Dáil Éireann - Volume 625 - 19 October, 2006
Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.
Ms Shortall Ms Shortall
Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will report on the recently published heads of the Broadcasting Bill; the way in which he envisages the potential new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will be structured; the timeframe for bringing the bill before the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33400/06]
Mr. N. Dempsey Mr. N. Dempsey
 Mr. N. Dempsey: The key objectives contained in the draft general scheme of the Broadcasting Bill are as follows:
To establish a single content regulator for commercial, community and public service broadcasters to be known as the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and encompassing the existing regulatory functions of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and the RTÉ Authority.
To ensure that adequate and proportionate enforcement instruments are available to the BAI, including where appropriate, administrative fines.
To provide that the BAI will be funded primarily by a sectoral levy applicable to all broadcasters.
To provide a developed right of reply to persons whose reputation and good name have been damaged by an assertion of incorrect facts in a television or radio programme.
To increase the fines on conviction for non-possession of a television licence.
To provide greater transparency as regards the award of broadcasting contracts.
Establish RTÉ and Teilifís na Gaeilge as separate companies under the Companies Acts 1963 to 2005.
Amend the existing public service remit of RTÉ and Teilifís na Gaeilge to incorporate (i) the broadcasting of public service programming to Irish communities in the UK, and (ii) the use of new web-based technologies in delivering on their mandates, and
Provide a statutory mechanism for the oversight of public funding to RTÉ and Teilifís na Gaeilge.
These proposals have been submitted to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources for the purposes of public consultation under the eConsultation initiative.
I propose to introduce this Bill into the Houses of the Oireachtas in 2007 in the light of the outcome of the consultation process.
Dáil Éireann 625 Written Answers. Proposed Legislation.