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26/02/2003

Commons amendments define Ofcom's powers

The role of the new media and telecommunications super-regulator Ofcom is to be further defined by ministers as the communications bill re-enters the House of Commons for its third reading.
Three new amendments scheduled to be added to the bill have been described by culture secretary Tessa Jowell as a "belt and braces guarantee that the bill will deliver our policy commitment to safeguard and further the interests of the community as a whole and consumers." The amendments relate mainly to the scrutiny of media takeovers and to ensuring diversity of TV and radio broadcasters.
Though the new amendments do not name the BBC specifically, their proposal is widely considered to be partly a response to growing demands for accountability of the organisation.
(GB)
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