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Communications Act 2003

Section 380: Additional investigation and report by OFCOM: special public interest cases

827.This section inserts a new section 61A in the EA 2002, which sets out OFCOM’s reporting and related investigatory duties where a special intervention notice has been served mentioning any of the media public interest considerations that are specified in section 58(2A), (2B) or (2C) EA 2002. The new section refers only to considerations specified in section 58(2A), (2B) or (2C) at the time of the giving of the special intervention notice because the special public interest regime has no equivalent to the provisions in the standard public interest regime by which the Secretary of State can intervene on the basis of a new public interest consideration which has not been specified in section 58 (see section 42(3) EA 2002).

828.New section 61A(2) provides that OFCOM is obliged to report to the Secretary of State within a deadline specified by the Secretary of State. There is nothing to prevent the Secretary of State from altering the deadline if the circumstances so require. New section 61A(3) ensures that the Secretary of State will receive information in the report on at least two areas:

  • OFCOM’s advice and recommendations on any media public interest considerations specified in section 58(2A), (2B) or (2C) and mentioned in the special intervention notice; and

  • OFCOM’s summary of the relevant representations that it has received in relation to any such media public interest consideration.

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