they have in section 70 ;

 

 

� television licence fees � means a fee paid on a licence granted under section 143 in respect of a television set (within the meaning of section 140 );

 

 

�terrestrial means�, in relation to the transmission of a broadcasting service, means any means of transmitting such a service by wireless telegraphy, other than by means of a MMD system or a satellite device and �digital terrestrial means� shall be read accordingly;

 

 

� transmission� includes, in the case of a MMD system, distribution and � transmit� and �re-transmit� shall be read accordingly;

 

 

� website � means a website maintained on the Internet;

 

 

� wireless telegraphy � has the same meaning as in the Act of 1926.

 

Repeals.

3.� The enactments mentioned in Schedule 1 are repealed to the extent specified in the third column of Schedule 1 .

 

Expenses.

4.� The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of monies provided by the Oireachtas.

 

 

PART 2

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

 

Establishment day.

5.� The Minister may by order appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Part, sections 49 , 157 and Part 12 .

 

Establishment of Authority, Contract Awards and Compliance Committees.

6.� There stands established, on the establishment day�

 

 

(a) a body to be known as, in the English language, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, or in the Irish language, �dar�s Craolach�in na h�ireann, to perform the functions conferred on it by this Act, and

 

 

(b) two committees of the Authority to be known as the Contract Awards Committee and the Compliance Committee, to perform the functions conferred on those committees by this Act.

 

Body corporate and seal.

7.� (1) The Authority shall be a body corporate, with perpetual succession and the power to sue and be sued and to acquire, hold and dispose of land and other property.

 

 

(2) The Authority shall, as soon as may be after its establishment, provide itself with a seal.

 

 

(3) The seal of the Authority shall be authenticated by the signature of�

 

 

(a) the chairperson of the Authority or another member of the Authority, or

 

 

(b) a member of the staff of the Authority,

 

 

authorised by the Authority to act in that behalf.

 

 

(4) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of the Authority and every document purporting to be an instrument made by the Authority and to be sealed with the seal of the Authority shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such instrument without further proof unless the contrary is shown.

 

 

(5) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not require to be under seal may be entered into or executed on behalf of the Authority by any person generally or specially authorised by the Authority in that behalf.

 

 

(6) The Contract Awards Committee and Compliance Committee shall perform their functions under the seal of the Authority.

 

Appointment of Authority, Contract Awards Committee and Compliance Committee.

8.� (1) The members of the Authority shall be 9 in number, of which�

 

 

(a) 5 of them shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister, and

 

 

(b) subject to subsection (2), 4 of them shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister.

 

 

(2) Where an appointment is to be made by the Government under subsection (1)(b) or under that paragraph arising from a vacancy referred to in section 10 (11)

 

 

(a) the Minister shall inform the Joint Oireachtas Committee of the proposed appointment,

 

 

(b) the Minister in respect of an appointment under subsection (1) (a) shall provide a statement to the Joint Oireachtas Committee indicating the relevant experience and expertise of the persons or person nominated by the Minister for appointment or appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister, and such other matters as the Minister considers relevant,

 

 

(c) the Joint Oireachtas Committee shall within the period of 90 days of being so informed, advise the Minister of the names of the persons or name of the person it proposes that the Minister should nominate under subsection (1) (b) giving reasons, such as relevant experience and expertise, in relation to the proposed named persons or person,

 

 

(d) the Minister shall have regard to the advice and may accept the proposed named persons or some of them or the named person or decide to nominate as he or she sees fit other persons or another person, and

 

 

(e) inform the Joint Oireachtas Committee of his or her decision.

 

 

(3) Not less than 4 of the members of the Authority shall be men and not less than 4 of them shall be women.

 

 

(4) The members of the Contract Awards Committee shall be 8 in number, of which�

 

 

(a) 4 shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister, and

 

 

(b) 4 shall be appointed by the Authority, being 2 of the members, and 2 of the members of staff, of the Authority.

 

 

(5) The Government and the Authority shall, insofar as is practicable, endeavour to ensure that among the members of the Contract Awards Committee there is an equal balance between men and women.

 

 

(6) The members of the Compliance Committee shall be 8 in number, of which�

 

 

(a) 4 shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister, and

 

 

(b) 4 shall be appointed by the Authority, being 2 of the members, and 2 of the members of staff, of the Authority.

 

 

(7) The Government and the Authority shall, insofar as is practicable, endeavour to ensure that among the members of the Compliance Committee there is an equal balance between men and women.

 

 

(8) The Joint Oireachtas Committee for the purposes of providing advice to the Minister under subsection (2) may establish a panel, for such duration, and consisting of such number of persons as the Joint Oireachtas Committee thinks proper.

 

 

(9) Persons placed on a panel established under subsection (8) shall have experience of or have shown capacity in one or more of the areas stated in section 9 (1) and shall be chosen with a view to representing the public interest in respect of broadcasting matters.

 

 

(10) The Joint Oireachtas Committee shall, insofar as is practicable, endeavour to ensure that among the persons placed on a panel under subsection (8) there is an equal balance between men and women.

 

 

(11) The Joint Oireachtas Committee shall have sole responsibility for the selection and placing of candidates on a panel established under subsection (8).

 

Criteria for membership.

9.� (1) A person shall not be appointed by the Government to be a member of the Authority or a statutory committee unless he or she has had experience of or shown capacity in one or more of the following areas�

 

 

(a) media affairs,

 

 

(b) public service broadcasting, commercial broadcasting or community broadcasting,

 

 

(c) broadcast content production,

 

 

(d) digital media technologies,

 

 

(e) trade union affairs,

 

 

(f) business or commercial affairs,

 

 

(g) matters pertaining to the development of the Irish language,

 

 

(h) matters pertaining to disability,

 

 

(i) arts, music, sport or culture,

 

 

(j) science, technology or environmental matters,

 

 

(k) legal or regulatory affairs, and

 

 

(l) social, educational or community affairs or Gaeltacht affairs.

 

 

(2) Each member of the Authority and a statutory committee shall be appointed for a period not exceeding 5 years and shall represent the public interest in respect of broadcasting matters.

 

 

(3) The Government and the Authority in setting a term of appointment under subsection (2) shall consider the need for continuity of membership of the Authority and a statutory committee.

 

 

(4) A member of the Authority or a statutory committee whose term of office expires by the effluxion of time is eligible for re-appointment.

 

 

(5) A member of the Authority or a statutory committee shall not serve more than 2 consecutive terms of office.

 

 

(6) A member of the Authority or a statutory committee appointed by the Government may at any time resign his or her office by letter addressed to the Government and the resignation shall take effect on the date specified therein or upon receipt of the letter by the Government, whichever is the later.

 

 

(7) A member of the Authority or a member of staff of the Authority who is appointed by the Authority to serve on a statutory committee may at any time resign his or her position on such committee by letter addressed to the chairperson of the Authority and the resignation shall take effect on the date specified therein or upon receipt of the letter by the chairperson of the Authority, whichever is the later.

 

Terms and removal.

10.� (1) There shall be paid to the members of the Authority and a statutory committee appointed by the Government, out of money at the disposal of the Authority such remuneration (if any) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

 

 

(2) There shall be paid to the members of the Authority and a statutory committee, out of money at the disposal of the Authority, such allowances for expenses incurred by them in the performance of their functions as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

 

 

(3) Subject to this Part, a member of the Authority or a statutory committee shall hold office on such terms (other than the payment of remuneration and allowances for expenses) as the Minister determines at the time of his or her appointment.

 

 

(4) The Minister shall cause a statement in writing specifying the expertise or experience, terms of office and remuneration of the members of the Authority and a statutory committee to be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas and published in the Iris Oifigi�il.

 

 

(5) A member of the Authority or a statutory committee may at any time be removed from membership of the Authority or the statutory committee, as the case may be, by the Government if, in the Government�s opinion, the member has become incapable through ill-health of performing his or her functions, or has committed stated misbehaviour, or his or her removal appears to the Government to be necessary for the effective performance by the Authority or the statutory committee, as the case may be, of its functions, and only if, resolutions are passed by each House of the Oireachtas calling for his or her removal.

 

 

(6) A member of the Authority or a statutory committee shall cease to be and shall be disqualified from being a member of the Authority, or the statutory committee where such member�

 

 

(a) is adjudicated a bankrupt,

 

 

(b) makes a composition or arrangement with creditors,

 

 

(c) on conviction on indictment by a court of competent jurisdiction is sentenced to a term of imprisonment,

 

 

(d) is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or

 

 

(e) is disqualified or restricted from being a director of any company.

 

 

(7) A member of staff of the Authority who is appointed by the Authority to serve on a statutory committee shall cease to be a member of the committee on the cessation of his or her contract of service with the Authority.

 

 

(8) Where a member of the Authority or a statutory committee fails�

 

 

(a) for a consecutive period of 6 months, to attend a meeting of the Authority or the statutory committee, as the case may be, unless the member demonstrates to the Minister�s satisfaction that the failure to attend was due to illness,

 

 

(b) to comply with the requirements of section 21 , or

 

 

(c) to make a declaration in accordance with the requirements of section 17 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 ,

 

 

the Minister may, with the consent of the Government, by order remove the member from membership of the Authority or the statutory committee, as the case may be.

 

 

(9) (a) An order made under subsection (8) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it is made.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, within 21 sitting days after the day on which an order was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), pass a resolution annulling the order.

 

 

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of an order takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned, but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

 

 

(10) If a member (other than a member referred to in subsection (11)) of the Authority, or a statutory committee appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office or for any other reason ceases to be a member of the Authority, or the statutory committee, as the case may be, the Government on the nomination of the Minister, may appoint a person to be a member of the Authority or a statutory committee to fill the casual vacancy so occasioned and the person so appointed shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term of membership of, and in the same manner as, the member of the Authority or the statutory committee, as the case may be, appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister who occasioned the casual vacancy.

 

 

(11) If a member of the Authority appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister under paragraph (b) of section 8 (1), dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office or for any other reason ceases to be a member of the Authority, the Government on the nomination of the Minister, the Minister having regard to the advice of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, may appoint a person to be a member of the Authority to fill the casual vacancy so occasioned and the person so appointed shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term of membership of, and in the same manner as, the member of the Authority appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister under paragraph (b) of section 8 (1) who occasioned the casual vacancy.

 

 

(12) If a member of a statutory committee appointed by the Authority dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office or for any other reason ceases to be a member of the committee, the Authority may appoint one of its members or a member of staff of the Authority to be a member of the committee to fill the casual vacancy so occasioned and the person so appointed shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term of membership of, and in the same manner as, the member of the committee appointed by the Authority who occasioned the casual vacancy.

 

Chairperson of Authority or statutory committee.

11.� (1) The Government shall from time to time as occasion requires appoint, on the nomination of the Minister�

 

 

(a) a member of the Authority to be the chairperson of it,

 

 

(b) a member of the Contract Awards Committee appointed by the Government under section 8 (4) (a) to be chairperson of it, and

 

 

(c) a member of the Compliance Committee appointed by the Government under section 8 (6) (a) to be chairperson of it.

 

 

(2) A chairperson shall, unless he or she sooner dies, resigns the office of chairperson or ceases to be chairperson under subsection (4), hold office until the expiration of his or her period of office as a member of the Authority or statutory committee, as the case may be.

 

 

(3) A chairperson may at any time resign his or her office as chairperson by letter sent to the Government and the resignation shall, unless it is previously withdrawn in writing, take effect at the commencement of the meeting of the Authority or statutory committee, as the case may be, held next after the body has been informed by the Government of the resignation.

 

 

(4) Where a chairperson ceases during his or her term of office as chairperson to be a member of the Authority or statutory committee, as the case may be, he or she shall also cease to be chairperson of the body.

 

 

(5) In this section � chairperson � means chairperson of the Authority or a statutory committee, as the case may be.

 

Exclusions from membership of Authority or statutory committee.

12.� (1) Where a member of the Authority or a statutory committee is nominated as a candidate for election to the European Parliament, or to either House of the Oireachtas, he or she shall thereupon stand suspended from membership of the Authority or the statutory committee, as the case may be, and shall not be entitled to participate in meetings of the Authority or the statutory committee or receive from the Authority any remuneration or allowances in respect of the period commencing on such nomination and ending when such person is so regarded as not having been elected as the case may be.

 

 

(2) Where a member of the Authority or a statutory committee is�

 

 

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad �ireann,

 

 

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament, or

 

 

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament to fill a vacancy,

 

 

he or she shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Authority or the statutory committee, as the case may be.

 

 

(3) Where the person who is the chief executive officer or a member of the staff of the Authority is�

 

 

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad �ireann,

 

 

(b) nominated as a candidate for election to either House of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament, or

 

 

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament to fill a vacancy,

 

 

he or she shall thereupon stand seconded from employment by the Authority and shall not be paid by, or be entitled to receive from, the Authority any remuneration or allowances in respect of the period commencing on such nomination or election, or when he or she is so regarded as having been elected as the case may be, and ending when such person ceases to be a member of either such House or that Parliament.

 

 

(4) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament, shall, while so entitled or such a member, be disqualified from becoming a member of the Authority or a statutory committee or the chief executive officer or a member of the staff of the Authority.

 

 

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3), that subsection shall be read as prohibiting, inter alia, the reckoning of a period mentioned in that subsection as service with the Authority for the purposes of any superannuation benefits.

 

 

(6) A person who holds employment or an interest in a broadcasting undertaking, including but not limited to a public service broadcaster, or an undertaking holding a contract under this Act shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the Authority or a statutory committee.

 

 

(7) A person who holds an interest in an undertaking which publishes a newspaper in the State shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the Authority or a statutory committee.

 

 

(8) A person who holds membership of the Contract Awards Committee shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the Compliance Committee.

 

 

(9) A person who holds membership of the Compliance Committee shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the Contract Awards Committee.

 

Meetings of Authority or statutory committee.

13.� (1) The Authority and a statutory committee shall hold such and so many meetings as may be necessary for the due performance of their functions.

 

 

(2) The Minister may fix the date, time and place of the first meeting of the Authority and a statutory committee.

 

 

(3) Subject to this Part, the Authority and a statutory committee shall regulate their procedure and practice by rules made under this section.

 

 

(4) Any rules made under this section shall be published on a website on the Internet to be maintained by the Authority.

 

 

(5) At a meeting of the Authority or a statutory committee�

 

 

(a) the chairperson of the Authority or the committee, as the case may be, shall, if present, be chairperson of the meeting, and

 

 

(b) if and so long as the chairperson is not present or the office of chairperson is vacant, the members of the Authority or the committee, as the case may be, who are present shall choose one of their number to be the chairperson of the meeting.

 

 

(6) At a meeting of the Authority or a statutory committee, each member of the Authority or the committee, as the case may be, present, including the chairperson, shall have a vote and any question on which a vote is required in order to establish the Authority�s or committee�s view shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members of the Authority or statutory committee, as the case may be, present when the vote is called and voting on the question and, in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairperson of the meeting shall have a second and casting vote.

 

 

(7) The quorum for a meeting of the Authority shall be 5.

 

 

(8) The quorum for a meeting of the Contract Awards Committee shall be 5 of which 2 shall be members appointed by the Government under section 8 (4) (a).

 

 

(9) The quorum for a meeting of the Compliance Committee shall be 5 of which 2 shall be members appointed by the Government under section 8 (6) (a).

 

 

(10) The Authority or a statutory committee may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies among its members.

 

 

(11) Subject to any rule made under subsection (3), meetings of the Authority or a statutory committee shall be capable of being held by telephone or other suitable electronic means whereby all the members of the Authority or the relevant statutory committee can hear and be heard.

 

Chief executive officer of Authority.

14.� (1) There shall be a chief executive officer of the Authority (� chief executive�).

 

 

(2) The chief executive shall perform his or her functions subject to such policies as may be determined from time to time by the Authority and shall be accountable to the Authority for the efficient and effective management of the administration of the Authority, Contract Awards Committee and Compliance Committee and for the due performance of his or her functions.

 

 

(3) The chief executive may delegate his or her functions to a member of staff of the Authority, subject to such conditions as the chief executive considers appropriate, unless they are delegated to the chief executive subject to the condition that they shall not be sub-delegated, and the member of staff concerned shall be accountable to the chief executive for the performance of the functions so delegated to him or her.

 

 

(4) Notwithstanding any delegation under subsection (3) the chief executive shall at all times remain accountable to the Authority for the performance of the functions so delegated.

 

 

(5) The chief executive of the Authority shall hold office for such period and on such terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to remuneration and allowances for expenses) as may be determined by the Authority, with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

 

 

(6) The chief executive shall be appointed, by means of a public competition, by the Authority with the consent of the Minister.

 

 

(7) The Minister may appoint the chief executive of the BCI to be the interim chief executive of the Authority.

 

 

(8) Subject to subsection (10), the interim chief executive of the Authority shall hold office for such period (which period shall not in any case exceed one year after the establishment of the Authority) and on such terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to remuneration and allowances for expenses) as may be determined by the Minister.

 

 

(9) Where an interim chief executive appointed under subsection (7) ceases to hold office for any reason (other than under subsection (10)) before the expiration of the period of his or her appointment, the Minister may appoint a person who shall be known as the interim chief executive who shall hold office for such period (which period shall not in any case exceed the remainder of the term of office of the person who occasioned the vacancy he or she is appointed to fill) and on such terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to remuneration and allowances for expenses) as may be determined by the Minister.

 

 

(10) When a chief executive is appointed under subsection (6) or (12) the interim chief executive of the Authority shall cease to hold office.

 

 

(11) Until the appointment to the Authority of a chief executive under subsection (6) or (12), the interim chief executive of the Authority shall perform all of the functions of a chief executive under this Act.

 

 

(12) Notwithstanding subsection (6) the Authority may with the consent of the Minister appoint, without selection by means of a public competition, a person who immediately before the establishment day, was chief executive of the BCI, to be the first chief executive of the Authority.

 

 

(13) The chief executive shall not hold any other office or employment or carry on any other business without the consent of the Authority.

 

 

(14) The chief executive shall furnish the Authority with such information (including financial information) in relation to the performance of his or her functions as the Authority may from time to time require.

 

 

(15) The functions of the chief executive may be performed in his or her absence or when the position of chief executive is vacant by such member of the staff of the Authority as may, from time to time, be designated for that purpose by the Authority.

 

 

(16) The chief executive may be removed from office by the Authority with the consent of the Minister for stated reasons.

 

Staff.

15.� (1) The Authority shall, as well as appointing the chief executive, appoint such and so many other persons to be members of the staff of the Authority as the Authority from time to time thinks proper, subject to the prior consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

 

 

(2) A person shall not be appointed under this section to be a member of the staff of the Authority unless he or she has been selected by means of a public competition.

 

 

(3) The requirement under subsection (2) of being selected by means of a public competition does not apply in relation to:

 

 

(a) a person who, immediately before the establishment day, was a member of staff of the BCI,

 

 

(b) an appointment consisting of the promotion of a person who is already a member of staff of the Authority,

 

 

(c) an office for which, in the opinion of the Authority, specialised qualifications not commonly held are required, or

 

 

(d) an office to which appointments are made for limited periods only, being periods not exceeding 2 years.

 

 

(4) A member of staff of the Authority shall hold his or her office or employment on such terms and conditions as the Authority from time to time determines, subject to the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

 

 

(5) The Authority may perform any of its functions through or by any of its members of staff duly authorised by the Authority in that behalf.

 

 

(6) The Authority shall accept into its employment, on the establishment day in accordance with this section, every person who immediately before the establishment day is a member of staff of the BCI.

 

 

(7) Save in accordance with a collective agreement negotiated with any recognised trade union or staff association concerned, a member of staff of the BCI who is transferred on the establishment day to the Authority shall not, while in the service of the Authority, receive a lesser scale of pay or be subject to less beneficial conditions of service than the scale of pay to which he or she was entitled and the conditions of service to which he or she was subject immediately before the establishment day.

 

 

(8) Until such time as the scales of pay and conditions of service of members of staff so transferred are varied by the Authority, following consultation with recognised trade unions or staff associations, the scales of pay to which they were entitled and the conditions of service, restrictions, requirements and obligations to which they were subject before their transfer shall continue to apply to them and may be exercised or imposed by the Authority or the chief executive, of the Authority as the case may be, while they are in its service. As provided in subsection (7), no such variation shall operate to worsen the scales of pay and conditions of service applicable to such members of staff immediately before the establishment day, save in accordance with a collective agreement negotiated with any recognised trade union or staff association concerned.

 

 

(9) The conditions in regard to tenure of office which are granted by the Authority in relation to a member of staff so transferred shall not, while he or she is in the service of the Authority, be less favourable to him or her than those prevailing on establishment day in the BCI. Any alteration in the conditions in regard to tenure of office of any such member shall not be less favourable to him or her than the prevailing conditions in the BCI at the time of such alteration, save in accordance with a collective agreement negotiated with any recognised trade union or staff association concerned. If a dispute arises between the Authority and any such member of staff as to conditions prevailing in the BCI on the establishment day, the matter shall be determined by the Minister for Finance.

 

Superannuation.

16.� (1) As soon as may be after the establishment day, the Authority, with the consent of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Finance, shall make a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of the members of staff, including the chief executive, of the Authority.

 

 

(2) A superannuation scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement of all persons to or in respect of whom superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme or schemes and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

 

 

(3) The Authority may, with the consent of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Finance, make a scheme amending or revoking a superannuation scheme including a scheme under this subsection.

 

 

(4) A superannuation scheme submitted by the Authority shall, if approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be carried out by the Authority in accordance with its terms.

 

 

(5) Each superannuation scheme shall include a provision for appeals from a decision relating to a superannuation benefit under the scheme.

 

 

(6) No superannuation benefits shall be granted by the Authority to or in respect of a person on ceasing to be chief executive or a member of the staff of the Authority otherwise than�

 

 

(a) in accordance with a superannuation scheme or schemes, or

 

 

(b) with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

 

 

(7) Every superannuation scheme shall provide for not less favourable conditions in respect of persons who, immediately before establishment day, were members of staff of the BCI than those to which they were entitled immediately before establishment day.

 

 

(8) Disbursement of superannuation benefits which may be granted to or in respect of persons who, immediately before the establishment day, were members of staff of the BCI shall not be on less favourable conditions than would apply if the benefits referred to had continued to be paid out of monies provided by the BCI.

 

 

(9) Where a superannuation benefit falls due for payment to or in respect of a person to whom subsection (7) applies in the period beginning on the establishment day and ending immediately before the coming into operation of a scheme submitted by the Authority and approved of under this section, the allowance shall be calculated and paid by the Authority in accordance with such superannuation arrangements or such enactments in relation to superannuation, as applied to such person immediately before the establishment day and, for that purpose, his or her pensionable service with the Authority shall be aggregated with his or her previous pensionable service.

 

 

(10) (a) A superannuation scheme shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a scheme was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), annul the scheme.

 

 

(c) The annulment of a scheme under paragraph (b) takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the scheme before the passing of the resolution.

 

Advisory committees.

17.� (1) The Authority may establish advisory committees to advise and assist it or a statutory committee in the performance of its functions.

 

 

(2) Where advisory committees include members other than members of the Authority or a statutory committee or staff of the Authority, such members may be paid such remuneration (if any) and allowances for expenses as the Authority considers reasonable, subject to the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

 

 

(3) The Authority may regulate the procedure of its advisory committees, but subject to such regulation, an advisory committee may regulate its own procedure.

 

 

(4) The Authority or a statutory committee and the chief executive shall have regard to, but shall not be bound by, the advice of any advisory committee under this section.

 

Consultants and advisers.

18.� (1) The Authority may from time to time engage such consultants or advisers as it or a statutory committee may consider necessary for the performance of the functions of the Authority or a statutory committee, and any fees due to a consultant or adviser engaged under this section shall be paid by the Authority out of monies at its disposal.

 

 

(2) The Authority or a statutory committee and the chief executive shall have regard to, but shall not be bound by, the advice of any consultant or adviser under this section.

 

Accountability of chief executive to Committee of Public Accounts.

19.� (1) The chief executive shall, whenever he or she is required to do so by a Committee of D�il �ireann established under the Standing Orders of D�il �ireann to examine and report to D�il �ireann on the appropriation accounts and the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, give evidence to that Committee on�

 

 

(a) the regularity and propriety of the transactions recorded or required to be recorded in any book or other record of account subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General which the Authority is required by or under statute to prepare,

 

 

(b) the economy and efficiency of the Authority in the use of its resources,

 

 

(c) the systems, procedures and practices employed by the Authority for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of its operations,

 

 

(d) any matter affecting the Authority referred to in a special report of the Comptroller and Auditor General under section 11 (2) of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 or in any other report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (in so far as it relates to a matter specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)) that is laid before D�il �ireann, and

 

 

(e) all matters pertaining to the expenditure by the Authority of monies received under section 34 .

 

 

(2) The chief executive, if required under subsection (1) to give evidence, shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of any policy of the Government or a Minister of the Government or on the merits of the objectives of such a policy.

 

Accountability of chief executive and chairpersons of Authority and statutory committees to other Oireachtas Committees.

20.� (1) In this section � Committee � means a Committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the Committee on Members� Interests of D�il �ireann or the Committee on Members� Interests of Seanad �ireann) or a subcommittee of such a Committee.

 

 

(2) Subject to subsection (4), the chief executive shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to give account for the general administration of the Authority and a statutory committee.

 

 

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the chairperson of the Authority or a statutory committee shall at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee.

 

 

(4) The chief executive or chairperson shall not be required to give account before, or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee to, a Committee for any matter which is or has been or may at a future time be the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

 

 

(5) Where the chief executive or chairperson is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which the chief executive or chairperson is requested to give an account before, or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee to, a Committee is a matter to which subsection (4) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at a time when the chief executive or chairperson is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

 

 

(6) Where the chief executive or chairperson has informed a Committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (5) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion�

 

 

(a) the chief executive or chairperson may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the Committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (4) applies, or

 

 

(b) the chairperson of the Committee may, on behalf of the Committee, make such an application,

 

 

and the High Court may determine the matter.

 

 

(7) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (6), the chief executive or chairperson shall not attend before the Committee to give account for or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee in respect of the matter the subject of the application.

 

 

(8) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (4) applies, the Committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3), but if the High Court determines that subsection (4) does not apply, the chief executive or chairperson shall attend before the Committee to give account for or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee in respect of the matter.

 

Disclosure by members of Authority and statutory committee of certain interests.

21.� (1) A member of the Authority or a statutory committee who has�

 

 

(a) any interest in any body or concern with which the Authority has made a contract or proposes to make a contract, or

 

 

(b) any interest in any contract which the Authority has made or proposes to make,

 

 

shall disclose to the Authority or the committee the fact of such interest and the nature of it and shall not be present at any deliberation or decision of the Authority or the committee relating to the contract.

 

 

(2) Where at a meeting of the Authority or a statutory committee, any of the following matters arise, namely�

 

 

(a) an arrangement to which the Authority or the committee is a party or a proposed such arrangement, or

 

 

(b) a contract or other agreement with the Authority or a proposed such contract or other agreement,

 

 

then, any member of the Authority or a statutory committee present at the meeting who otherwise than in his or her capacity as such a member has an interest in the matter shall�

 

 

(i) at the meeting disclose to the Authority or the committee the fact of such interest and the nature of it,

 

 

(ii) neither influence nor seek to influence a decision to be made in relation to the matter,

 

 

(iii) absent himself or herself from the meeting or that part of the meeting during which the matter is discussed,

 

 

(iv) take no part in any deliberation of the Authority or the committee relating to the matter, and

 

 

(v) not vote on a decision relating to the matter.

 

 

(3) Where an interest is disclosed under this section, the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned and, for so long as the matter to which the disclosure relates is being considered or discussed by the meeting, the member by whom the disclosure is made shall not be counted in the quorum for the meeting.

 

 

(4) Where at a meeting of the Authority or a statutory committee a question arises as to whether or not a course of conduct, if pursued by a member of the Authority, or a statutory committee of the Authority, would constitute a failure by him or her to comply with the requirements of subsections (1) or (2), the question may be determined by the Authority or the committee, whose decision shall be final, and where such a question is so determined, particulars of the determination shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

 

 

(5) For the purposes of this section and section 22 a person shall not be regarded as having an interest in any matter by reason only of an interest of that person, or of any company in which he or she has an interest, which is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence a person in considering, discussing or in voting on, any question relating to the matter, or in performing any function in relation to that matter.

 

Disclosure by staff of Authority of certain interests.

22.� (1) Where a member of the staff of the Authority or a consultant or adviser engaged under section 18 , in a category specified before engagement by the Authority, has an interest, otherwise than in his or her capacity as such, in any contract, or any proposed contract to which the Authority is or is proposed to be a party, or in any agreement or arrangement or proposed agreement or arrangement to which the Authority or a statutory committee is or is proposed to be a party, that person�

 

 

(a) shall disclose to the Authority his or her interest and the nature of it,

 

 

(b) shall take no part in the negotiation of the contract, agreement or arrangement or in any deliberation by members of the Authority or the committee or members of the staff of the Authority in relation to it,

 

 

(c) shall not influence or seek to influence a decision to be made in the matter, and

 

 

(d) shall not make any recommendation in relation to the contract, agreement or arrangement.

 

 

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person as regards a contract or proposed contract of employment of that person as a member of the staff of the Authority.

 

 

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person as regards a contract or proposed contract for services in respect of that person.

 

 

(4) In this section �member of staff� includes the chief executive officer.

 

 

(5) Where a person to whom subsection (1) applies fails to comply with a requirement of this section, the Authority shall decide the appropriate action (including removal from office or termination of contract) to be taken.

 

Code of conduct.

23.� (1) The Authority shall, as soon as may be, draw up and adopt a code of conduct in respect of controls on interests and ethical behaviour to apply to each member of the Authority, a statutory committee, an advisory committee and each member of the staff of the Authority.

 

 

(2) The Authority shall, as soon as may be, draw up a code of conduct in respect of controls on interests and ethical behaviour to apply to such categories of contractors for services as the Authority may specify before engagement.

 

 

(3) The Authority shall publish on a website maintained by the Authority any code of conduct drawn up under subsections (1) and (2).

 

Independence.

24.� Subject to this Act, the Authority and each statutory committee shall be independent in the performance of their functions.

 

Objectives of Authority.

25.� (1) The Authority and the statutory committees, in performing their functions, shall endeavour to ensure�

 

 

(a) that the number and categories of broadcasting services made available in the State by virtue of this Act best serve the needs of the people of the island of Ireland, bearing in mind their languages and traditions and their religious, ethical and cultural diversity,

 

 

(b) that the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution, especially those relating to rightful liberty of expression, are upheld, and

 

 

(c) the provision of open and pluralistic broadcasting services.

 

 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Authority, and the statutory committees, shall�

 

 

(a) stimulate the provision of high quality, diverse and innovative programming by commercial, community and public service broadcasters and independent producers,

 

 

(b) facilitate public service broadcasters in the fulfilment of their public service objects as set out in this Act,

 

 

(c) promote diversity in control of the more influential commercial and community broadcasting services,

 

 

(d) provide a regulatory environment that will sustain independent and impartial journalism,

 

 

(e) provide a regulatory environment that will sustain compliance with applicable employment law,

 

 

(f) protect the interests of children taking into account the vulnerability of children and childhood to undue commercial exploitation,

 

 

(g) provide a regulatory environment that will facilitate the development of a broadcasting sector in Ireland that is responsive to audience needs and in particular is accessible to people with disabilities, and

 

 

(h) promote and stimulate the development of Irish language programming and broadcasting services.

 

 

(3) The Authority and the statutory committees, in performing their functions, shall seek to ensure that measures taken�

 

 

(a) are proportionate having regard to the objectives set out in this section,

 

 

(b) are applied across the range of broadcasting services taking account of the degree of influence that the different types of broadcasting services are able to exert in shaping audience views in the State,

 

 

(c) are mindful of the objects, functions and duties set for public service broadcasters in Parts 7 and 8,

 

 

(d) will produce regulatory arrangements that are stable and predictable, and

 

 

(e) will readily accommodate and encourage technological development, and its application, by the broadcasting sector.

 

Functions of Authority.

26.� (1) The principal functions of the Authority are to�

 

 

(a) prepare a strategy for the provision of broadcasting services in the State additional to those provided by RT�, TG4, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel,

 

 

(b) prepare a statement under section 29 (1),

 

 

(c) liaise and consult with the Communications Regulator in the preparation of the allocation plan for the frequency range dedicated to sound and television broadcasting,

 

 

(d) make a levy order under section 33 (1),

 

 

(e) prepare or make broadcasting codes and rules,

 

 

(f) prepare a scheme for the exercise of the right of reply,

 

 

(g) direct the Contract Awards Committee to make arrangements, in accordance with Parts 6 and 8, to invite, consider and recommend to the Authority, and the Authority shall follow such recommendation, proposals for the provision of�

 

 

(i) broadcasting services additional to any broadcasting services provided by RT�, TG4, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel under Part 7 , and

 

 

(ii) multiplex services additional to any multiplex services provided by RT� under Parts 7 and 8,

 

 

(h) prepare rules and enter into contracts in respect of electronic programme guides,

 

 

(i) determine disputes arising under section 76 (2) and section 77 (5),

 

 

(j) make a report to the Minister under section 77 (15),

 

 

(k) consult with the Minister under sections 101 (3), 102 (3), 103 (4), 104 (1), (2) and (3), 106 (3), 107 (3), 111 (4), 112 (2), (7) and (11), 116 (5), 127 (6), 130 (1) and 130 (12),

 

 

(l) prepare and issue guidance to RT� and TG4 as to the fulfilment of their obligations under sections 109 (11) and 112 (2),

 

 

(m) undertake a review under section 124 (2) and (8) and section 128 (3),

 

 

(n) make a recommendation under section 124 (5) and (12),

 

 

(o) make a request under section 115 , section 130 (10), section 132 (3) or section 133 (3) or (4),

 

 

(p) make a report to the Minister under section 139 (1) in respect of preparedness for analogue switch-off,

 

 

(q) provide information to the public on the availability of services by means of television multiplexes, and

 

 

(r) prepare and implement schemes for the granting of funds under Part 10 .

 

 

(2) The Authority has the following ancillary functions�

 

 

(a) to collect and disseminate information on the broadcasting sector in the State,

 

 

(b) to monitor developments in broadcasting internationally,

 

 

(c) to initiate, organise, facilitate and promote research relating to broadcasting matters,

 

 

(d) to collect and disseminate information in relation to the skills requirements of the broadcasting sector,

 

 

(e) to co-operate with other bodies, including representative bodies within the broadcasting sector, to promote training activities in areas of skill shortages in the broadcasting sector,

 

 

(f) to co-operate with other bodies outside the State which perform similar functions to the Authority, and

 

 

(g) to undertake, encourage and foster research, measures and activities which are directed towards the promotion of media literacy, including co-operation with broadcasters, educationalists and other relevant persons.

 

 

(3) In fulfilling its function under subsection (1) (a) the Authority shall consider the needs of community broadcasters in respect of digital broadcasting.

 

 

(4) For the purposes of the independent discharge of their functions and duties as set out in this Part, the Authority or a statutory committee may enter into agreements with one another.

 

 

(5) The Minister may confer on the Authority by order such other additional functions in relation to broadcasting services as he or she may from time to time consider necessary.

 

 

(6) (a) An order made under subsection (5) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it is made.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, within 21 sitting days after the day on which an order was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), pass a resolution annulling the order.

 

 

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of an order takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned, but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

 

Functions of Contract Awards Committee.

27.� The principal functions of the Contract Awards Committee, at the direction of the Authority, are to make arrangements in accordance with Parts 6 and 8, to invite, consider and recommend to the Authority, and the Authority shall follow such recommendation, proposals for the provision of�

 

 

(a) broadcasting services additional to any broadcasting services provided by RT�, TG4, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel under Part 7 , and

 

 

(b) multiplex services additional to any multiplex services provided by RT� under Parts 7 and 8.

 

Functions of Compliance Committee.

28.� (1) The principal functions of the Compliance Committee are to�

 

 

(a) monitor compliance by contractors with the terms and conditions of any contract entered into by the Authority on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee under this Act,

 

 

(b) enforce the terms and conditions of any contract entered into by the Authority on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee under this Act,

 

 

(c) monitor compliance by�

 

 

(i) broadcasters with sections 39 , 40 and 41 ,

 

 

(ii) RT� and TG4 with section 106 (3), and

 

 

(iii) the Irish Film Channel with section 127 (6),

 

 

(d) enforce compliance by�

 

 

(i) broadcasters with sections 39 , 40 and 41 ,

 

 

(ii) RT� and TG4 with section 106 (3), and

 

 

(iii) the Irish Film Channel with section 127 (6),

 

 

(e) monitor compliance by broadcasters with any broadcasting code or rule,

 

 

(f) enforce compliance by broadcasters with any broadcasting code or rule,

 

 

(g) investigate and decide upon a complaint made under section 48 , and

 

 

(h) investigate and decide upon a request made under section 49 .

 

 

(2) The Compliance Committee has the following additional functions�

 

 

(a) at the request of the Minister, to report on compliance by a corporation under sections 108 (3), 109 (13), 111 (11), and 112 (10),

 

 

(b) at the request of the Minister, to report on the proportion of the television programme service of a broadcaster which is�

 

 

(i) produced in the State or in another Member State, and

 

 

(ii) devoted to original programme material produced therein by persons other than the broadcaster, his or her subsidiary, his or her parent or existing broadcasting organisations.

 

 

(3) The Compliance Committee may delegate some of its functions to a member of staff of the Authority, who is not a member of the Compliance Committee, subject to such conditions as the Compliance Committee considers appropriate and the member of staff concerned shall be accountable to the Compliance Committee for the performance of the functions so delegated to him or her.

 

 

(4) The Compliance Committee may delegate some of its functions to a subcommittee of the Compliance Committee, subject to such conditions as the Compliance Committee considers appropriate.

 

 

(5) The Compliance Committee shall review on an ongoing basis the extent to which the television broadcasts of broadcasters under the jurisdiction of another Member State which are wholly or mainly directed towards audiences in the State comply with broadcasting codes, in particular the codes referred to in section 42 (2) (g) and (h).

 

 

(6) The Compliance Committee shall each year make a report to the Minister in respect of the matters in subsection (5).

 

 

(7) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report referred to in subsection (6) to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

 

Strategy statements.

29.� (1) The Authority shall draw up and adopt a statement of strategy (� strategy statement �) reflecting the statutory functions of the Authority, the Contract Awards Committee and the Compliance Committee.

 

 

(2) A strategy statement shall�

 

 

(a) comprise the key objectives, outputs and related strategies, including use of resources,

 

 

(b) be prepared in a form and manner in accordance with any directions issued from time to time by the Minister,

 

 

(c) have regard to the need to ensure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of resources,

 

 

(d) except for the first strategy statement, include a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the statement during the preceding 3 year period,

 

 

(e) be adopted within 12 months of the establishment day and every 3 years thereafter,

 

 

(f) consider any policy communication under section 30 , and

 

 

(g) include the Authority�s plans as to the number, nature and scope of contracts that it proposes to enter into on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee during the period covered by the statement.

 

 

(3) The Authority shall present a copy of the strategy statement to the Minister and to such committees of either or both Houses of the Oireachtas as the Minister may, from time to time, direct.

 

 

(4) The Authority shall consult with the members of the Contract Awards Committee and the Compliance Committee in drawing up a strategy statement under subsection (1).

 

 

(5) Prior to the adoption of a strategy statement and its presentation to the Minister, the Authority shall undertake a public consultation process on a draft of the strategy statement.

 

Policy communications.

30.� (1) In the interests of the proper and effective regulation of the broadcasting sector and the formulation of policy applicable to such proper and effective regulation, the Minister may issue such policy communications to the Authority as he or she considers appropriate to be followed by the Authority in the performance of its functions. The Authority in performing its functions, shall have regard to any such communications.

 

 

(2) Before issuing a communication, the Minister shall give to the Authority and publish a draft of the proposed communication and�

 

 

(a) give the reasons for it, and

 

 

(b) specify the period (being not less than 21 days from the date of giving it to the Authority or such publication, whichever is the later) within which representations relating to the proposal may be made by interested parties.

 

 

(3) The Minister, having considered any representations made under subsection (2), may issue the communication with or without amendment.

 

 

(4) Where the Minister proposes to prepare a communication which, in the opinion of the Minister, has or may relate to the functions of another Minister of the Government, the Minister shall not issue to the Authority or publish a draft of the proposal under subsection (2) without prior consultation with that other Minister of the Government.

 

 

(5) The Minister shall not issue a communication in respect of the performance of the functions of the Authority in respect of individual undertakings or persons.

 

 

(6) The Minister shall not issue a communication under subsection (1) in respect of the performance of the functions of the Contract Awards Committee or the Compliance Committee.

 

 

(7) A communication shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

 

 

(8) In this section � communication � means a policy communication under this section.

 

Powers.

31.� (1) The Authority and a statutory committee shall have all the powers necessary, incidental or conducive to their functions.

 

 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Authority shall have power necessary, incidental or conducive to its functions�

 

 

(a) to make contracts, agreements and arrangements,

 

 

(b) to require contractors to enter into financial bonds with the Authority on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee,

 

 

(c) to acquire and make use of copyrights, patents, licences, privileges and concessions,

 

 

(d) to compile, prepare, publish and distribute, with or without charge, printed, audio and audio-visual material,

 

 

(e) subject to the consent of the Minister, to arrange for the provision of broadcasting and related services for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government, and

 

 

(f) to undertake, sponsor or commission research.

 

 

(3) The Authority may invest any of its funds in any manner in which a trustee is empowered by law to invest trust funds.

 

Duties of Authority and statutory committees.

32.� (1) In this section � commercially sensitive information � means�

 

 

(a) financial, commercial, technical or other information whose disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in a material financial loss or gain to the party to which it relates, or could prejudice the competitive position of that party in the conduct of its business, or

 

 

(b) information whose disclosure could prejudice the conduct or outcome of contractual or other negotiations of the party to which it relates.

 

 

(2) It is the duty of the Authority to so conduct its affairs as to secure that its revenue becomes as soon as possible, and thereafter continues to be, at least sufficient to meet its expenses.

 

 

(3) The Authority and its statutory committees shall have a duty to keep the performance of their functions under review with a view to securing that regulation by the Authority and its statutory committees does not involve�

 

 

(a) the imposition of administrative burdens which are unnecessary, or

 

 

(b) the maintenance of administrative burdens which have become unnecessary.

 

 

(4) In reviewing its duty under subsection (3) the Authority and its statutory committees shall, from time to time, publish a statement setting out how they propose, during the period for which the statement is made, to ensure that regulation by the Authority and the statutory committees does not involve the imposition or maintenance of unnecessary administrative burdens.

 

 

(5) The first statement to be published under this section must be published within a period of 2 years after the establishment day and shall be for a period of 3 years.

 

 

(6) A subsequent statement�

 

 

(a) must be published during the period to which the previous statement related, and

 

 

(b) must be a statement for the period of 3 years beginning with the end of the previous period.

 

 

(7) It is the duty of the Authority and the statutory committees in performing their functions at times during a period for which a statement is in force under this section, to have regard to that statement.

 

 

(8) The Authority or a statutory committee may, if they think fit, revise a statement under this section at any time before or during the period for which it is made.

 

 

(9) Where the Authority or a statutory committee revise a statement, they must publish the revision as soon as practicable.

 

 

(10) The Authority shall not disclose commercially sensitive information obtained from a corporation or the holder of a contract under Part 6 or 8 in pursuance of the Authority�s functions under this Act.

 

 

(11) The Authority is not contravening subsection (10) if the disclosure�

 

 

(a) is made with the consent of the corporation or the holder of a contract under Part 6 or 8 to which it relates, or

 

 

(b) is required by law.

 

Levy.

33.� (1) For the purpose of meeting expenses properly incurred by the Authority, the Contract Awards Committee and the Compliance Committee in the performance of their functions, the Authority shall make an order imposing a levy on public service broadcasters and broadcasting contractors.

 

 

(2) Whenever a levy order is made there shall be paid to the Authority by public service broadcasters and each broadcasting contractor such amount as shall be appropriate having regard to the terms of the levy order.

 

 

(3) The Authority may make separate levy orders for public service, commercial and community broadcasters and for particular classes of broadcasting contractors.

 

 

(4) A levy order shall provide for the collection, payment and administration of a levy, including all or any of the following�

 

 

(a) the method of calculation of the levy,

 

 

(b) the times at which payment will be made and the form of payment,

 

 

(c) the keeping, inspection and provision of records relating to the levy, and

 

 

(d) any exemptions, deferrals or refunds of the levy.

 

 

(5) Any surplus of levy income over the expenses incurred by the Authority in the discharge of its functions relevant to that levy in a particular financial year shall either�

 

 

(a) be retained by the Authority to be offset against levy obligations for the subsequent year, or

 

 

(b) be refunded proportionately to the providers of broadcasting services on whom the levy is imposed.

 

 

(6) The Authority may recover as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction a levy from any person by whom it is payable.

 

 

(7) (a) A levy order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Authority as soon as may be after it is made.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a levy order was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), pass a resolution annulling the order.

 

 

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of a levy order takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

 

 

(8) In this section � levy order � means an order imposing a levy under subsection (1).

 

Exchequer funding.

34.� (1) Where in the opinion of the Minister an expense incurred by the Authority in performing its functions is of an exceptional nature, the Minister, after consultation with the Authority and with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time pay to the Authority such an amount as he or she determines to be reasonable for the purposes of defraying expenses incurred by the Authority and its statutory committees in performing their functions under this Act.

 

 

(2) The Minister, with the approval of the Minister for Finance, may pay to the Authority such amount as he or she considers reasonable in respect of the expenses of the Authority and its statutory committees for the one year period from the establishment day.

 

Borrowings.

35.� (1) The Authority may, with the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of the Minister for Finance, borrow temporarily such sums as it may require for the purpose of providing for current expenditure.

 

 

(2) The Authority may, with the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of the Minister for Finance, borrow money by means of the creation of stock or other forms of security to be issued, transferred, dealt with and redeemed in such manner and on such terms and conditions as the Authority, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may determine.

 

 

(3) The borrowing powers conferred by subsection (2) on the Authority may, subject to the consent of the Minister, be exercised for any purpose arising in connection with the performance of its functions, but there may be attached to a consent to borrow the condition that the monies shall be utilised only for the purpose of a programme of capital works approved by the Minister.

 

 

(4) The terms upon which monies are borrowed under subsection (2) may include provisions charging the monies and interest thereon upon all property of whatsoever kind for the time being vested in the Authority or upon any particular property of the Authority and provisions establishing the priority of such charges amongst themselves.

 

Deposits and charges for services.

36.� (1) A deposit may be payable by a person, of such an amount as the Contract Awards Committee considers reasonable, in respect of an application made by the person to the Contract Awards Committee for the entry into, by the Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, with the person, of a broadcasting contract.

 

 

(2) The Authority may make a charge for services or facilities provided by it.

 

 

(3) Any surplus of income over the expenses incurred by the Authority in respect of subsection (2) in a particular financial year shall be applied in such manner as the Minister, after consultation with the Authority and with the approval of the Minister for Finance, may direct, and any such direction may require that all, or part as may be specified in the direction, of such excess be paid into the Central Fund.

 

 

(4) The Authority may recover as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction from the person by whom it is payable any amount due and owing to it under this section.

 

Accounts and audits.

37.� (1) The chief executive, following the agreement of the Authority, shall not later than 30 September in each year, submit estimates of income and expenditure to the Minister in respect of the subsequent three financial years, in such form as may be required by the Minister, and shall furnish to the Minister any information which the Minister may require in relation to such estimates, including proposals and future plans relating to the performance by the Authority, the Contract Awards Committee and the Compliance Committee of their functions, as required.

 

 

(2) The chief executive, under the direction of the Authority, shall cause to be kept, on a continuous basis, all proper books and records of account of all income and expenditure of the Authority, and of the sources of such income and the subject matter of such expenditure, and of the property, assets and liabilities of the Authority and shall keep and shall account to the Authority for all such special accounts required by Part 10 , and as the Authority, with the consent of the Minister, or the Minister may from time to time direct should be kept.

 

 

(3) (a) The Authority, the chief executive and any relevant member of the staff of the Authority shall, whenever so requested by the Minister, permit any person appointed by the Minister to examine the books or other records of account of the Authority in respect of any financial year or other period and shall facilitate any such examination.

 

 

(b) In this subsection �relevant member of the staff of the Authority� means a member of the staff of the Authority in respect of whom there have been duly assigned duties which relate to the books or other records of account referred to in paragraph (a).

 

 

(4) The accounts of the Authority for each financial year shall be kept in such a form and manner as may be specified by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance and be prepared by the chief executive and approved by the Authority as soon as practicable but not later than 3 months after the end of the financial year to which they relate for submission to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit.

 

 

(5) A copy of the accounts referred to in subsection (4) and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon shall, immediately after the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General, be presented to the members of the Authority and to the Minister as soon as may be but not later than 6 months after the end of the financial year to which they relate and the Minister shall cause a copy of these documents to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

 

 

(6) The financial year of the Authority shall be the period of 12 months ending on 31 December in any year, and for the purposes of this section the period commencing on the establishment day and ending on the following 31 December is deemed to be a financial year.

 

 

(7) The Authority shall publish, with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance, on a website maintained by the Authority, such estimates of income and expenditure as are required to be prepared under subsection (1) or a summary of them.

 

Reports to Minister.

38.� (1) The Authority shall, not later than 30 June in each year, make a report to the Minister (in this section referred to as an �annual report�) in such form as the Minister may approve, on the performance of its functions and on its activities, during the preceding year. The Minister shall cause copies of each annual report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

 

 

(2) An annual report shall include details of any scheme approved under Part 10 .

 

 

(3) An annual report shall include a report to the Minister by each statutory committee in such form as the Minister may approve, on the performance of its functions and on its activities, during the preceding year.

 

 

(4) An annual report shall include a report to the Minister on progress made towards increasing accessibility of broadcasting services to people with disabilities, and in particular, on progress made to achieve the targets set out in any broadcasting rules.

 

 

(5) An annual report shall include a report to the Minister in respect of contracts entered into by the Authority under section 67 and any consequent strategy the Authority proposes to adopt to encourage competition in respect of the award of sound broadcasting contracts, excluding contracts entered into under sections 64 and 68 .

 

 

(6) An annual report shall include a report to the Minister of the attendance of members of the Authority and each statutory committee at their meetings during the preceding year.

 

 

(7) An annual report shall include information in such form and regarding such matters as the Minister may direct.

 

 

(8) The Authority and each statutory committee may, from time to time, make such other reports to the Minister relating to their functions as they think fit or as the Minister may require.

 

 

(9) In addition to information provided by the Authority in its annual report and in any reports made under subsection (8), the Authority and each statutory committee shall supply to the Minister such information as the Minister may from time to time require regarding the performance of their functions.

 

 

PART 3

Broadcasters � Duties, Codes and Rules

 

Duties of broadcasters.

39.� (1) Every broadcaster shall ensure that�

 

 

(a) all news broadcast by the broadcaster is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster�s own views,

 

 

(b) the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of his or her own views, except that should it prove impracticable in relation to a single broadcast to apply this paragraph, two or more related broadcasts may be considered as a whole, if the broadcasts are transmitted within a reasonable period of each other,

 

 

(c) in the case of sound broadcasters a minimum of�

 

 

(i) not less than 20 per cent of the broadcasting time, and

 

 

(ii) if the broadcasting service is provided for more than 12 hours in any one day, two hours of broadcasting time between 07.00 hours and 19.00 hours,

 

 

is devoted to the broadcasting of news and current affairs programmes, unless a derogation from this requirement is authorised by the Authority under subsection (3),

 

 

(d) anything which may reasonably be regarded as causing harm or offence, or as being likely to promote, or incite to, crime or as tending to undermine the authority of the State, is not broadcast by the broadcaster, and

 

 

(e) in programmes broadcast by the broadcaster, and in the means employed to make such programmes, the privacy of any individual is not unreasonably encroached upon.

 

 

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) (a) or (b) prevents a broadcaster from transmitting party political broadcasts provided that a broadcaster does not, in the allocation of time for such broadcasts, give an unfair preference to any political party.

 

 

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(c), the Authority may authorise a derogation from the requirement in question in whole or in part in the case of a sound broadcasting service but only if it is satisfied that the authorisation of such a derogation would be beneficial to the listeners of the sound broadcasting service.

 

 

(4) The sound broadcasting services established and maintained by RT� are deemed to be one sound broadcasting service for the purposes of subsection (1)(c).

 

 

(5) A broadcaster shall ensure that the broadcast treatment of any proposal, being a proposal concerning policy as regards broadcasting, which is of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, which is being considered by the Government or the Minister, shall be reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner.

 

 

(6) Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1), in so far as they require the broadcaster not to express his or her own views, do not apply to any broadcast made under subsection (5).

 

Recording of broadcasts.

40.� (1) A broadcaster, by means of its own facilities and in a manner approved of for the purposes of this section by the Compliance Committee, shall record every broadcast made by the broadcaster or every item of programme material supplied by him or her under a broadcasting contract or a content provision contract.

 

 

(2) Recordings made in compliance with subsection (1), shall be retained by the broadcaster for such period as stands determined by the Compliance Committee for the purposes of this section.

 

 

(3) When a complaint is being investigated by the Compliance Committee under section 48 , the recording of a broadcast to which the complaint relates, together with the recording, made and being retained under this section, of any other broadcast which in the opinion of the Compliance Committee is relevant to that broadcast, shall be supplied by the broadcaster to the Compliance Committee on a request made by the Compliance Committee at any time during such period.

 

 

(4) The making or retaining of a recording in compliance with subsection (1) is not a contravention of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 .

 

Advertising.

41.� (1) A programme broadcast in a broadcasting service may include advertisements inserted in it.

 

 

(2) The total daily times for broadcasting advertisements in a sound broadcasting service must not exceed a maximum of 15 per cent of the total daily broadcasting time and the maximum time to be given to advertisements in any hour shall not exceed a maximum of 10 minutes.

 

 

(3) A broadcaster shall not broadcast an advertisement which is directed towards a political end or which has any relation to an industrial dispute.

 

 

(4) A broadcaster shall not broadcast an advertisement which addresses the issue of the merits or otherwise of adhering to any religious faith or belief or of becoming a member of any religion or religious organisation.

 

 

(5) Nothing in subsection (3) is to be read as preventing the broadcasting of a party political broadcast provided that a broadcaster does not, in the allocation of time for such broadcasts, give an unfair preference to any political party.

 

 

(6) Subsection (3) does not apply to advertisements broadcast at the request of the Referendum Commission in relation to a matter referred to in section 3 of the Act of 1998 concerning a referendum.

 

 

(7) In this section, references to advertisements shall be read as including references to advertising matter contained in sponsored programmes, that is to say, in programmes supplied for advertising purposes by or on behalf of an advertiser.

 

Broadcasting codes.

42.� (1) The Authority shall prepare, and from time to time as occasion requires, revise, in accordance with this section, a code or codes governing standards and practice (� broadcasting code �) to be observed by broadcasters.

 

 

(2) Broadcasting codes shall provide�

 

 

(a) that all news broadcast by a broadcaster is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster�s own views,

 

 

(b) that the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster�s own views,

 

 

(c) that anything being likely to promote, or incite to, crime, or as tending to undermine the authority of the State, is not broadcast by a broadcaster,

 

 

(d) that in programmes broadcast by a broadcaster, and in the means employed to make such programmes, the privacy of any individual is not unreasonably encroached upon,

 

 

(e) that a broadcaster does not, in the allocation of time for transmitting party political broadcasts, give an unfair preference to any political party,

 

 

(f) that in respect of programme material broadcast by a broadcaster that audiences are protected from harmful or offensive material, in particular, that programme material in respect of the portrayal of violence and sexual conduct, shall be presented by a broadcaster�

 

 

(i) with due sensitivity to the convictions or feelings of the audience, and

 

 

(ii) with due regard to the impact of such programming on the physical, mental or moral development of children,

 

 

(g) that advertising, teleshopping material, sponsorship and other forms of commercial promotion employed in any broadcasting service, in particular advertising and other such activities which relate to matters likely to be of direct or indirect interest to children, protect the interests of children having particular regard to the general public health interests of children,

 

 

(h) that advertising, teleshopping material, sponsorship and other forms of commercial promotion employed in any broadcasting service, other than advertising and other activities as aforesaid falling within paragraph (g), protect the interests of the audience,

 

 

(i) that the provision of a broadcasting service which has, as one of its principal objectives, the promotion of the interests of any organisation, protects the interests of the audience, and

 

 

(j) for the matters required to be provided for by Chapters IIA, IV and V of the Council Directive.

 

 

(3) In preparing or revising a broadcasting code, the Authority shall have regard to each of the following matters�

 

 

(a) the degree of harm or offence likely to be caused by the inclusion of any particular sort of material in programmes generally, or in programmes of a particular description,

 

 

(b) the likely size and composition of the potential audience for programmes included in television and sound broadcasting services generally, or in television and sound broadcasting services of a particular description,

 

 

(c) the likely expectation of the audience as to the nature of a programme�s content and the extent to which the nature of a programme�s content can be brought to the attention of potential members of the audience,

 

 

(d) the likelihood of persons who are unaware of the nature of a programme�s content being unintentionally exposed, by their own actions, to that content,

 

 

(e) the desirability of securing that the content of a broadcasting service identifies when there is a change affecting the nature of the service that is being watched or listened to and, in particular, a change that is relevant to the application of the codes set under this section, and

 

 

(f) the desirability of maintaining the independence of editorial control over programme content.

 

 

(4) A broadcasting code prepared by the Authority under subsection (2)(g) may prohibit the advertising in a broadcasting service of a particular class or classes of foods and beverages considered by the Authority to be the subject of public concern in respect of the general public health interests of children, in particular those which contain fat, trans-fatty acids, salts or sugars.

 

 

(5) In preparing a broadcasting code under subsection (2) (g) the Authority may consult with the relevant public health authorities.

 

 

(6) Whenever the Authority prepares or revises a broadcasting code relating to the matter in question every broadcaster shall comply with such broadcasting code and any revision of it.

 

 

(7) A copy of any broadcasting code shall be presented to the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

 

 

(8) In this section and section 43 �teleshopping material� means material which, when transmitted, will constitute a direct offer to the public for the sale or supply to them of goods or other property (whether real or personal) or services.

 

 

(9) The following codes prepared under section 19 of the Act of 2001, namely�

 

 

(a) the Code of Programme Standards (10 April 2007),

 

 

(b) the Children�s Advertising Code (1 January 2005), and

 

 

(c) the Advertising Code (10 April 2007),

 

 

if in force on the passing of this Act, continue in force as if made under the corresponding provision of this section and have effect accordingly.

 

Broadcasting rules.

43.� (1) The Authority shall, subject to the requirements of section 41 (2) and, in accordance with subsection (4), prepare, and from time to time as occasion requires, revise rules (� broadcasting rules �) with respect to�

 

 

(a) the total daily times that shall be allowed for the transmission of advertisements and teleshopping material on a broadcasting service, in respect of a contract under Part 6 ,

 

 

(b) the maximum period that shall be allowed in any given hour for the transmission of advertisements and teleshopping material (within the meaning of section 42 (8)) on such a broadcasting service, and the Authority may make different such rules with respect to different classes of broadcasting service,

 

 

(c) the specific steps each broadcaster is required to take to promote the understanding and enjoyment by�

 

 

(i) persons who are deaf or have a hearing impairment,

 

 

(ii) persons who are blind or partially sighted, and

 

 

(iii) persons who have a hearing impairment and are partially sighted,

 

 

of programmes transmitted on any broadcasting service provided by the broadcaster.

 

 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1)(c), broadcasting rules with respect to that paragraph shall require each broadcaster of audio-visual material to take specified steps to provide access to that material by persons who are deaf or have a hearing impairment, persons who are blind or partially sighted, and persons who have a hearing impairment and are partially sighted by means of specified services such as�

 

 

(a) sign language,

 

 

(b) teletext services,

 

 

(c) subtitling, and audio description, and

 

 

(d) have regard to whether the foregoing material is being provided�

 

 

(i) daily or at other regular intervals,

 

 

(ii) at popular viewing times as well as at other times, and

 

 

(iii) for news and news-related matters as well as for other matters.

 

 

(3) Rules under subsection (1)(c) may, in respect of any period specified in them beginning on or after the passing of this Act, require a broadcaster to ensure that a specified percentage of programmes transmitted on a broadcasting service provided by him or her in that period employs specified means by which the understanding and enjoyment by persons referred to in subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of that paragraph of that percentage of programmes may be promoted.

 

 

(4) Broadcasting rules shall provide for the matters required to be provided for by Chapters IIA, IV and V of the Council Directive.

 

 

(5) Whenever the Authority prepares or revises a broadcasting rule relating to the matter in question every broadcaster shall comply as required with such rule and any revision of it.

 

 

(6) The Authority shall every two years, or such lesser period as it may decide, review a broadcasting rule made under subsection (1)(c).

 

 

(7) In carrying out a review under subsection (6) the Authority shall consider the quality of services provided by broadcasters in endeavouring to comply with a broadcasting rule made under subsection (1)(c).

 

 

(8) The following rules namely�

 

 

(a) Access Rules (1 January 2005) prepared under section 19 of the Act of 2001, and

 

 

(b) rules with respect to the maximum daily and hourly limits on advertising and teleshopping continued under section 19 of the Act of 2001,

 

 

if in force on the passing of this Act, continue in force as if made under the corresponding provision of this section and have effect accordingly.

 

Inspection of draft broadcasting codes and rules.

44.� (1) Before preparing a broadcasting code or making a broadcasting rule, the Authority shall make available for inspection on request by any person a draft of the broadcasting code it proposes to prepare or the broadcasting rule it proposes to make and shall have regard to any submissions made to it, within such period as it specifies for the purpose, by that person in relation to the draft before it prepares the broadcasting code or makes the broadcasting rule concerned.

 

 

(2) The Authority shall cause to be published on a website maintained by the Authority, and may cause to be published in a newspaper circulating in the State, notice of the fact that, under subsection (1), a draft referred to in that subsection is available for inspection, of the place at which or the means by which the draft can be inspected and of the period specified by it under that subsection within which submissions may be made to it in relation to the draft.

 

Presentation of broadcasting codes and rules to Minister.

45.� (1) A copy of any broadcasting code or rule shall be presented to the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

 

 

(2) (a) The Minister shall, as soon as may be after the receipt by him or her of a copy of any broadcasting code or rule made, cause copies of it to be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a broadcasting code or rule was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), annul the code or rule.

 

 

(c) The annulment of a broadcasting code or rule under paragraph (b) takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the code or rule before the passing of the resolution.

 

 

(3) Subject to the requirements of section 43 (6) the Authority shall, once in each period of 4 years, beginning with the period of 4 years commencing on the date of the preparation of the broadcasting code or rule, review the effect of the broadcasting code or rule, and shall prepare a report in relation to that review and furnish the report to the Minister.

 

 

(4) The Minister shall, as soon as may be after the receipt by him or her of the report, cause copies of it to be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.

 

Co-operation with other parties � standards and self-regulation.

46.� (1) In this section �self-regulatory system� means a system whereby the members of a group of persons with a shared interest voluntarily adhere to rules or code of conduct established by that group.

 

 

(2) The Authority may co-operate with or give assistance to one or more persons (whether residing or having their principal place of business in the State or elsewhere) in�

 

 

(a) the preparation by that person or those persons of standards, or

 

 

(b) the establishment and administration by that person or those persons of a self-regulatory system,

 

 

in respect of broadcasting content or related electronic media.

 

 

PART 4

Redress

 

Code of practice � complaints handling.

47.� (1) A broadcaster shall give due and adequate consideration to a complaint on one or more of the grounds specified in section 48 (1), made in writing by a person in respect of the broadcasting service provided by the broadcaster which, in the opinion of the broadcaster, has been made in good faith and is not of a frivolous or vexatious nature.

 

 

(2) A complaint under subsection (1) shall be made to the broadcaster not more than 30 days after�

 

 

(a) in case the complaint relates to one broadcast, the date of the broadcast,

 

 

(b) in the case of 2 or more unrelated broadcasts, the date of the earlier or earliest, as the case may be, of those broadcasts, or

 

 

(c) in case the complaint relates to 2 or more related broadcasts of which at least 2 are made on different dates, the later or latest of those dates.

 

 

(3) A broadcaster shall prepare and implement a code of practice for the handling of complaints made under subsection (1). The code of practice shall make provision for the following matters�

 

 

(a) an initial point of contact for complainants, including an electronic-mail address,

 

 

(b) a time period within which the broadcaster shall respond to complaints, and

 

 

(c) the procedures to be followed by the broadcaster in the resolution of complaints.

 

 

(4) A broadcaster shall publish on a website maintained by the broadcaster, and generally make available, a copy of the code of practice prepared under subsection (3).

 

 

(5) The Compliance Committee may prepare and publish guidance for broadcasters for the purposes of ensuring compliance with subsection (3).

 

 

(6) A broadcaster shall supply the information required under subsection (3) to the Compliance Committee who shall cause such information to be published on a website maintained by the Authority.

 

 

(7) A broadcaster shall keep a record of complaints made under subsection (1) and of any reply made thereto for a period of 2 years from the date of receipt of the complaint.

 

 

(8) A broadcaster shall, if directed by the Compliance Committee, make available for inspection by the Compliance Committee all records kept by the broadcaster under subsection (7).

 

Complaints process.

48.� (1) Subject to this section, the Compliance Committee may investigate and decide upon any of the following complaints�

 

 

(a) a complaint that in broadcasting news given by it and specified in the complaint, a broadcaster did not comply with one or more of the requirements of section 39 (1)(a) and (b),

 

 

(b) a complaint that in broadcasting a programme specified in the complaint, a broadcaster either did not comply with one or more of these requirements or was in breach of the prohibition contained in section 39 (1)(d),

 

 

(c) a complaint that on an occasion specified in the complaint, there was an encroachment by a broadcaster contrary to section 39 (1) (e),

 

 

(d) a complaint that on an occasion specified in the complaint, a broadcaster failed to comply with a provision of a broadcasting code providing for the matters referred to in section 42 (2)(a) to (d) and section 42 (2)(f), (g) and (h).

 

 

(2) A complaint under subsection (1) shall be in writing and be made to the Compliance Committee not more than 30 days after�

 

 

(a) in case the complaint relates to one broadcast, the date of the broadcast,

 

 

(b) in the case of 2 or more unrelated broadcasts, the date of the earlier or earliest, as the case may be, of those broadcasts, or

 

 

(c) in case the complaint relates to 2 or more related broadcasts of which at least 2 are made on different dates, the later or latest of those dates.

 

 

(3) The Compliance Committee may, at their discretion, refer the complaint in the first instance to the broadcaster, for consideration in accordance with a code of practice prepared under section 47 (3).

 

 

(4) Where the Compliance Committee proposes to investigate a complaint made under this section the Committee shall afford to the broadcaster to whom the complaint relates (hereafter in this section referred to as the �broadcaster concerned�) 7 days or such further period as the Committee allows to comment on the complaint.

 

 

(5) Where a complaint is made to the Compliance Committee under subsection (1) and�

 

 

(a) a person employed by the broadcaster concerned in the making of any programme the subject of the complaint, or

 

 

(b) if the making of any programme the subject of the complaint was commissioned by the broadcaster concerned, the person commissioned to make that programme,

 

 

requests, for reasons specified by him or her, the Compliance Committee to afford to him or her an opportunity to comment on the complaint, the Compliance Committee shall, having considered the reasons so specified, afford to the person 7 days or such further period as the Committee allows to comment on the complaint if, but only if, they are satisfied that, as appropriate�

 

 

(i) an interest of the person referred to in paragraph (a), being an interest which the Compliance Committee consider relevant to the person�s employment by the broadcaster concerned, or

 

 

(ii) the prospects of the person referred to in paragraph (b) obtaining further commissions in respect of programmes from the broadcaster concerned,

 

 

may, because of the complaint, be adversely affected.

 

 

(6) When the Compliance Committee proposes to consider a complaint that a broadcaster failed to comply with the provision of a broadcasting code providing for the matters referred to in section 42 (2) (g) or (h) the Compliance Committee shall afford the relevant advertiser 7 days or such further period as the Committee allows to comment on the relevant advertisement.

 

 

(7) As soon as may be after they decide on a complaint made under this section, the Compliance Committee shall send to�

 

 

(a) the person who made the complaint, and

 

 

(b) the broadcaster concerned,

 

 

a statement in writing of their decision, including the reasons for their decision.

 

 

(8) In case the Compliance Committee decide on a complaint that a broadcaster failed to comply with the provision of a broadcasting code providing for the matters referred to in section 42 (2)(g) or (h), as soon as may be after their decision, the Compliance Committee shall (in addition to complying with the requirements of subsection (7)) send to the person with whom the broadcaster concerned agreed to broadcast the relevant advertisement (if he or she is not the person who made the complaint) a statement in writing of their decision.

 

 

(9) The consideration by the Compliance Committee of a complaint made to them under this section may be carried out by the Compliance Committee in private.

 

 

(10) Unless they consider it inappropriate to do so, the Compliance Committee shall, as soon as may be after the making of the decision, publish particulars of their decision on a complaint in such manner as they consider suitable and, without prejudice to subsection (11), where they consider that the publication should be by the broadcaster concerned, or should include publication by the broadcaster concerned, the particulars shall be published by the broadcaster concerned in such manner as shall be agreed between the Compliance Committee and the broadcaster concerned.

 

 

(11) Without prejudice to subsection (10), the broadcaster concerned shall, unless the Compliance Committee consider it inappropriate for the broadcaster to do so, broadcast the Compliance Committee�s decision on every complaint considered by the Compliance Committee in which the Compliance Committee found in favour, in whole or in part, of the person who made the complaint, within 21 days of such decision and at a time and in a manner corresponding to that in which the broadcast to which the complaint relates took place.

 

 

(12) As regards proceedings under this section, the Compliance Committee does not have any power to award to any party costs or expenses.

 

 

(13) Subsection (1) does not apply to a complaint which, in the opinion of the Compliance Committee, is not made in good faith or is frivolous or vexatious, nor, unless the Compliance Committee consider that there are special reasons for investigating the complaint (which reasons shall be stated by the Compliance Committee when giving their decision), does that subsection apply to a complaint which is withdrawn.

 

 

(14) Where a matter has been the subject of multiple complaints made under�

 

 

(a) this section, or

 

 

(b) in respect of a broadcast transmitted from another jurisdiction targeted at audiences in the State,

 

 

the Compliance Committee may review the matter concerned and, as it considers appropriate, report to the Minister and to the relevant public body in such form and manner as the Committee thinks fit the findings arising out of such review.

 

 

(15) The Compliance Committee shall endeavour to decide upon a complaint as soon as practicable after such a complaint is received.

 

 

(16) The Compliance Committee may, where it deems it appropriate, hold an oral hearing in respect of proceedings under this section.

 

 

(17) The Compliance Committee may deem a complaint made to a broadcaster within the time periods specified in section 47 (2) as having been made within the time periods specified in subsection (2).

 

Right of reply.

49.� (1) In this section�

 

 

�requester� means a person who makes a request under subsection (6);

 

 

�right of reply� means the broadcast by a broadcaster of a statement prepared in accordance with a scheme;

 

 

�scheme� means a scheme under subsection (3).

 

 

(2) Subject to this section, any person whose honour or reputation has been impugned by an assertion of incorrect facts or information in a broadcast shall have a right of reply.

 

 

(3) The Authority shall prepare, within 6 months of the establishment day, following a period of public consultation, a scheme for the exercise of the right of reply.

 

 

(4) A scheme shall set out the procedures to be followed in the exercise of the right of reply.

 

 

(5) In preparing a scheme the Authority shall ensure that�

 

 

(a) a right of reply shall be broadcast�

 

 

(i) within a reasonable time period subsequent to the request for a right of reply being made, and

 

 

(ii) at a time and in a manner appropriate to the broadcast to which the request refers, and

 

 

(b) a right of reply shall�

 

 

(i) state to what extent the information contained in the broadcast under subsection (2) is incorrect or misleading, and

 

 

(ii) be limited to factual assertions necessary to rectify an incomplete or otherwise distorting assertion.

 

 

(6) A person who wishes to exercise a right of reply in accordance with a scheme shall make a request in writing addressed to the broadcaster concerned�

 

 

(a) stating that the request is made under this section,

 

 

(b) containing sufficient particulars to enable the identification by the taking of reasonable steps of the part of the broadcast which asserted incorrect facts impugning the honour or reputation of the requester, and

 

 

(c) if the requester requires the right of reply to be given in a particular form or manner (being a form or manner which is in accordance with the terms of any scheme) specifying the form or manner of the right of reply.

 

 

(7) A request for a right of reply shall be made not later than 21 days after the making of the broadcast referred to in the request, unless otherwise agreed between the requester and the broadcaster concerned.

 

 

(8) The broadcaster shall, as soon as may be but not later than 10 days after the receipt of a request under subsection (6)

 

 

(a) decide whether to grant or refuse the request, and

 

 

(b) cause notice in writing of the decision to be given to the requester.

 

 

(9) Where notice of a decision under subsection (8) is not given to the requester by the expiration of the period specified for that purpose a decision refusing to grant the request under subsection (6) shall be deemed to have been made upon such expiration by the broadcaster concerned.

 

 

(10) A broadcaster shall give due and adequate consideration to any request under subsection (6), which in the opinion of the broadcaster has been made in good faith and is not of a frivolous or vexatious nature, by a member of the public in respect of the broadcasting service provided by the broadcaster and shall keep due and proper records for a period of 2 years of all such requests and of any reply made to them or of any action taken on foot of them.

 

 

(11) A broadcaster shall, if directed by the Compliance Committee, make available for inspection by the Compliance Committee all records kept by him or her under subsection (10).

 

 

(12) No charge shall be made for the processing of a request under subsection (6) by a broadcaster.

 

 

(13) In a defamation action the granting of a request for a right of reply under this section by a defendant in respect of a statement to which the action relates�

 

 

(a) does not constitute an express or implied admission of liability by that defendant, and

 

 

(b) is not relevant to the determination of liability in the action.

 

 

(14) In a defamation action the defendant may give evidence in mitigation of damage, that he or she granted or offered to grant a right of reply under this section to the plaintiff in respect of the statement to which the action relates, either�

 

 

(a) before the bringing of the action, or

 

 

(b) as soon as practicable thereafter, in circumstances where the action was commenced before there was an opportunity to grant or offer to grant a right of reply.

 

 

(15) In a defamation action, a defendant who intends to give evidence to which subsection (14) applies shall, at the time of the filing or delivery of the defence to the action, notify the plaintiff in writing of his or her intention to give such evidence.

 

 

(16) Evidence of the granting of a right of reply under this section by a broadcaster in respect of a statement to which the action relates is not admissible in any civil proceedings as evidence of liability of the defendant.

 

 

(17) Subject to this section, the Compliance Committee, on application to them in that behalf, in writing, by a requester, shall endeavor to within 21 days after the receipt of such an application, review a decision to refuse by a broadcaster under subsection (8) or (9) and as they consider appropriate�

 

 

(a) affirm the decision, or

 

 

(b) annul the decision and require the broadcaster concerned to broadcast the Compliance Committee�s decision including any correction of inaccurate facts or information relating to the individual concerned within 7 days of such decision being communicated to the broadcaster and at a time and in a manner corresponding to that in which the broadcast to which the request relates took place,

 

 

in accordance with this section.

 

 

(18) An application under subsection (17) shall be made to the Compliance Committee not more than 21 days after receipt of a decision to refuse under subsection (8) or (9).

 

 

(19) Where the Compliance Committee propose to investigate an application made under subsection (17), the Compliance Committee shall afford to the broadcaster to whom the application relates (hereafter in this section referred to as the �broadcaster concerned�) an opportunity to comment on the application.

 

 

(20) As soon as may be after they decide on an application made under subsection (17), the Compliance Committee shall send to�

 

 

(a) the person who made the application, and

 

 

(b) the broadcaster concerned,

 

 

a statement in writing of their decision, including the reasons for their decision.

 

 

(21) The Compliance Committee may reject any request for a right of reply where it is of the opinion inter alia that�

 

 

(a) the request is of a frivolous or vexatious nature or was not made in good faith,

 

 

(b) a right of reply is manifestly unnecessary owing to the minor significance of the error in the broadcast complained of,

 

 

(c) the proposed right of reply cites untrue information or assertions,

 

 

(d) the proposed right of reply is a personal opinion,

 

 

(e) the proposed right of reply is an assessment or warning against the future conduct of a person,

 

 

(f) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would involve a punishable act,

 

 

(g) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would be harmful or offensive,

 

 

(h) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would render the broadcaster liable to civil law proceedings,

 

 

(i) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would breach a broadcaster�s statutory obligation,

 

 

(j) satisfaction of the proposed right of reply would breach the terms of a broadcaster�s contract under Part 6 with the Authority,

 

 

(k) the person who was injured by the contested information has no legally justifiable actual interest in the publication of a right of reply,

 

 

(l) the original broadcast also contained a statement from the person affected and such contents are equivalent to a right of reply,

 

 

(m) an equivalent editorial correction has been made and the person affected informed,

 

 

(n) the content of the proposed right of reply would violate the rights of a third party,

 

 

(o) the matter concerned relates to reports on public sessions of the Houses of the Oireachtas or the Courts,

 

 

(p) the matter concerned relates to a party political broadcast,

 

 

(q) the matter concerned relates to a broadcast under section 3 of the Act of 1998,

 

 

(r) the broadcast of a right of reply is not in the public interest, or

 

 

(s) the application was not made within the period specified in subsection (18).

 

 

(22) Where the Compliance Committee finds that the broadcaster has failed to comply with a decision under subsection (17) the Compliance Committee shall notify the broadcaster of those findings and give the broadcaster an opportunity to make representations in relation to the notification or remedy any non-compliance, not later than�

 

 

(a) 10 days after issue of the notification, or

 

 

(b) the end of such longer period as is agreed by the Compliance Committee with the broadcaster concerned.

 

 

(23) Where, at the end of the period referred to in subsection (22), the Compliance Committee is of the opinion that the broadcaster concerned has not remedied its non-compliance, the Compliance Committee may recommend to the Authority, and the Authority shall follow such recommendation, that the Authority apply to the High Court for such order as may be appropriate in order to ensure compliance with a decision under subsection (17).

 

 

(24) The High Court may, as it thinks fit, on the hearing of the application make an order�

 

 

(a) compelling compliance with a decision under subsection (17),

 

 

(b) varying a requirement under subsection (17), or

 

 

(c) refusing the application.

 

 

(25) A scheme shall be�

 

 

(a) published by the Authority on a website maintained by the Authority, and

 

 

(b) carried out in accordance with its terms by the Compliance Committee.

 

 

(26) (a) A scheme shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is prepared.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a scheme was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), annul the scheme.

 

 

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of a scheme takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the scheme before the passing of the resolution.

 

 

(27) The Authority shall review and report to the Minister on the operation, effectiveness and impact of a scheme not later than 3 years from the date on which it comes into operation and every 5 years thereafter or at such time as may be requested by the Minister.

 

 

(28) A copy of a report under subsection (27) shall be laid by the Minister before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it has been made to him or her.

 

 

PART 5

Enforcement

 

 

Chapter 1

Compliance with terms of contract

 

Investigation into affairs of contractor.

50.� (1) The Compliance Committee may for any of the reasons specified in subsection (2) conduct an investigation into the operational, programming, financial, technical or other affairs of a holder of a contract under Part 6 or 8 (� contractor �).

 

 

(2) The Compliance Committee may conduct, by appointing as an investigator a member of the staff of the Authority or another person the Committee considers to be suitably qualified to conduct, an investigation under this section if it has reasonable grounds for believing that a contractor is not providing a service in accordance with the terms of the contractor�s contract.

 

 

(3) The Compliance Committee shall notify the contractor concerned of the matter under investigation and afford the contractor an opportunity to respond, within 7 days of the date of the notification, or such further period as the Committee allows, to the matter under investigation. It is the duty of the contractor to co-operate in the investigation.

 

 

(4) An investigator may for the purposes of an investigation under this section require the contractor concerned to�

 

 

(a) produce to the investigator such information or records in the contractor�s possession or control relevant to the investigation,

 

 

(b) allow the investigator to enter the premises of the contractor to conduct such inspections and make such examinations of broadcasting equipment found there, and

 

 

(c) where appropriate, attend before the investigator for the purposes of the investigation.

 

 

(5) Where an investigator, having conducted an investigation under subsection (2), forms a view that a contractor is not providing the service referred to in that subsection in accordance with the terms of the contractor�s contract, then he or she shall notify the finding to the contractor and afford that contractor an opportunity to make submissions in accordance with any rules made under subsection (8) at a hearing before the Compliance Committee in respect of the matter under investigation.

 

 

(6) The contractor concerned shall supply the Compliance Committee with such information and records the Committee considers necessary for the purposes of a hearing.

 

 

(7) After consideration of submissions (if any) made by the contractor concerned under subsection (5), the Compliance Committee may�

 

 

(a) make a finding that the contractor is not providing the service referred to in subsection (2) in accordance with the terms of the contractor�s contract, or

 

 

(b) make such other finding as it considers appropriate in the circumstances.

 

 

(8) The Compliance Committee shall make rules providing for the conduct of a hearing under subsection (5). The rules shall provide for the period in which submissions under subsection (5) are to be made. The rules may include provision for an oral or other form of hearing, as appropriate.

 

 

(9) In this section �investigator� means a person appointed as such under subsection (2).

 

Termination or suspension of contract under Part 6 or 8.

51.� (1) Without prejudice to any specific provision of this Act, or of a contract made under it, the Compliance Committee may recommend to the Authority that the Authority terminate or suspend, for such period of suspension as the Compliance Committee considers reasonable and specifies in the recommendation, a contract entered into by the Authority under Part 6 or 8

 

 

(a) if any false or misleading information of a material nature was given to the Contract Awards Committee by or on behalf of the holder of the contract before it was entered into, or

 

 

(b) if the holder of the contract has, upon a finding by the Compliance Committee under section 50 (7), having regard to the investigation concerned under that section, failed on one or more occasions to comply with a term or condition of the contract and the nature of that failure is of such seriousness as, in the opinion of the Compliance Committee, warrants the termination or suspension of the contract,

 

 

and the Authority shall�

 

 

(i) where the Compliance Committee recommends that the contract be suspended, suspend the contract concerned for such period as the Compliance Committee recommends or, having regard to all the circumstances, for such lesser period as the Authority considers appropriate, or

 

 

(ii) where the Compliance Committee recommends that the contract be terminated, terminate the contract concerned or, having regard to all the circumstances, suspend the contract for such period as the Authority considers appropriate.

 

 

(2) Where the Compliance Committee proposes to make a recommendation under subsection (1) the Committee shall by notification afford the holder of the contract concerned an opportunity to make submissions, in accordance with any rules made under subsection (3), at a hearing before the Committee in respect of the matter under consideration.

 

 

(3) The Compliance Committee shall make rules providing for the conduct of a hearing under subsection (2). The rules shall provide for the period in which submissions under subsection (2) are to be made. The rules may include provision for an oral or other form of hearing, as appropriate.

 

 

(4) A decision to terminate or suspend a contract by the Authority under this section, any other provision of this Act or a provision of the contract, may be appealed by the holder of the contract to the High Court.

 

 

(5) The members of the Authority making a decision under subsection (1) (i) or (ii) in relation to the suspension or termination of a contract shall not include a member of the Compliance Committee who made the recommendation to the Authority. The Authority may allow the holder of the contract concerned to make further submissions to it, if it considers it appropriate, in accordance with any rules it makes (which may include the possibility of a hearing).

 

 

(6) A contract terminated or suspended under this section, under any other provision of this Act or under a provision of the contract, shall�

 

 

(a) in case it is terminated, cease to have effect, and

 

 

(b) in case it is suspended, cease to have effect for the period for which it is suspended.

 

 

Chapter 2

Financial Sanctions

 

Definitions (Chapter 2).

52.� In this Chapter�

 

 

� Court � means High Court;

 

 

� breach � means a serious or repeated failure by a broadcaster to comply with a requirement referred to in section 53 (1);

 

 

� financial sanction� means a specified amount to be paid by a broadcaster for a breach by the broadcaster as directed by the Court under section 55 (1) or the Authority under section 55 (3);

 

 

� investigation � means an investigation by an investigating officer into any of the matters referred to in section 53 (1);

 

 

� investigating officer � means a person appointed as such under section 53 (1).

 

Investigation into affairs of broadcaster.

53.� (1) The Compliance Committee shall, subject to subsection (2), appoint a member of the staff of the Authority, or such other person as the Committee considers to be suitably qualified to be an investigating officer for the purposes of this Chapter where it is of the opinion that there are circumstances suggesting that it is appropriate to investigate and report on any apparent breach by a broadcaster of a requirement of section 39 (1), 40 (1), (2) or (3), 41 (2), (3) or (4), 106 (3) or 127 (6) or a broadcasting code or rule.

 

 

(2) The terms of appointment of an investigating officer under this section shall relate to the particular apparent breach being investigated and may define the scope of his or her investigation, whether as respects the matters or the period to which it is to extend or otherwise, and in particular may limit the investigation to matters connected with particular circumstances.

 

 

(3) Where the Compliance Committee appoints an investigating officer to investigate and report on an apparent breach by a broadcaster, the investigating officer shall�

 

 

(a) notify the broadcaster (� broadcaster concerned�) of the matter under investigation,

 

 

(b) supply the broadcaster with copies of any documents relevant to the investigation, and

 

 

(c) afford to the broadcaster an opportunity to respond, within 7 days of the date of the notification, or such further period not exceeding 21 days as the Committee allows, to the matter under investigation.

 

 

(4) It is the duty of the broadcaster concerned to co-operate in any such investigation and provide the investigating officer with such information as he or she considers necessary for the purposes of the investigation.

 

 

(5) Where the Compliance Committee appoints an investigating officer to investigate and report on an apparent breach and either�

 

 

(a) a person employed by the broadcaster concerned, or

 

 

(b) if the making of any programme, the subject of such an investigation, was commissioned by the broadcaster concerned, the person commissioned to make that programme,

 

 

requests, for reasons specified by the person, that the Compliance Committee afford to him or her an opportunity to comment within 7 days, or such further period not exceeding 21 days as the Committee allows, on the matter under investigation, then the Compliance Committee shall, having considered the reasons so specified, require the investigating officer to afford to the person such an opportunity, if the Committee is satisfied that�

 

 

(i) in the case of a person referred to in paragraph (a), an interest of the person, which the Compliance Committee considers relevant to the person�s employment by the broadcaster concerned, is involved,

 

 

(ii) in the case of a person referred to in paragraph (b), the prospects of the person obtaining further commissions in respect of programmes from the broadcaster concerned, may, because of the matter under investigation, be adversely affected, or

 

 

(iii) in the case of a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), it is in the interests of fairness to do so, having regard to any potential consequences for the good name of the person.

 

 

(6) Where the Compliance Committee proposes to investigate non-compliance by a broadcaster with a broadcasting code which provides for any of the matters referred to in section 42 (2)(g) or (h), the investigating officer shall afford to the person employing such matter in a broadcasting service an opportunity to comment within 7 days of notification, or such further period not exceeding 21 days as the Committee allows, in relation to the matter under investigation.

 

 

(7) An investigating officer may for the purposes of this section require the broadcaster concerned to�

 

 

(a) provide to the investigating officer such information or records in the broadcaster�s possession or control relevant to the investigation, and

 

 

(b) where appropriate, attend before the investigating officer for the purposes of the investigation.

 

Report, findings, recommendations and procedures relating to outcome of investigation.

54.� (1) (a) Where an investigating officer forms the view that there has been a breach in respect of any matter which he or she is investigating or the broadcaster concerned has failed to co-operate with the investigation, the officer shall report this to the Compliance Committee.

 

 

(b) The report of an investigating officer in relation to an investigation to the Compliance Committee shall include�

 

 

(i) the investigating officer�s findings in relation to the matter,

 

 

(ii) any response received under section 53 (3) or comment received under section 53 (5) or (6),

 

 

(iii) details of any failure by the broadcaster concerned to comply with section 53 (7), and

 

 

(iv) the recommendation of the investigating officer.

 

 

(2) Where an investigating officer forms a view that there has been a breach by the broadcaster concerned or that the broadcaster has not co-operated with the investigation, the broadcaster shall be afforded the opportunity of making a submission to the Compliance Committee within 10 days of being notified of the investigating officer�s views and recommendation.

 

 

(3) Where the Compliance Committee, having considered a report under subsection (1) and any submissions made under subsection (2), finds that�

 

 

(a) there has been a breach by the broadcaster concerned, or

 

 

(b) the broadcaster concerned has failed to co-operate in an investigation,

 

 

the Committee may recommend to the Authority that the Authority notify the broadcaster concerned in accordance with subsection (4). The Authority shall comply with the recommendation.

 

 

(4) A notification under subsection (3) shall�

 

 

(a) set out the reasons for the notification,

 

 

(b) state that the Authority intends to apply to the Court for a determination that there has been a breach or a failure to co-operate with an investigation, unless the broadcaster concerned requests, in writing within 14 days of the date of the notification or such further period as the Authority allows, that the Authority deal with the matter under section 55 (2), and

 

 

(c) indicate the amount of the financial sanction (not exceeding �250,000) that it proposes, if the matter is dealt with by the Authority under section 55 (2),

 

 

and the Authority may indicate in the notification the amount of the financial sanction (not exceeding �250,000) that it intends to recommend to the Court if the matter is dealt with by the Court under section 55 (1).

 

 

(5) Where the broadcaster concerned fails to make a request under subsection (4)(b) within the period referred to in that paragraph or informs the Authority that no such request will be made, the Authority shall apply to the Court for a determination that there has been a breach or a failure to co-operate with an investigation by the broadcaster concerned.

 

 

(6) Where a broadcaster makes a request under subsection (4)(b), the Authority shall afford the broadcaster an opportunity to make submissions at a hearing before the Authority in respect of the matter.

 

 

(7) Where a broadcaster takes the opportunity to make submissions at a hearing under subsection (6), the members of the Authority conducting the hearing shall not include any person who was a member of the Compliance Committee which appointed an investigating officer under section 53 (1) to investigate the alleged breach and made a recommendation under subsection (3).

 

 

(8) The Authority shall make rules providing for the conduct of a hearing under subsection (6). The rules may include provision for an oral or other form of hearing, as appropriate, and for the taking of evidence whether orally or otherwise, as appropriate, and the applicable rules of evidence.

 

 

(9) The Authority may not award costs or expenses to any party in relation to a hearing under subsection (6).

 

Financial sanctions.

55.� (1) The Court, in any application made to it under section 54 (5)

 

 

(a) may�

 

 

(i) make a determination that there has been a breach or a failure to co-operate with an investigation by the broadcaster concerned,

 

 

(ii) if it thinks fit direct, having regard to any amount the Authority recommends and taking into consideration the matters referred to in section 56 , that the broadcaster concerned shall pay to the Authority a financial sanction not exceeding �250,000, in respect of the breach or failure to co-operate with the investigation in question, and

 

 

(iii) make such order it considers appropriate,

 

 

or

 

 

(b) may dismiss the application,

 

 

and the Court may make such order as to costs as it thinks fit in respect of the application.

 

 

(2) Where a request in writing has been made to it by a broadcaster under section 54 (4), the Authority may make a determination that there has or has not been a breach or a failure to co-operate with an investigation by the broadcaster concerned and issue a statement of findings to the broadcaster.

 

 

(3) Where the Authority determines under subsection (2) that there has been a breach or a failure to co-operate with an investigation by the broadcaster concerned, the Authority may direct, taking into consideration and having regard to the matters referred to in section 56 , that the broadcaster shall pay the Authority a financial sanction not exceeding the amount as proposed in a notification given to the broadcaster in accordance with section 54 (4) (c), in respect of the breach or the failure to co-operate with an investigation.

 

 

(4) The Authority may publish on a website maintained by the Authority such details as it considers proper concerning a decision of the Court under subsection (1) or such a statement of findings made by it under subsection (2).

 

 

(5) A broadcaster may appeal to the Court against either or both a statement of findings issued in respect of the broadcaster under subsection (2) and a financial sanction imposed against the broadcaster under subsection (3).

 

 

(6) A sum due under this section may be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction as a simple contract debt.

 

 

(7) All payments made to the Authority under this section shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct.

 

Matters to be considered in determining the amount of financial sanction.

56.� In considering the amount (if any) of any financial sanction to be imposed on a broadcaster under section 55 the Authority or the Court shall take into account the circumstances of the breach or the failure to co-operate with an investigation in question, as the case may be, and shall, where appropriate in the circumstances, have regard to�

 

 

(a) the need to ensure that any financial sanction imposed�

 

 

(i) is appropriate and proportionate to the breach or the failure to co-operate with the investigation, and

 

 

(ii) will act as a sufficient incentive to ensure future compliance in respect of the requirement breached,

 

 

(b) the seriousness of the breach,

 

 

(c) the turnover of the broadcaster in the financial year ending in the year previous to the breach and the ability of the broadcaster to pay the amount,

 

 

(d) the extent of any failure to co-operate with the investigation,

 

 

(e) any excuse or explanation by the broadcaster for the breach or failure to co-operate with the investigation,

 

 

(f) any gain (financial or otherwise) made by the broadcaster or by any person in which the broadcaster has a financial interest as a consequence of the breach,

 

 

(g) the appropriateness of the time when the programme material concerned was broadcast,

 

 

(h) the degree of harm caused or increased cost incurred by audiences, consumers or other sectoral or market participants as a consequence of the breach,

 

 

(i) audience expectations as to the nature of the programme material,

 

 

(j) the duration of the breach,

 

 

(k) repeated breaches by the broadcaster,

 

 

(l) continuation by the broadcaster of�

 

 

(i) the breach, or

 

 

(ii) the broadcasting of the matter to which an investigation relates after being notified of the investigation under section 53 (3) (a),

 

 

(m) the extent to which�

 

 

(i) the management of the broadcaster knew, or ought to have known, that the breach was occurring or would occur, and

 

 

(ii) any breach was caused by a third party, or any relevant circumstances beyond the control of the broadcaster,

 

 

(n) the absence, ineffectiveness or repeated failure of internal mechanisms or procedures of the broadcaster intended to prevent breach by the broadcaster,

 

 

(o) the extent to which the broadcaster had taken steps in advance to identify and mitigate external factors that might result in a breach,

 

 

(p) the extent and timeliness of any steps taken to end the breach in question, and any steps taken for remedying the consequences of the breach,

 

 

(q) submissions by the broadcaster on the appropriate amount of a financial sanction,

 

 

(r) whether a financial sanction in respect of similar conduct has already been imposed on the broadcaster by the Court or Authority, and

 

 

(s) any precedents set by the Court or Authority in respect of previous breaches or failures to co-operate with an investigation.

 

 

Chapter 3

Notifications

 

Notifications.

57.� (1) Where a notification is required under this Part to be given to a broadcaster or contractor, it shall be addressed to the broadcaster or contractor and shall be given to the broadcaster or contractor in one of the following ways�

 

 

(a) by delivering it to the broadcaster or contractor,

 

 

(b) by leaving it at the address at which the broadcaster or contractor carries on business,

 

 

(c) by sending it by post in a pre-paid registered letter addressed to the broadcaster or contractor at the address at which the broadcaster or contractor carries on business,

 

 

(d) if an address for the service of a notification has been furnished by the broadcaster or contractor, by leaving it at, or sending it by pre-paid registered post addressed to the broadcaster or contractor to, that address, or

 

 

(e) by sending it by means of electronic mail or a facsimile machine, to a device or facility for the reception of electronic mail or facsimiles located at the address at which the broadcaster or contractor carries on business or, if an address for the service of a notification has been furnished by the broadcaster or contractor, that address, but only if�

 

 

(i) the sender�s�

 

 

(I) facility for the reception of electronic mail generates a message confirming a receipt of the electronic mail, or

 

 

(II) facsimile machine generates a message confirming successful transmission of the total number of pages of the notification,

 

 

and

 

 

(ii) the notification is also given in one of the other ways mentioned in any of the preceding paragraphs.

 

 

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a company registered under the Companies Acts is deemed to be ordinarily resident at its registered office, and every other body corporate and every unincorporated body is deemed to be ordinarily resident at its principal office or place of business.

 

 

(3) A copy of a notification, which has endorsed on it a certificate purporting to be signed by an investigator under Chapter 1 or investigating officer under Chapter 2 , as the case may be, stating that the copy is a true copy of the notification may, without proof of signature of that person, be produced in every court or before the Authority and in all legal proceedings and is evidence, unless the contrary is shown, of the notification.

 

 

(4) In this section �notification� means a notification under this Part.

 

 

PART 6

Broadcasting Contracts and Content Provision Contracts � Commercial and Community Broadcasters

 

Interpretation (Part 6).

58.� (1) In this Part�

 

 

� broadcasting licence � means a licence granted under section 59 ;

 

 

� sound broadcasting contract � means a contract entered into under section 63 ;

 

 

� television programme service contract � means a contract entered into under section 70 .

 

 

(2) Any contract in respect of broadcasting entered into under an enactment repealed by section 3 by the BCI with another person which is in force immediately before the passing of this Act continues in force as if made under the corresponding provision of this Part and has effect accordingly.

 

Broadcasting licence.

59.� (1) The Authority shall not authorise a broadcasting contractor to operate a broadcasting transmitter and provide a broadcasting service under a broadcasting contract unless and until the Communications Regulator has granted under this subsection to the Authority a licence (�broadcasting licence�) under section 5 of the Act of 1926 in respect of the sound or television broadcasting transmitter to which the contract relates.

 

 

(2) A broadcasting licence shall be valid only for such period of time as a broadcasting contract between the Authority and a broadcasting contractor is in force.

 

 

(3) Every broadcasting contract shall contain a condition requiring the broadcasting contractor concerned to establish, maintain and operate the broadcasting transmitter concerned in accordance with such terms and conditions as the Communications Regulator attaches to the broadcasting licence to which the contract relates (including any variations made to it in accordance with section 60 ), and so long as the terms and conditions are complied with, the contract has the effect of conveying the benefits of the licence to the broadcasting contractor and any such transmitter so established, maintained and operated shall be deemed to be licensed for the purposes of the Act of 1926.

 

 

(4) Every broadcasting licence shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the Authority�s registered office, at such times as the Authority considers reasonable during office opening hours.

 

Variation of broadcasting licence.

60.� (1) The Communications Regulator may vary any term or condition of a broadcasting licence�

 

 

(a) if it appears to it to be necessary so to do in the interest of good radio frequency management,

 

 

(b) for the purpose of giving effect to any international agreement to which the State is a party and which has been ratified by the State and which relates to broadcasting,

 

 

(c) if it appears to it to be in the public interest so to do,

 

 

(d) if it appears to it to be necessary for the safety or security of persons or property so to do,

 

 

(e) on request from the Authority after consultation with any affected broadcasting contractor, or

 

 

(f) on request from the Authority on behalf of a broadcasting contractor.

 

 

(2) (a) If the Communications Regulator, for any reason specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1) proposes to vary, under this section, any term or condition of a broadcasting licence, the Regulator shall, by notice in writing, inform the Authority of the Regulator�s intentions and of the reasons for it. The Authority shall, within 7 days of receiving the notice, give notice in writing to the broadcasting contractor concerned of the intention.

 

 

(b) The broadcasting contractor shall have the right to make representations in writing to the Authority in respect of the Communications Regulator�s intentions, within 21 days after the service of the notice by the Authority.

 

 

(c) The Authority shall transmit any such representations to the Communications Regulator within a further 7 days and the Communications Regulator, having considered the representations, may make such decision thereon as seems to it to be appropriate.

 

 

(3) (a) If, having considered the representations (if any) which have been notified to it by the Authority by or on behalf of a broadcasting contractor, the Communications Regulator decides to vary any term or condition of a licence, it shall, by notice in writing, inform the Authority of its decision.

 

 

(b) The Authority shall, within 7 days of receipt of the Communications Regulator�s decision by notice in writing inform the broadcasting contractor of that decision.

 

 

(c) On and from the day following service on the contractor of notice of the Communications Regulator�s decision the licence shall have effect subject to the variation of it by that decision.

 

 

(4) Where a notice is required under this section to be given to the Authority or a broadcasting contractor, it shall be addressed to the Authority or the broadcasting contractor and shall be given to the Authority or the broadcasting contractor in one of the following ways�

 

 

(a) by delivering it to the Authority or the broadcasting contractor,

 

 

(b) by leaving it at the address at which the Authority or the broadcasting contractor carries on business,

 

 

(c) by sending it by post in a pre-paid registered letter addressed to the Authority or the broadcasting contractor at the address at which the Authority or the broadcasting contractor carries on business,

 

 

(d) if an address for the service of a notice has been furnished by the Authority or the broadcasting contractor, by leaving it at, or sending it by pre-paid registered post addressed to the Authority or the broadcasting contractor to, that address, or

 

 

(e) by sending it by means of electronic mail or a facsimile machine, to a device or facility for the reception of electronic mail or facsimiles located at the address at which the Authority or the broadcasting contractor carries on business or, if an address for the service of a notification has been furnished by the Authority or the broadcasting contractor, that address, but only if�

 

 

(i) the sender�s�

 

 

(I) facility for the reception of electronic mail generates a message confirming a receipt of the electronic mail, or

 

 

(II) facsimile machine generates a message confirming successful transmission of the total number of pages of the notice,

 

 

and

 

 

(ii) the notice is also given in one of the other ways mentioned in any of the preceding paragraphs.

 

 

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4), a company registered under the Companies Acts is deemed to be ordinarily resident at its registered office, and every other body corporate and every unincorporated body is deemed to be ordinarily resident at its principal office or place of business.

 

Emergencies.

61.� (1) In this section � network provider � means a person providing or operating an electronic communications network which is used for the distribution, transmission or retransmission of broadcasting services to the public.

 

 

(2) During the continuance of any national emergency, the Minister may suspend any broadcasting licence or multiplex licence as defined in section 129 and, while any such suspension continues, the Minister may operate any service which was provided under the suspended licence or require such service to be operated as he or she directs.

 

 

(3) The Authority shall have the power to require broadcasting contractors and network providers to co-operate with the relevant public bodies in the dissemination of relevant information to the public in the event of a major emergency.

 

 

(4) If and whenever the Minister shall exercise the powers conferred on him or her by subsection (2) the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor shall be entitled to receive from the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance�

 

 

(a) such sums as are required to defray any expenses which, regard being had to the nature of the emergency, have been properly and necessarily incurred by the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor and for meeting which revenue is by reason of the exercise of such powers not otherwise available to the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor, and

 

 

(b) compensation for any damage done to any property of the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor, being damage directly attributable to the exercise of such powers.

 

 

(5) At the request of the Minister, the Authority shall direct a broadcasting contractor to allocate broadcasting time for announcements for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government, in the event of a major emergency, in connection with the functions of that Minister of the Government. The broadcasting contractor shall comply with the direction.

 

 

(6) At the request of the Minister, the Authority shall direct a network provider, in a manner to be specified by the Authority, to carry broadcast announcements for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government, in the event of a major emergency, in connection with the functions of that Minister of the Government. The network provider shall comply with the direction.

 

 

(7) In complying with a direction under subsection (5) or (6) a broadcasting contractor or network provider may broadcast an announcement that it has received such a direction from the Authority.

 

Restriction on award of sound broadcasting contract.

62.� The Contract Awards Committee shall not recommend to the Authority the grant of a sound broadcasting contract to a person who has been convicted of an offence under section 3(3) (inserted by section 181 (2)) of the Act of 1926 or under section 3, 4 or 5 of the Act of 1988 if the conviction occurred less than 12 months before the first day on which the person proposes to engage in sound broadcasting activities to which the application for the sound broadcasting contract relates.

 

Sound broadcasting contracts.

63.� The Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, shall enter into contracts (� sound broadcasting contracts� ) with persons (� sound broadcasting contractors �) under which the sound broadcasting contractors have, subject to this Part, the right and duty to establish, maintain and operate sound broadcasting transmitters serving the areas specified in the sound broadcasting contract and to provide, as the sound broadcasting contract may specify, a sound broadcasting service.

 

Community sound broadcasting contracts.

64.� The Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, may enter into a class of sound broadcasting contract (� community sound broadcasting contract �) with 2 or more members of a local community or of a community of interest if it is satisfied that�

 

 

(a) those members are representative of, and accountable to, the community concerned, and

 

 

(b) the supply of programme material in pursuance of the contract will be effected with the sole objective of�

 

 

(i) specifically addressing the interests of, and seeking to provide a social benefit to, the community concerned, and

 

 

(ii) achieving a monetary reward of no greater amount than is reasonably necessary to defray the expenses that will be incurred in effecting that supply.

 

Applications for sound broadcasting contracts.

65.� (1) In order to secure the orderly development of broadcasting services and to allow for the establishment of a diversity of services in an area catering for a wide range of tastes including those of minority interests, the Authority shall liaise and consult with the Communications Regulator in the preparation by that body of an allocation plan for the frequency range dedicated to sound broadcasting.

 

 

(2) The Authority, having regard to an allocation plan under subsection (1) and after consultation with the Communications Regulator, in respect of the availability of radio frequencies for sound broadcasting services shall�

 

 

(a) specify the area (which area may consist of the whole or any part of the State) in relation to which applications for a sound broadcasting contract are to be invited, and

 

 

(b) direct the Contract Awards Committee to invite applications for sound broadcasting contracts for the area specified and the Committee shall comply with such direction.

 

 

(3) Where the Authority proposes to specify an area under subsection (2), the Authority may conduct, or arrange for there to be conducted, either or both�

 

 

(a) a study in that area or amongst a community of interest for the purposes of ascertaining the interests and wishes of that area or community in respect of sound broadcasting services, or

 

 

(b) a study as to the sectoral impact of an additional sound broadcasting contract in that area.

 

 

(4) The Authority shall publish the results of any study conducted under subsection (3) on a website maintained by the Authority.

 

 

(5) The Authority may direct the Contract Awards Committee to consider the results of a study conducted under subsection (3) in complying with a direction under subsection (2), and the Contract Awards Committee shall comply with such an additional direction.

 

 

(6) On receipt of a direction from the Authority under subsection (2) the Contract Awards Committee may, in accordance with the terms of any such direction, by public notice invite expressions of interest in the securing of contracts for sound broadcasting services under this Act. Any expressions of interest must be made within 60 days of the date of such notice and must indicate in general terms the type of service that would be provided and shall not be regarded as an application for a sound broadcasting contract.

 

 

(7) A public notice under subsection (6) may invite all interested parties to express their views on the type of sound broadcasting service proposed.

 

 

(8) The Contract Awards Committee shall, subject to this Part, invite applications for a sound broadcasting contract for the provision of a sound broadcasting service in each area specified by the Authority under subsection (2) and, subject to this Part, may recommend that the Authority enter into such contract, and the Authority shall follow any such recommendation.

 

 

(9) Where the Contract Awards Committee invites applications for a sound broadcasting contract for the provision of a sound broadcasting service it shall by public notice specify the area in relation to which the sound broadcasting service is to be provided pursuant to such contract and by such notice shall invite persons interested in providing such a service to apply for such contract.

 

 

(10) In considering applications for the award of a sound broadcasting contract the Contract Awards Committee shall determine applications in accordance with section 66 and assign a score to each, or a combination of, the criteria specified in section 66 (2) and the Contract Awards Committee shall inform each person who has indicated his or her intention of being an applicant for a contract of such assignment.

 

 

(11) The Contract Awards Committee shall in reaching its decision as to the award of a sound broadcasting contract assign an agreed score to each of the applications received in accordance with subsection (10).

 

 

(12) The Contract Awards Committee�s view on an assignment of a score under subsection (11) shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members of the Contract Awards Committee.

 

 

(13) Every notice under subsection (9) shall�

 

 

(a) be published on a website maintained by the Authority, and where appropriate, in a newspaper circulating in the area to be served,

 

 

(b) specify the procedure to be followed in order to make an application, and

 

 

(c) specify any other matters which appear to the Contract Awards Committee to be necessary or relevant.

 

Determination of applications for award of sound broadcasting contracts and television programme service contract.

66.� (1) The Contract Awards Committee shall, in accordance with this Part, consider every application received by it�

 

 

(a) for a sound broadcasting contract made under section 65 (8), or

 

 

(b) for a television programme service contract,

 

 

for the purpose of determining the most suitable applicant, if any, to be awarded a broadcasting contract.

 

 

(2) In the consideration of applications referred to in subsection (1) received by it and in determining the most suitable applicant to be awarded a broadcasting contract, the Contract Awards Committee shall have regard to�

 

 

(a) the character, expertise and experience of the applicant or, if the applicant is a body corporate, the character expertise and experience of the body and its directors, manager, secretary or other similar officer and its members and the persons entitled to the beneficial ownership of its shares,

 

 

(b) the adequacy of the financial resources that will be available to each applicant and the extent to which the application accords with good business and economic principles,

 

 

(c) the quality, range and type of the programmes proposed to be provided by each applicant or, if there is only one applicant, by that applicant,

 

 

(d) the quantity, quality, range and type of programmes in the Irish language and the extent of programmes relating to Irish culture proposed to be provided,

 

 

(e) the extent to which the applicant will create within the proposed broadcasting service new opportunities for talent in music, drama and entertainment and in particular in respect of Irish culture,

 

 

(f) the desirability of having a diversity of services in the area specified in the notice catering for a wide range of tastes including those of minority interests,

 

 

(g) the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue number of sound broadcasting services in respect of which a sound broadcasting contract has been awarded under this Part,

 

 

(h) the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue number of sound broadcasting services in the area specified in the notice,

 

 

(i) the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue amount of the communications media in the area specified in the notice,

 

 

(j) the extent to which the service proposed�

 

 

(i) serves recognisably local communities and is supported by the various interests in the community, or

 

 

(ii) serves communities of interest,

 

 

(k) any other matters which the Contract Awards Committee considers to be necessary to secure the orderly development of broadcasting services, and

 

 

(l) where directed by the Authority, any of�

 

 

(i) the amount of a single cash sum payment, as specified by the applicant during the course of his or her application, which the applicant is willing to pay to the Authority in respect of the award of the broadcasting contract,

 

 

(ii) the amount of a periodic cash sum payment, as specified by the applicant during the course of his or her application, which the applicant is willing to pay to the Authority in respect of the award of the broadcasting contract, and

 

 

(iii) the amount of a periodic cash sum payment determined by reference to a variable, as specified by the applicant during the course of his or her application, which the applicant is willing to pay to the Authority in respect of the award of the broadcasting contract.

 

 

(3) In considering the suitability of any applicant for the award of a sound broadcasting contract to provide a sound broadcasting service in respect of an area which includes a Gaeltacht area, the Contract Awards Committee shall have particular regard to the continuance and advancement as a spoken language of the Irish language.

 

 

(4) In considering the suitability of an applicant for the award of a broadcasting contract, the Contract Awards Committee shall have regard to�

 

 

(a) the overall quality of the performance of the applicant with respect to the provision by him or her of a broadcasting service under any broadcasting contract held by him or her at, or before, the date of the making of the application, and

 

 

(b) reports of the Compliance Committee.

 

 

(5) Where the Contract Awards Committee decides to refuse to recommend the award of a broadcasting contract to an applicant, the Contract Awards Committee shall notify the applicant of�

 

 

(a) the reasons for the decision,

 

 

(b) the score of the applicant, and

 

 

(c) the score of any successful applicant.

 

 

(6) In this section �notice� means a notice under section 65 (9).

 

Fast-track application process for award of sound broadcasting contracts.

67.� (1) In this section�

 

 

� Committee � means Contract Awards Committee;

 

 

� fast-track procedure � means a procedure provided for under subsection (2);

 

 

� incumbent � means the holder of a sound broadcasting contract which is the subject of a notice under section 65 (6).

 

 

(2) Where, in the opinion of the Committee, the only response made in good faith pursuant to a public notice under section 65 (6), is received from the incumbent, then the Committee may at its discretion propose to invoke a fast-track procedure under subsection (6).

 

 

(3) Where the Committee proposes to invoke a fast-track procedure, it shall by notice published on a website maintained by the Authority, and where appropriate in a newspaper circulating in the area to be served, state its intention to invoke such a procedure.

 

 

(4) If a person, other than the incumbent, within 28 days of a notice published under subsection (3)

 

 

(a) submits in writing that he or she wishes to apply for the award of a sound broadcasting contract for the area concerned, and

 

 

(b) deposits such a sum with the Authority as is specified by the Committee in any notice under subsection (3), not exceeding �25,000,

 

 

then the Committee shall proceed to�

 

 

(i) invite applications for the award of a sound broadcasting contract for the area concerned under section 65 (8), or

 

 

(ii) refer the matter to the Authority for direction.

 

 

(5) Where, in the opinion of the Committee, an application under section 65 has been received consequent to a submission under subsection (4) then any sum deposited under subsection (4) shall be refunded in full.

 

 

(6) In the event that no written submission and associated deposit are received under subsection (4) the Committee may�

 

 

(a) request the Compliance Committee to prepare a report on the incumbent�s compliance with the terms of its sound broadcasting contract and Part 3 ,

 

 

(b) invite the incumbent to make a proposal to amend the terms of his or her sound broadcasting contract, and

 

 

(c) suggest to the incumbent possible amendments to the terms of his or her contract.

 

 

(7) A proposal received under subsection (6) must address�

 

 

(a) the matters outlined in section 66 , and

 

 

(b) such other matters as the Committee may consider relevant.

 

 

(8) On consideration of a proposal received under subsection (6) the Committee may�

 

 

(a) reject the contractual changes proposed by the incumbent and proceed to invite applications under section 65 (8) from other persons for the area concerned,

 

 

(b) refer the matter to the Authority for direction, or

 

 

(c) recommend to the Authority, and the Authority shall follow any such recommendation, that the Authority agree the amended contract terms recommended by the Committee with the incumbent.

 

 

(9) The term of any contract extension agreed under subsection (8) shall not exceed 10 years.

 

 

(10) All payments made to the Authority under subsection (4) (b) and subsequently forfeited by the applicant shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct.

 

Sound broadcasting contracts for temporary or institutional sound broadcasting services.

68.� (1) The Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, may, in any period of 12 months, enter into a sound broadcasting contract with an applicant for the provision in such area as may be specified in the contract of a sound broadcasting service for a period of�

 

 

(a) not more than 30 days (whether consecutive days or otherwise) in that period of 12 months, or

 

 

(b) if the application is for a community sound broadcasting contract, not more than 100 days (whether consecutive days or otherwise) in that period of 12 months.

 

 

(2) The Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, may enter into a sound broadcasting contract with an applicant for the provision of a low-power sound broadcasting service which is intended to serve only such single educational institution, hospital, or other similar establishment as may be specified in the contract.

 

 

(3) Section 39 (1) (c) does not apply to a contract awarded for the provision of a sound broadcasting service under this section.

 

 

(4) Sections 65 and 66 do not apply in the case of a contract applied for, or awarded, for the provision of a sound broadcasting service under this section.

 

Terms and conditions of broadcasting contract.

69.� (1) Every broadcasting contract may contain such terms and conditions as the Authority thinks appropriate and specifies in the contract.

 

 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Authority may specify in a broadcasting contract all or any of the following terms or conditions:

 

 

(a) the period during which the contract shall continue in force;

 

 

(b) whether the contract may be renewed and, if so, the manner in which, the terms on which, and the period for which, the contract may be so renewed;

 

 

(c) a condition prohibiting the assignment of the contract or of any interest in it;

 

 

(d) if the broadcasting contractor is a company, a condition prohibiting any alteration in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of the company or in so much of that Memorandum or of those Articles as may be specified or prohibiting any material change in the ownership of the company;

 

 

(e) a condition requiring the broadcasting contractor to provide the quality, range and type of programmes which he or she proposed to offer in his or her application for the award of the contract;

 

 

(f) a condition requiring the sound broadcasting contractor to pay to the Authority the amount which the contractor specified in his or her application.

 

 

(3) If a broadcasting contract does not contain a condition of the type specified in paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (2), the following provisions shall have effect:

 

 

(a) a broadcasting contract, or any interest in a broadcasting contract, shall not be assignable, nor shall any alteration be made in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of any company which is a broadcasting contractor, nor shall there be any material change in the ownership of such a company, without the previous consent in writing of the Authority, and the Authority may, if it considers it reasonable so to do, refuse such consent;

 

 

(b) in considering whether to grant its consent to an assignment of a broadcasting contract, a change in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of a company which is a broadcasting contractor, or a material change in the ownership of such a company, the Authority shall have regard to the criteria specified in section 66 (2) and, where applicable, section 66 (4).

 

 

(4) Every broadcasting contract shall provide that the broadcasting contractor shall provide such information (including copies of his or her accounts) which the Authority or the Compliance Committee considers it requires in order to enable it carry out its functions under this Act.

 

 

(5) Every broadcasting contract shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the Authority�s registered office and the Authority shall, on request made by any person and on payment of such sum (if any) as the Authority may reasonably require, give to that person a copy of that contract.

 

 

(6) In order to avoid the loss of sound programme material inimical to the preservation of a historical record of Irish culture, heritage and experience and as an initial step towards the development of an integrated approach to the archiving of programme material produced in the State, every sound broadcasting contract shall contain a term or condition requiring the sound broadcasting contractor to make a recording and to store categories of programme material, which may be inspected by the Authority, for the term of the sound broadcasting contract and for a period of 6 years thereafter.

 

 

(7) The Authority shall, within one year of the passing of this Act, prescribe a format and categories to be followed by sound broadcasting contractors for the purposes of the storing and recording of programme material as required under subsection (6).

 

 

(8) The Authority may vary the categories and amounts of programme material required to be recorded and stored by a sound broadcasting contractor having regard to the nature and amount of programme material broadcast by the sound broadcasting contractor and any financial burden associated with such recording and storage.

 

 

(9) In carrying out its duties under subsections (7) and (8) the Authority shall have due regard to programme content which:

 

 

(a) is in the Irish language,

 

 

(b) relates to Irish culture and life,

 

 

(c) concerns Irish music, drama and entertainment,

 

 

(d) is news, current affairs or documentary,

 

 

(e) is in any other category identified by the Authority and which the Authority deems is worthy of maintenance and preservation.

 

 

(10) The Authority may store on behalf of a sound broadcasting contractor or a person who held a sound broadcasting contract any programme material recorded under subsection (6).

 

 

(11) The making of a recording and storage of programme material in compliance with subsection (6) or (10) is not a contravention of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 .

 

 

(12) The Authority shall report to the Minister on an annual basis in relation to the performance of its duties under subsections (7), (8), (9) and (10).

 

 

(13) Any amount paid to the Authority by a contractor, being an amount which the contractor specified in his or her application, shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct.

 

Television programme service contract.

70.� (1) The Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, shall enter into a contract (� television prog ramme service contract �) with a person or persons (� television prog ramme service contractor �) who shall have the right and duty to establish and maintain a television programme service and who, subject to section 139 , shall have the right and duty, subject to the terms of the contract, to establish, maintain and operate television broadcasting transmitters for the purpose of transmitting the television programme service as a free-to-air service.

 

 

(2) The Authority shall ensure that a television programme service provided by a television programme service contractor under this section shall in its programming�

 

 

(a) be responsive to the interests and concerns of the whole community, be mindful of the need for understanding and peace within the whole island of Ireland, ensure that the programmes reflect the varied elements which make up the culture of the people of the whole island of Ireland, and have special regard for the elements which distinguish that culture and in particular for the Irish language,

 

 

(b) uphold the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution, especially those relating to rightful liberty of expression,

 

 

(c) have regard to the need for the formation of public awareness and understanding of the values and traditions of countries other than the State, including in particular those of other Member States, and

 

 

(d) include a reasonable proportion of news and current affairs programmes.

 

 

(3) A television programme service contractor shall in its programming comply with the requirements set out in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (2).

 

 

(4) For the purpose of ensuring compliance with subsection (2) the Authority shall ensure that a reasonable proportion of the television programme service�

 

 

(a) is produced in the State or in another Member State, and

 

 

(b) is devoted to original programme material produced therein by persons other than the contractor, its subsidiary, its parent or existing broadcasting organisations.

 

 

(5) The television programme service contract entered into between TV3 Television Network Limited trading as TV3 and the BCI under section 17 of the Radio and Television Act 1988 and section 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 , if in force immediately before the passing of this Act, continues as if entered into under this section.

 

 

(6) The Authority shall ensure that any contract entered into by it under this section and any such contract renewed by it under this Act, contains a term providing that the expression �independent television programme�, where used in the contract, has the same meaning as it has in section 116 .

 

Content provision contracts.

71.� (1) Subject to subsection (3), a person shall not supply a compilation of programme material for either of the purposes set out in subsection (2) otherwise than under and in accordance with a content provision contract.

 

 

(2) The purposes for which subsection (1) applies are�

 

 

(a) inclusion as part of a multiplex,

 

 

(b) the purpose of its being transmitted as a broadcasting service in the State, part of the State or elsewhere by means of an electronic communications network including a satellite network, a MMD system, a fixed or mobile terrestrial network, a cable television network, an internet protocol television network or any other form of electronic communications network.

 

 

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to such a supply made by�

 

 

(a) an excepted person for the purpose of any such arrangements, or

 

 

(b) RT�, TG4, Houses of the Oireachtas Channel, Irish Film Channel or the holder of a broadcasting contract for the purposes of a free-to-air service.

 

 

(4) The Authority, on the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, may enter into a contract (�content provision contract �) with a person whereby that person may supply a compilation of programme material for the purposes referred to in subsection (2).

 

 

(5) A content provision contract shall include�

 

 

(a) a condition requiring the holder of the contract to comply with any broadcasting codes or rules with respect to the programme material supplied in pursuance of the contract, and

 

 

(b) a condition authorising the Compliance Committee to request the holder of the contract to pay to the Authority, in respect of a failure by the holder to comply with a particular term or condition of the contract, a sum of money (not exceeding an amount that shall be specified in the condition as being the maximum amount that may be so requested to be so paid) and requiring the holder to comply with such a request.

 

 

(6) A content provision contract shall include a condition providing that, where any of the programme material supplied in pursuance of the contract�

 

 

(a) contravenes Article 22 or 3b of the Council Directive or the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 , or

 

 

(b) constitutes an incitement to commit an offence,

 

 

the Authority may, or, if such a supply of programme material has occurred within 6 months of a previous such supply by the same person having occurred, shall, terminate the contract.

 

 

(7) The Authority may divide the contracts it may enter into under this section into different classes by reference to the different conditions which, in pursuance of its powers under this Act, it may attach to the contracts and may style each such class of contract by the addition of such distinguishing words as it considers appropriate.

 

 

(8) The Authority may, before it enters into a content provision contract with a person, require that person to pay a fee to the Authority of such amount as it considers appropriate. If that person fails to pay that fee to the Authority, the Authority shall not enter into the contract with him or her.

 

 

(9) The Authority may specify different fees for particular classes of content provision contractors.

 

 

(10) The amount of any fee paid to the Authority under subsection (8) may be used by it for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred by it in performing its functions generally.

 

Community content provision contracts.

72.� (1) Subject to this section, 2 or more members of a local community or community of interest may supply a compilation of programme material for the purposes of its being transmitted as a broadcasting service under and in accordance with a MMD system transmission licence or by an appropriate network provider referred to in section 77 (1).

 

 

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the Authority may enter into a class of content provision contract (� community content pro vision contract �) with 2 or more members of a local community or a community of interest whereby those members may supply a compilation of programme material for the purposes referred to in subsection (1) if it is satisfied that�

 

 

(a) those members are representative of, and accountable to, the community concerned, and

 

 

(b) the supply of programme material in pursuance of the contract will be effected with the sole objective of�

 

 

(i) specifically addressing the interests of, and seeking to provide a social benefit to, the community concerned, and

 

 

(ii) achieving a monetary reward of no greater amount than is reasonably necessary to defray the expenses that will be incurred in effecting that supply.

 

 

(3) The Authority shall not enter into a community content contract save after consultation with the person who it appears to the Authority will transmit or, as the case may be, will be the subject of a requirement under section 76 (4) or 77 (8) to transmit, the programme material supplied pursuant to the contract as a broadcasting service.

 

 

(4) The Authority shall establish procedures whereby members of local communities are enabled, at regular intervals, to make submissions to the Authority as to what particular contracts ought, in their opinion, to be entered into under this section and what particular terms and conditions ought, in their opinion, to be included in such contracts and requiring the Authority to furnish, on request, to any such members particulars of any proposals formulated, for the time being, by the Authority itself with regard to each of those matters.

 

 

(5) Before entering into a community content provision contract, the Authority shall have regard to any submissions made to it under and in accordance with procedures established under subsection (4) and which appear to it to be of relevance to that contract.

 

 

(6) The Authority shall conduct, or arrange with members of the local community or community of interest concerned for there to be conducted, a survey, which shall be as comprehensive as is practicable, amongst members of that community for the purpose of ascertaining�

 

 

(a) the extent to which that community is facilitated in the active participation by it in the compilation and transmission of the programme material supplied pursuant to a community content provision contract,

 

 

(b) the extent to which those members view any broadcasting service on which there is transmitted that programme material, and

 

 

(c) the opinion of those members with regard to�

 

 

(i) the quality of that programme material, and

 

 

(ii) whether that material specifically addresses the interests of their community,

 

 

and shall have regard to the results of such a survey in deciding, in relation to any community content provision contract it proposes to enter into with members of that community next after the conduct of that survey, with whom it shall enter into such a contract and the nature of the terms and conditions it may include in that contract.

 

 

(7) If the holder of a MMD system transmission licence is required under section 76 (4), or an appropriate network provider referred to in section 77 (1) is required under subsection (8) of that section, to transmit as a broadcasting service the programme material supplied pursuant to a community content provision contract, the holder or an appropriate network service provider shall not be�

 

 

(a) under any duty to ensure that the material complies with the terms and conditions of that contract or the requirements of Part 3 ,

 

 

(b) regarded, for the purposes of the law of defamation, malicious falsehood or any other form of civil liability as having, by virtue of such transmission, published the material, or

 

 

(c) liable in damages, by virtue of such transmission, for any infringement of copyright, other intellectual property rights or other legal rights of any person.

 

Assessment of community needs in respect of broadcasting.

73.� The Authority may, of its own initiative or at the request of a local community or community of interest, carry out an assessment of the needs of a community in respect of broadcasting and such an assessment shall include an ascertainment of the extent to which production facilities, training and resources are available to the community to enable the community to best serve its interests in respect of those needs.

 

Electronic programme guides.

74.� (1) In this section � electronic programme guide � means any electronic means of providing information to members of the public in relation to the schedule of programme material the subject of any broadcasting service and which electronic means is an integral part of the distribution and reception system by which the broadcasting service is provided.

 

 

(2) A person shall not prepare or make available for use an electronic programme guide otherwise than under and in accordance with an electronic programme guide contract.

 

 

(3) The Authority may enter into a contract (� electronic prog ramme guide contract �) with a person whereby that person may prepare and make available for use one or more electronic programme guides.

 

 

(4) An electronic programme guide contract shall include a condition requiring the holder of the contract to comply with rules under section 75 in respect of the electronic programme guide or guides prepared by him or her under that contract.

 

 

(5) An electronic programme guide contract shall include a condition requiring the holder of the contract to ensure that the electronic programme guide or guides prepared under the contract prioritise within the guide or guides the positioning of each broadcasting service provided in the State by RT�, TG4 and the service provided under a television programme service contract by the television service programme contractor, where such broadcasting services are made available on the distribution and reception system, and a further condition that the electronic programme guide or guides may easily be used by a member of the public to access information in relation to the schedules of programme material the subject of each of the aforementioned broadcasting services.

 

 

(6) A holder of an electronic programme guide contract shall not design an electronic programme guide in such a way as to result in a user of the guide experiencing difficulty in accessing the programme material supplied by a broadcasting contractor, a content provision contractor or a broadcaster under Part 7 .

 

 

(7) If the Authority considers it appropriate to do so in order that members of the public may keep themselves informed of the choice of programme material available for viewing on broadcasting services included as part of a multiplex (within the meaning of section 129 ) it may invite expressions of interest in the securing of an electronic programme guide contract.

 

 

(8) The Authority may, having examined each of the expressions of interest received on foot of such an invitation, enter into a programme guide contract with the person whose proposals for such electronic programme guide or guides would, in its opinion, best serve the needs of the public.

 

 

(9) The Authority may give a direction to RT� or a multiplex contractor requiring that RT� or the contractor include as part of a television multiplex an electronic programme guide prepared under an electronic programme guide contract referred to in subsection (8), and RT� or the contractor shall comply with the direction.

 

 

(10) For the purposes of this section a teletext service shall not be regarded as an electronic programme guide.

 

Rules with respect to programme guide contracts.

75.� The Authority, after consultation with the Communications Regulator, may prepare rules with respect to the format in which the information in relation to schedules of programme material provided by electronic programme guides may be presented and the making of the arrangements that are necessary to meet the requirements of section 74 (5).

 

Transmission of broadcasting services by MMD system.

76.� (1) The holder of a licence granted by the Communications Regulator being a licence that authorises the distribution of programme material by the means of a MMD system, shall distribute, by those means�

 

 

(a) in case the MMD system used by that holder is, in whole or in part, an analogue system, the service provided under section 70 by the television service programme contractor and which that contractor requests the holder to so distribute,

 

 

(b) in case the MMD system used by that holder is, in whole or in part, a digital system, each free-to-air service provided by RT� and by TG4 and the free-to-air service provided under section 70 by the television service programme contractor and which that body or contractor requests the holder to so distribute.

 

 

(2) If a dispute arises between the holder of a licence referred to in subsection (1) and a body or contractor referred to in subsection (1) in relation to the placement by the holder, relative to the placement by him or her of another broadcasting service, on the system concerned of a free-to-air service provided by that body or contractor, being a placement made on a MMD system for the purposes of the holder�s complying with a request by that body or contractor under subsection (1), as the case may be, the dispute shall be referred to the Authority for its determination and the determination of the Authority in the matter shall be final.

 

 

(3) The holder of a licence referred to in subsection (1) shall not impose a charge in relation to the making available to a person of any service referred to in subsection (1) if he or she imposes a charge on that person in relation to the making available of any other service to that person by means of the MMD system concerned.

 

 

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the Authority may require the holder of a licence referred to in subsection (1) to distribute as a broadcasting service, by means of the MMD system concerned, the whole or part of the programme material supplied under one or more specified community content provision contracts the holders of which are members of the local community or community of interest that is served by the said system and who request the first-mentioned holder to so distribute the whole or, as the case may be, a part of that programme material.

 

 

(5) Subsection (4) shall not apply if the system used by the holder of the licence concerned is an analogue MMD system.

 

 

(6) A person of whom a requirement is made by the Authority under subsection (4) shall comply with that requirement.

 

 

(7) The holder of a licence referred to in subsection (1) shall not impose a charge in relation to the making available to a person of any service referred to in subsection (4), pursuant to a requirement made of him or her under that subsection, if he or she imposes a charge on that person in relation to the making available of any other service to that person by means of the MMD system concerned.

 

 

(8) The Authority shall report to the Minister on an annual basis in relation to the operation of this section.

 

Must-carry and must-offer obligations.

77.� (1) (a) In this Part �appropriate network� means an electronic communications network provided by a person (�appropriate network provider�) which is used for the distribution or transmission of broadcasting services to the public.

 

 

(b) For the purposes of this section a multiplex contractor in relation to multiplexes referred to in section 132 (1), (2), (3) and (4) or in section 133 is not an appropriate network provider by virtue of being a multiplex contractor or associated activities.

 

 

(c) For the purposes of this section a holder of a licence referred to in section 76 (1), the terms of which authorise the transmission by means of a MMD system of programme material, is not an appropriate network provider by virtue of being a licensee or associated activities.

 

 

(d) For the purposes of this section a holder of a licence issued under section 59 or 121 , the terms of which authorise the transmission of programme material, is not an appropriate network provider by virtue of being a licensee under that section or associated activities.

 

 

(2) Where the Authority is of the view, after carrying out a review and after consultation with the Communications Regulator, that a type or class of network system, rather than an individual network system, is not used by a significant number of end-users as their principal means of receiving transmissions of programme material, it may propose to the Minister the full or partial removal of the obligations set out in subsections (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10) on that type or class of network system. The Minister may make an order to that effect.

 

 

(3) In the case where the appropriate network is a digital system, the appropriate network provider shall ensure the re-transmission, by or through his or her appropriate network, of the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel.

 

 

(4) An appropriate network provider shall ensure the re-transmission, by or through his or her appropriate network, of each free-to-air television service provided for the time being by RT�, TG4 and the free-to-air service provided under section 70 by the television service programme contractor which that body or contractor requests the appropriate network provider to so re-transmit.

 

 

(5) If a dispute arises between the appropriate network provider and RT�, TG4 or the television programme service contractor in relation to the placement by the appropriate network provider, relative to the placement by him or her of another broadcasting service, on the system concerned of a free-to-air service provided by that body or contractor, being a placement made on an appropriate network for the purposes of the appropriate network provider complying with a request by that body or contractor under subsection (4), the dispute shall be referred to the Authority for its determination and the determination of the Authority in the matter shall be final.

 

 

(6) An appropriate network provider shall re-transmit each national sound broadcasting service provided for the time being by RT� and each sound broadcasting contractor and which RT� or the contractor concerned requests the holder to so re-transmit.

 

 

(7) The appropriate network provider shall not impose a charge or allow a charge to be imposed in relation to the making available to a person of any service referred to in subsection (3), (4), (5) or (6) if he or she imposes a charge or allows a charge to be imposed on that person in relation to the making available of any other service to that person by means of the appropriate network concerned.

 

 

(8) The Authority may require an appropriate network provider to transmit as a broadcasting service, by means of specified appropriate networks (whether analogue or digital) maintained by the appropriate network provider, the whole or part of the programme material supplied under one or more specified community content provision contracts the holders of which are members of the local community or community of interest that is served by the said appropriate network and who request the first-mentioned appropriate network provider to so transmit the whole or, as the case may be, part of that programme material.

 

 

(9) A person of whom a requirement is made by the Authority under subsection (8) shall comply with that requirement.

 

 

(10) An appropriate network provider shall not impose a charge or allow a charge to be imposed in relation to the making available to a person of any service referred to in subsection (8), pursuant to a requirement made of him or her under that subsection, if he or she imposes a charge or allows a charge to be imposed on that person in relation to the making available of any other service to that person by means of the appropriate network concerned.

 

 

(11) Without prejudice to the requirements imposed under subsection (4), RT�, TG4 and the television service programme contractor shall ensure that their must-offer services are at all times offered for re-transmission (subject to agreement as to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms of use) by means of any appropriate network that is available for reception in an intelligible form by members of the public in the whole of or in part of the State.

 

 

(12) RT�, TG4 and the television service programme contractor shall ensure that their must-offer services are at all times offered for broadcast or re-transmission (subject to agreement as to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms of use) by means of every satellite television service.

 

 

(13) Arrangements entered into under subsection (12) shall not result in an additional charge on any subscriber to a satellite television service by reason of the making available to that subscriber of any must-offer service by way of the satellite television service.

 

 

(14) Subject to the requirements of any contract made under section 74 any arrangement entered into under subsection (12) shall ensure that the electronic programme guide by which members of the public access the satellite television service shall prioritise the positioning of the must-offer service for the purposes of that satellite television service and for the purposes of any other satellite television service which also utilises the same electronic programme guide for the purposes of making a satellite television service available for reception in an intelligible form by members of the public in the whole of or in part of the State.

 

 

(15) The Authority shall report to the Minister on an annual basis in relation to the operation of this section.

 

 

(16) (a) An order under subsection (2) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which an order was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), pass a resolution annulling the order.

 

 

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of an order takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

 

 

(17) In this section�

 

 

� must-offer service � means a free-to-air television service provided for the time being by RT�, TG4 and the free-to-air service provided under section 70 by the television service programme contractor;

 

 

� re-transmission � means near-simultaneous, unaltered and unabridged transmission;

 

 

� satellite television service � means a service which consists in or involves the distribution or transmission of television broadcasting services from a satellite, such services then offered to the public with the intention that such services be used by a significant number of the persons in the whole or part of the State by whom the broadcasts are received in an intelligible form as their principal means of receiving television programmes.

 

Offences (Part 6 ).

78.� (1) A person who contravenes section 71 (1) or 74 (2) commits an offence.

 

 

(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable�

 

 

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding �5,000, or

 

 

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding �100,000.

 

 

PART 7

Public Service Broadcasting

 

 

Chapter 1

Public Service Broadcasting Corporations � Common Provisions

 

Bodies corporate.

79.� Each corporation continues as a body corporate with perpetual succession and power to sue and be sued and to acquire, hold and dispose of land.

 

Seals of corporations.

80.� (1) A corporation shall as soon as may be after the passing of this Act provide itself with a new seal.

 

 

(2) The seal of a corporation shall be authenticated by the signature of the chairperson of the corporation, or some other member of it authorised by the corporation to act in that behalf, and the signature of an officer of the corporation authorised by the corporation to act in that behalf.

 

 

(3) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of a corporation, and every document purporting to be an instrument made by the corporation and to be sealed with the seal (purporting to be authenticated in accordance with this section) of the corporation shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such instrument without further proof unless the contrary is shown.

 

Appointment of board.

81.� (1) The number of members of the board of a corporation shall be 12 in number, of which�

 

 

(a) 6 of them shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister,

 

 

(b) subject to subsection (2), 4 of them shall be appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister,

 

 

(c) one shall be appointed by the Government following an election in accordance with section 83 , and

 

 

(d) one shall be the director general of the corporation.

 

 

(2) Where an appointment is to be made by the Government under subsection (1)(b) or under that paragraph arising from a vacancy referred to in section 84 (12)

 

 

(a) the Minister shall inform the Joint Oireachtas Committee of the proposed appointment,

 

 

(b) The Minister in respect of an appointment under subsection (1)(a) shall provide a statement to the Joint Oireachtas Committee indicating the relevant experience and expertise of the persons or person nominated by the Minister for appointment or appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister, and such other matters as the Minister considers relevant,

 

 

(c) the Joint Oireachtas Committee shall within the period of 90 days of being so informed, advise the Minister of the names of the persons or name of the person it proposes that the Minister should nominate under subsection (1)(b) giving reasons, such as relevant experience and expertise, in relation to the proposed named persons or person,

 

 

(d) the Minister shall have regard to the advice and may accept the proposed named persons or some of them or the named person or decide to nominate as he or she sees fit other persons or another person, and

 

 

(e) inform the Joint Oireachtas Committee of his or her decision.

 

 

(3) Not less than 5 of the members of the board of a corporation shall be men and not less than 5 of them shall be women.

 

 

(4) The Joint Oireachtas Committee for the purposes of providing advice to the Minister under subsection (2) may establish a panel, for such duration, and consisting of such number of persons as the Joint Oireachtas Committee shall think proper.

 

 

(5) Persons placed on a panel established under subsection (4) shall�

 

 

(a) have experience of or have shown capacity in one or more of the matters stated in section 82 (1),

 

 

(b) in respect of TG4 comply with the requirements of section 82 (2), and

 

 

(c) be chosen with a view to representing the public interest in respect of public service broadcasting matters.

 

 

(6) The Joint Oireachtas Committee shall, insofar as is practicable, endeavour to ensure that among the persons placed on a panel under subsection (4) there is an equitable balance between men and women.

 

 

(7) The Joint Oireachtas Committee shall have sole responsibility for the selection and placing of candidates on a panel established under subsection (4).

 

Criteria for board membership.

82.� (1) A person shall not be appointed to be a member of the board of a corporation unless he or she has experience of or shown capacity in one or more of the following matters�

 

 

(a) media affairs,

 

 

(b) public service broadcasting,

 

 

(c) broadcast content production,

 

 

(d) digital media technologies,

 

 

(e) trade union affairs,

 

 

(f) business or commercial affairs,

 

 

(g) matters pertaining to the development of the Irish language,

 

 

(h) matters pertaining to disability,

 

 

(i) arts, music, sport or culture,

 

 

(j) science, technology or environmental matters,

 

 

(k) legal or regulatory affairs, and

 

 

(l) social, educational or community activities or Gaeltacht affairs,

 

 

relevant to the oversight of a public service broadcaster.

 

 

(2) A person shall not be appointed to be a member of the board of TG4 unless he or she is able to communicate proficiently in the Irish language.

 

 

(3) Each member of the board of a corporation shall be appointed for a period not exceeding 5 years.

 

 

(4) The Government in setting a term of appointment under subsection (3) shall consider the need for continuity of membership of the board of a corporation.

 

 

(5) A member of the board of a corporation whose term of office expires by the effluxion of time shall be eligible for re-appointment.

 

 

(6) A member of the board of a corporation shall not serve more than 2 consecutive terms of office.

 

 

(7) A member of the board of a corporation may at any time resign his or her office by letter addressed to the Government and the resignation shall take effect on the date specified therein or upon receipt of the letter by the Government, whichever is the later.

 

 

(8) Subsections (3) to (7) do not apply to the membership of the director general of the board of a corporation.

 

Appointment of staff member.

83.� (1) The Government shall appoint to be a member of the board of each corporation one member of staff of the corporation elected to be a staff member of the board in accordance with this section.

 

 

(2) A member of the board of a corporation appointed under this section shall, subject to this section, be eligible for nomination as a candidate and for election at an election.

 

 

(3) An election shall be held as soon as practicable after the passing of this Act or such longer period as may be agreed between the corporation and recognised trade unions and staff associations.

 

 

(4) Subsections (5) to (16) apply for the purposes of an election.

 

 

(5) (a) The secretary of a corporation (or a person selected by him or her after consultation with representatives of recognised trade unions or staff associations) shall be the returning officer for each election of a staff member of the board of the corporation.

 

 

(b) The returning officer shall not be entitled to be nominated as, or to nominate, act as agent for or promote the interests of, a candidate at the election.

 

 

(c) The returning officer may authorise any person to exercise designated functions on his or her behalf and paragraph (b) applies to any such person.

 

 

(6) (a) A poll shall be conducted where there is more than one candidate.

 

 

(b) Voting shall be by secret ballot and on the basis of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.

 

 

(c) Presiding officers at the poll and polling clerks shall be appointed by the returning officer.

 

 

(d) An election shall be held in accordance with arrangements made by the returning officer.

 

 

(e) The returning officer shall be required to give due notice of these arrangements to the electorate and to designate premises as an election office.

 

 

(7) (a) The returning officer shall fix the nomination day and give notice of the election not later than 4 weeks before that day.

 

 

(b) The nomination day shall be not earlier than 4 weeks after the day on which eligibility of voters and candidates is determined in accordance with subsections (13) and (14), respectively.

 

 

(8) The returning officer may declare a candidate elected if the number of candidates standing duly nominated does not exceed one.

 

 

(9) If the nomination of candidates or any poll is interrupted or cannot be proceeded with the returning officer may adjourn the nomination or poll for such period as he or she considers appropriate to enable him or her, on its expiration, to proceed with or complete the nomination or poll.

 

 

(10) On receipt of a notification from the returning officer of the name of the candidate elected or declared to be elected under subsection (8), the Government shall, in accordance with this section, appoint the candidate as a member of the board of the corporation.

 

 

(11) The returning officer shall place the remaining candidates in order of votes credited to each at the last count in which he or she was involved.

 

 

(12) A corporation shall bear the cost of holding an election except costs incurred by candidates on their own behalf.

 

 

(13) Every employee of a corporation who, on the day specified by the returning officer and on the day on which the poll is taken�

 

 

(a) is not less than 18 years of age, and

 

 

(b) has been an employee of the corporation for a continuous period of not less than one year,

 

 

shall be entitled to vote at an election.

 

 

(14) (a) Every employee of a corporation who, on the day specified by the returning officer under subsection (13), is not less than 18 years of age and has been an employee of the corporation for a continuous period of not less than 18 months, shall be eligible to be nominated as a candidate at the election.

 

 

(b) A candidate may be nominated by�

 

 

(i) a recognised trade union or staff association or jointly by 2 or more such bodies, or

 

 

(ii) a minimum of 20 eligible voters.

 

 

(c) Nominations shall be made in the manner specified by the returning officer.

 

 

(d) The returning officer shall rule on the validity of nominations and his or her decision shall be final.

 

 

(15) The returning officer shall prepare and maintain a list of eligible voters and candidates.

 

 

(16) The returning officer shall prepare and maintain a list of recognised trade unions and staff associations for the purposes of this section.

 

 

(17) In this section � election � means an election held under this section for the appointment of a staff member to be a staff member of the board of a corporation.

 

Terms and removal.

84.� (1) There shall be paid to members of the board of a corporation, out of monies at the disposal of the corporation, such remuneration (if any) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

 

 

(2) There shall be paid to members of the board of a corporation, out of monies at the disposal of the corporation, such allowances for expenses incurred by them in the performance of their functions as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

 

 

(3) Subject to this Act, a member of the board of a corporation shall hold office on such terms (other than the payment of remuneration and allowances for expenses) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time determines.

 

 

(4) The Minister shall cause a statement in writing specifying the expertise or experience, terms of office and remuneration of the members of a corporation to be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas and published in the Iris Oifigi�il.

 

 

(5) A member of the board of a corporation may at any time be removed from membership of the board of the corporation by the Government if, in the Government�s opinion, the member has become incapable through ill-health of performing his or her functions, or has committed stated misbehaviour, or his or her removal appears to the Government to be necessary for the effective performance by the corporation of its functions, and only if, resolutions are passed by each House of the Oireachtas calling for his or her removal.

 

 

(6) A member of the board of a corporation shall cease to be and shall be disqualified from being a member of the corporation where such member�

 

 

(a) is adjudicated a bankrupt,

 

 

(b) makes a composition or arrangement with creditors,

 

 

(c) on conviction on indictment by a court of competent jurisdiction is sentenced to a term of imprisonment,

 

 

(d) is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or

 

 

(e) is disqualified or restricted from being a director of any company.

 

 

(7) A member of staff of a corporation, who is appointed to serve on the board of the corporation or the director general of the corporation, shall cease to be a member of the board of the corporation on the cessation of his or her contract of service with the corporation.

 

 

(8) Where a member of the board of a corporation fails�

 

 

(a) for a consecutive period of 6 months, to attend a meeting of the corporation, unless the member demonstrates to the Minister�s satisfaction that the failure to attend was due to illness, or

 

 

(b) to comply with the requirements of section 93 , or

 

 

(c) to make a declaration in accordance with the requirements of section 17 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 ,

 

 

the Minister may with the consent of the Government by order remove the member from office.

 

 

(9) (a) An order made under subsection (8) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it is made.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, within 21 sitting days after the day on which an order was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), pass a resolution annulling the order.

 

 

(c) The annulment under paragraph (b) of an order takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned, but does not affect anything that was done under the order before the passing of the resolution.

 

 

(10) If a member of the board of a corporation appointed by the Government, on the nomination of the Minister under section 81 (1)(a) or following an election under section 83 , dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office or for any other reason ceases to be a member of the board of the corporation, the Government on the nomination of the Minister, may appoint a person to be a member of the board of the corporation to fill the casual vacancy so occasioned and the person so appointed shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term of membership of, and in the same manner as, the member of the board of the corporation appointed by the Government, on the nomination of the Minister or following an election under section 83 , who occasioned the casual vacancy.

 

 

(11) In choosing a person to fill a casual vacancy occasioned by the cessation of membership of a member appointed by Government following an election under section 83 , the Government shall select the next eligible candidate, if any, under section 83 (11). Where 2 or more candidates are credited with an equal number of votes, the Government shall select one of them by lot.

 

 

(12) If a member of the board of a corporation appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister under paragraph (b) of section 81 (1) dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office or for any other reason ceases to be a member of the board of the corporation, the Government on the nomination of the Minister, the Minister having regard to the advice of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, may appoint a person to be a member of the board of the corporation to fill the casual vacancy so occasioned and the person so appointed shall be appointed for the unexpired period of the term of membership of, and in the same manner as, the member of the board of the corporation appointed by the Government on the nomination of the Minister under paragraph (b) of section 81 (1), who occasioned the casual vacancy.

 

Chairperson.

85.� (1) The Government shall from time to time as occasion requires appoint, on the nomination of the Minister, a member of the board of a corporation to be chairperson of it.

 

 

(2) A chairperson of a corporation shall, unless he or she sooner dies, resigns the office of chairperson or ceases to be chairperson under subsection (4), hold office until the expiration of his or her period of office as a member of the board of the corporation.

 

 

(3) A chairperson of a corporation may at any time resign his or her office as chairperson by letter sent to the Government and the resignation shall, unless it is previously withdrawn in writing, take effect at the commencement of the meeting of the corporation held next after the corporation has been informed by the Government of the resignation.

 

 

(4) Where a chairperson of a corporation ceases during his or her term of office as chairperson to be a member of the corporation he or she shall also cease to be chairperson of the corporation.

 

 

(5) A member of staff of a corporation appointed by the Government to membership of the board of the corporation or a director general of a corporation shall not be appointed as chairperson of the corporation.

 

Exclusions from board membership.

86.� (1) Where a member of the board of a corporation is�

 

 

(a) nominated as a candidate for election to the European Parliament, either House of the Oireachtas, or as a member of Seanad �ireann,

 

 

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament, or

 

 

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament to fill a vacancy,

 

 

he or she thereupon ceases to be a member of the corporation.

 

 

(2) Where the person who is the director general or a member of the staff of a corporation is�

 

 

(a) nominated as a candidate for election to the European Parliament, either House of the Oireachtas, or as a member of Seanad �ireann,

 

 

(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament, or

 

 

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament to fill a vacancy,

 

 

he or she shall thereupon stand seconded from employment by the corporation and shall not be paid by, or be entitled to receive from, the corporation any remuneration or allowances in respect of the period commencing on such nomination or election, or when he or she is so regarded as having been elected as the case may be, and ending when such person ceases to be a member of either such House or that Parliament.

 

 

(3) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament, shall, while so entitled or such a member, be disqualified from becoming a member of the board of a corporation or the director general or a member of the staff of a corporation.

 

 

(4) A person who is appointed a member of the Authority, the Contract Awards Committee or the Compliance Committee shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of a corporation or a director general or a member of staff of a corporation.

 

 

(5) A person who holds employment, save for educational or performing creative work, or has an interest in an undertaking holding a contract under this Act, shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of a corporation.

 

 

(6) A person who holds employment in RT� shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of TG4.

 

 

(7) A person who holds employment in TG4 shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of RT�.

 

 

(8) A person who holds membership of the board of RT� shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of TG4.

 

 

(9) A person who holds membership of the board of TG4 shall be disqualified from becoming or ceases to be a member of the board of RT�.

 

 

(10) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), that subsection shall be read as prohibiting, inter alia, the reckoning of a period mentioned in that subsection as service with the corporation for the purposes of any superannuation benefits.

 

Duties of board members.

87.� Subject to the requirements of this Act every member of the board of a corporation shall perform his or her functions in such a manner as to�

 

 

(a) represent the interests of viewers and listeners,

 

 

(b) ensure that the activities of the corporation in pursuance of its objectives as set out in section 114 (1) or 118 (1) are performed efficiently and effectively,

 

 

(c) ensure that the gathering and presentation by the corporation of news and current affairs is accurate and impartial, and

 

 

(d) safeguard the independence of the corporation, as regards, the conception, content and production of programmes, the editing and presentation of news and current affairs programmes and the definition of programme schedules from State, political and commercial influences.

 

Meetings.

88.� (1) The board of a corporation shall hold such and so many meetings as may be necessary for the due performance of its functions.

 

 

(2) At a meeting of the board of a corporation�

 

 

(a) the chairperson of the board of a corporation shall, if present, be chairperson of the meeting, and

 

 

(b) if and so long as the chairperson of the board of a corporation is not present or if the office of chairperson is vacant, the members of the board of a corporation who are present shall choose one of their number to be chairperson of the meeting.

 

 

(3) Every question at a meeting of the board of a corporation shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members of the board present and voting on the question, and in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairperson of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

 

 

(4) The board of a corporation may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies among its members.

 

 

(5) Subject to this Part, the board of a corporation shall regulate its procedure and practice by rules made under this section.

 

 

(6) The quorum for a meeting of the board of a corporation shall be 7.

 

 

(7) Subject to any rule made under subsection (5) meetings of the board of a corporation shall be capable of being held by telephone or other suitable electronic means whereby all the members of the board can hear and be heard.

 

 

(8) The board of a corporation may delegate any of its functions to a subcommittee of the board of the corporation subject to such conditions as the board of the corporation considers appropriate.

 

Director general.

89.� (1) A corporation shall from time to time appoint a person to be the chief executive officer of the corporation and who shall be known, and is in this Part referred to, as, in the Irish language, ardsti�rth�ir or, in the English language, director general.

 

 

(2) A director general shall�

 

 

(a) carry on and manage, and control generally, the administration of the corporation,

 

 

(b) act as editor-in-chief in respect of content published by the corporation in pursuance of its objects under this Act, and

 

 

(c) perform such other functions (if any) as may be determined by the board of the corporation.

 

 

(3) The consent of the Government is necessary before a corporation appoints or removes the director general of the corporation, or alters his or her remuneration or his or her terms and conditions of holding office.

 

 

(4) The person who, immediately before the passing of this Act, was the director general of Radio Telef�s �ireann, continues as director general of RT�.

 

 

(5) The person who, immediately before the passing of this Act, was the chief executive officer of TG4, continues as director general of TG4.

 

 

(6) A director general shall not hold any other office or employment or carry on any business without the consent of the board of the corporation.

 

 

(7) A director general shall furnish the board of the corporation with such information (including financial information) in relation to the performance of his or her functions as the board of the corporation may from time to time require.

 

 

(8) The functions of a director general may be performed in his or her absence or when the position of director general is vacant by such member of the staff of the corporation as may, from time to time, be designated for that purpose by the board of the corporation.

 

 

(9) A director general shall, for the duration of his or her appointment, serve as an ex officio member of the board of his or her corporation.

 

Staff.

90.� (1) A corporation shall, as well as appointing a director general, appoint such and so many persons to be members of the staff of the corporation as it may, from time to time, determine but, subject to subsection (2), a person shall not be appointed under this section to be a member of staff of the corporation unless he or she has been selected by means of a public competition.

 

 

(2) The requirement under subsection (1) of being selected by means of a public competition does not apply in relation to:

 

 

(a) an appointment consisting of the promotion of a person who is already a member of staff of the corporation,

 

 

(b) an office for which, in the opinion of the corporation, specialised qualifications not commonly held are required, or

 

 

(c) an office to which appointments are made for limited periods only, being periods not exceeding 2 years.

 

 

(3) A member of staff of a corporation shall hold his or her employment on such terms and conditions as the corporation from time to time determines.

 

 

(4) A corporation may perform any of its functions through or by any of its members of staff duly authorised by the corporation in that behalf.

 

Superannuation.

91.� (1) A corporation, with the approval of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Finance, shall make a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of the members of staff, including the director general, of the corporation.

 

 

(2) A superannuation scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement of all persons to or in respect of whom superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme or schemes and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

 

 

(3) A corporation may, with the approval of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Finance, make a scheme amending or revoking a superannuation scheme including a scheme under this section.

 

 

(4) A superannuation scheme submitted by the corporation under this section shall, if approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be carried out by the corporation in accordance with its terms.

 

 

(5) Each superannuation scheme shall include a provision for appeals from a decision relating to a superannuation benefit under the scheme.

 

 

(6) No superannuation benefits shall be granted by the corporation to or in respect of a person on ceasing to be director general or a member of the staff of the corporation otherwise than�

 

 

(a) in accordance with a superannuation scheme, or

 

 

(b) with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

 

 

(7) Disbursement of superannuation benefits which may be granted to or in respect of persons who, immediately before the establishment of Radio �ireann, were officers and servants of the Minister, shall not be on less favourable conditions than would apply if the benefits referred to had continued to be paid out of monies provided by the Oireachtas.

 

 

(8) The Minister for Finance shall make such contribution as may, with his or her consent, be specified in a scheme or schemes under this section towards the superannuation benefits related to reckonable service given before the establishment day of Radio �ireann which may be granted to or in respect of persons who, immediately before that day, were officers and servants of the Minister, and such scheme or schemes shall, with the like consent, fix the manner and times of the payment of such contribution.

 

 

(9) Monies required to be paid by the Minister for Finance under this section shall be advanced out of the Central Fund or the growing produce of it.

 

 

(10) (a) A superannuation scheme (including an amendment of it) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

 

 

(b) Either House of the Oireachtas may, by resolution passed within 21 sitting days after the day on which a scheme was laid before it in accordance with paragraph (a), annul the scheme.

 

 

(c) The annulment of a scheme under paragraph (b) takes effect immediately on the passing of the resolution concerned but does not affect anything that was done under the scheme before the passing of the resolution.

 

 

(11) In this section � superannuation scheme � means a scheme under this section.

 

Accountability of director general and chairperson to Oireachtas Committees.

92.� (1) In this section � Committee� means a Committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the Committee on Members� Interests of D�il �ireann or the Committee on Members� Interests of Seanad �ireann) or a subcommittee of such a Committee.

 

 

(2) Subject to subsection (4), a director general shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to give account for the general administration of his or her corporation.

 

 

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the chairperson of a corporation shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to represent the views of the board of his or her corporation.

 

 

(4) A director general or chairperson shall not be required to give account for, or represent the views of the board of his or her corporation in respect of, any matter which is or has been or may at a future time be the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

 

 

(5) Where a director general or chairperson is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give an account for, or represent the views of the board of the corporation, is a matter to which subsection (4) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at a time when the director general or chairperson is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

 

 

(6) Where the director general or chairperson has informed a Committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (5) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion�

 

 

(a) the director general or chairperson may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the Committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (4) applies, or

 

 

(b) the chairperson of the Committee may, on behalf of the Committee, make such an application,

 

 

and the High Court may determine the matter.

 

 

(7) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (6), the director general or chairperson shall not attend before the Committee to give account for, or represent the views of the board of the corporation in respect of, the matter the subject of the application.

 

 

(8) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (4) applies, the Committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3), but if the High Court determines that subsection (4) does not apply, the director general or chairperson shall attend before the Committee to give account for, or represent the views of the board of the corporation in respect of, the matter.

 

Disclosure by members of corporation of certain interests.

93.� (1) A member of the board of a corporation who has�

 

 

(a) any interest in any body or concerns with which the corporation has made a contract or proposes to make a contract, or

 

 

(b) any interest in any contract which the corporation has made or proposes to make,

 

 

shall disclose to the board of the corporation the fact of such interest and the nature of it and shall not be present at any deliberation or decision of the board of the corporation relating to the contract.

 

 

(2) Where at a meeting of a board of a corporation any of the following matters arise, namely�

 

 

(a) an arrangement to which the corporation is a party or a proposed such arrangement, or

 

 

(b) a contract or other agreement with the corporation or a proposed such contract or other agreement,

 

 

then, any member of the board of the corporation present at the meeting who otherwise than in his or her capacity as such a member has an interest in the matter shall�

 

 

(i) at the meeting disclose to the board of the corporation the fact of such interest and the nature of it,

 

 

(ii) neither influence nor seek to influence a decision to be made in relation to the matter,

 

 

(iii) absent himself or herself from the meeting or that part of the meeting during which the matter is discussed,

 

 

(iv) take no part in any deliberation of the board of the corporation relating to the matter, and

 

 

(v) not vote on a decision relating to the matter.

 

 

(3) Where an interest is disclosed under this section, the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned and, for so long as the matter to which the disclosure relates is being considered or discussed by the meeting, the member of the board by whom the disclosure is made shall not be counted in the quorum for the meeting.

 

 

(4) Where at a meeting of a board of a corporation a question arises as to whether or not a course of conduct, if pursued by a member of the board of the corporation, would constitute a failure by him or her to comply with the requirements of subsection (2), the question may be determined by the board of the corporation, whose decision shall be final, and where such a question is so determined, particulars of the determination shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

 

 

(5) For the purposes of this section and section 94 a person shall not be regarded as having an interest in any matter by reason only of an interest of that person, or of any company in which he or she has an interest, which is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence a person in considering, discussing or in voting on, any question relating to the matter, or in performing any function in relation to that matter.

 

Disclosure by staff and contractors for services of certain interests.

94.� (1) Where a member of the staff of a corporation or a member of the staff or a director of a subsidiary or a contractor for services, in a category specified before engagement by the corporation, has an interest, otherwise than in his or her capacity as such, in any contract, agreement or arrangement, or any proposed contract, agreement or arrangement, to which the corporation is or is proposed to be a party, that person�

 

 

(a) shall disclose to the board of the corporation his or her interest and the nature of it,

 

 

(b) shall take no part in the negotiation of the contract, agreement or arrangement or in any deliberation by members of the board of the corporation or members of the staff of the corporation or contractors for services in a category specified before engagement by the corporation in relation to it,

 

 

(c) shall not influence or seek to influence a decision to be made in the matter, and

 

 

(d) shall not make any recommendation in relation to the contract, agreement or arrangement.

 

 

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person as regards a contract or proposed contract of employment of that person as a member of the staff of the corporation or as regards a contract or proposed contract for services of that person as a contractor for services to the corporation.

 

 

(3) Where a person to whom subsection (1) applies fails to comply with a requirement of this section, the corporation concerned shall decide the appropriate action (including removal from office or termination of contract) to be taken.

 

 

(4) In this section �� member of staff �� includes the director general.

 

 

(5) In this section and sections 95 , 104 and 116 , � subsidiary � means a subsidiary of a corporation.

 

Code of conduct.

95.� (1) A corporation shall, as soon as may be, draw up and adopt a code of conduct in respect of controls on interests and ethical behaviour to apply to each member of the board, member of staff, adviser, member of an advisory committee and member of an audience council of the corporation or a subsidiary of the corporation.

 

 

(2) A corporation shall, as soon as may be, draw up a code of conduct in respect of controls on interests and ethical behaviour to apply to such categories of contractors for services as the corporation may specify before engagement.

 

 

(3) A corporation shall publish on a website maintained by the corporation any code of conduct drawn up under subsections (1) and (2).

 

Audience council.

96.� (1) A corporation shall establish for the purposes of this section, a committee, which committee shall be known, and is in this section referred to, as an audience council.

 

 

(2) An audience council shall consist of 15 members appointed by its corporation.

 

 

(3) The members of the board of a corporation shall appoint one of their number to serve as a member of its audience council.

 

 

(4) In appointing the members of its audience council, a corporation shall endeavour to ensure that the audience council is representative of the viewing and listening public and, in particular, of Gaeltacht communities and persons with a sight or hearing disability.

 

 

(5) In appointing the members of its audience council TG4 shall endeavour to ensure that the members of the audience council are able to communicate proficiently in the Irish language.

 

 

(6) A corporation shall from time to time appoint, as occasion requires, a member of its audience council to be chairperson of it.

 

 

(7) The membership of an audience council shall be appointed for such periods, not exceeding 5 years, as the corporation may think fit and a member of the audience council appointed for a period of less than 5 years shall be eligible for re-appointment for the remainder of the period of 5 years from the beginning of his or her appointment, or for any shorter period.

 

 

(8) A member of an audience council may at any time, by notice in writing to the corporation, resign his or her membership. The membership of any member of the audience council may at any time be terminated by notice in writing given to him or her by the corporation.

 

 

(9) A corporation shall give to its audience council the use of such resources and information as the council requires for the proper performance of its functions.

 

 

(10) The principal function of an audience council shall be to represent to the board of its corporation the views and interests of the general public with regard to public service broadcasting by the corporation.

 

 

(11) An audience council may require its corporation to conduct, or arrange to be conducted, as far as is reasonably practicable, a survey of children and young persons, for the purpose of ascertaining the views and interests of children and young persons in respect of public service broadcasting by the corporation.