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British Telecommunications Act 1981

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

6General control and supervision by the Secretary of State

(1)The Corporation shall give effect to any direction given to it by the Secretary of State under the provisions of this Part and shall secure, so far as appropriate, that each of its wholly owned subsidiaries also gives effect to any such direction.

(2)The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the Corporation, give to it such directions of a general character as to the exercise by it of its powers as appear to the Secretary of State to be requisite in the national interest.

(3)If it appears to the Secretary of State that there is a defect in the general plans or arrangements of the Corporation for exercising any of its powers, he may, after consultation with it, give it directions of a general character for remedying the defect.

(4)Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this section, if it appears to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient so to do—

(a)in the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the British Islands; or

(b)in order—

(i)to discharge, or facilitate the discharge of, an obligation binding on Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom by virtue of it being a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement;

(ii)to attain, or facilitate the attainment of, any other object the attainment of which is, in the Secretary of State's opinion, requisite or expedient in view of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom being a member of such an organisation or a party to such an agreement; or

(iii)to enable Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to become a member of such an organisation or a party to such an agreement,

he may, after consultation with the Corporation, give to it directions requiring it (according to the circumstances of the case) to secure that a particular thing that it or any of its subsidiaries is doing is no longer done or that a particular thing that it has power to do, but is not being done either by it or by any of its subsidiaries, is so done.

(5)If it appears to the Secretary of State that the Corporation is showing undue preference to, or is exercising undue discrimination against, any person or persons of any class or description in the charges or other terms and conditions applicable to the provision of services which, by virtue of the provisions of this Part, it has the exclusive privilege of providing, he may, after consultation with the Corporation, give it such directions as appear to him requisite to secure that it ceases so to do.

(6)The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the Corporation, direct the Corporation—

(a)to make a scheme under subsection (1) of section 4, or

to exercise its powers under subsection (4) of that section, for such purposes and in such manner as may be specified in the direction; or

(b)to dispose of any part of its undertaking or any assets held by it or to exercise its control over any of its wholly owned subsidiaries so as to cause the subsidiary to dispose of any part of its undertaking or any assets held by it;

but the Secretary of State shall not give any direction under paragraph (b) unless he is satisfied that he will not thereby impede or prevent the proper discharge of the Corporation's duty under section 3(1).

(7)The Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of every direction given under subsection (6) unless he is of opinion that disclosure of the direction is against—

(a)the interests of national security ; or

(b)the commercial interests of any person.

(8)The Corporation shall not disclose any direction given to it under any of the foregoing provisions of this section if the Secretary of State notifies it that he is of opinion that disclosure of the direction is against—

(a)the interests of national security; or

(b)the commercial interests of a person other than the Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries.

(9)The Corporation shall settle from time to time, after consultation with the Secretary of State, a general programme of technological research into matters affecting the services provided by it or its wholly owned subsidiaries and other matters affecting its or their functions, and of development connected with such matters.

(10)The Corporation, in carrying out any such work of development as involves substantial outlay on capital account and in securing the carrying out by its wholly owned subsidiaries of any such work, shall act in accordance with a general programme settled from time to time with the approval of the Secretary of State.

(11)The Corporation, in such manner and ait such times as the Secretary of State may specify in writing to it, shall furnish him with such information—

(a)as he may so specify ; and

(b)as the Corporation has or can reasonably be expected to obtain,

with respect to such matters relating to the Corporation or its subsidiaries or the activities (past, present or future), plans or properties of any of them as the Secretary of State may so specify.

(12)Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection 11), the Corporation shall, as soon as possible after the end of each accounting year, make to the Secretary of State a report on the exercise and performance by it and its subsidiaries of its and their functions during that year (which shall include such particulars as the Secretary of State may, after consultation with the Corporation and with the approval of the Treasury, direct with respect to its activities and those of its subsidiaries so far as consisting in the construction, manufacture or production of articles in that year), and the Secretary of State shall lay a copy of every such report before each House of Parliament.

(13)The report made under subsection (12) for any year shall set out any directions given under this Part by the Secretary of State to the Corporation during that year, except such (if any) as were the subject of notifications under subsection (8)(a).

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