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Communications Act 2003

Section 336: Government requirements for licensed services

699.The Secretary of State, or any other Minister of the Crown, has the power by notice to require OFCOM to issue a direction to licence holders to include a particular announcement in their service at specified times. The Secretary of State alone may require OFCOM to direct licence holders to refrain from including any particular matter in their services.

  • *Subsection (9) makes clear that Minister of the Crown includes the Treasury.

700.Where a licence holder is obliged to make a particular announcement, they may make clear in their service that this is being carried out further to a direction given by OFCOM. Similarly, where a licence holder has been obliged to refrain from including a particular matter in their service, the licence holder may announce in the service that this is the case, and may also announce when that obligation has come to an end.

701.The purpose of these provisions is principally to allow Ministers to address matters of national security or major public interest, and to do so in such a way that the affected broadcasters are not required to take editorial responsibility for the content of the announcements.

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