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Communications Act 2003

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7Duty to carry out impact assessmentsE+W+S+N.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)This section applies where—

(a)OFCOM are proposing to do anything for the purposes of, or in connection with, the carrying out of their functions; and

(b)it appears to them that the proposal is important;

but this section does not apply if it appears to OFCOM that the urgency of the matter makes it impracticable or inappropriate for them to comply with the requirements of this section.

(2)A proposal is important for the purposes of this section only if its implementation would be likely to do one or more of the following—

(a)to involve a major change in the activities carried on by OFCOM;

(b)to have a significant impact on persons carrying on businesses in the markets for any of the services, facilities, apparatus or directories in relation to which OFCOM have functions; or

(c)to have a significant impact on the general public in the United Kingdom or in a part of the United Kingdom.

(3)Before implementing their proposal, OFCOM must either—

(a)carry out and publish an assessment of the likely impact of implementing the proposal; or

(b)publish a statement setting out their reasons for thinking that it is unnecessary for them to carry out an assessment.

(4)An assessment under subsection (3)(a) must set out how, in OFCOM’s opinion, the performance of their general duties (within the meaning of section 3) is secured or furthered by or in relation to what they propose.

(5)An assessment carried out under this section—

(a)may take such form, and

(b)must relate to such matters,

as OFCOM consider appropriate.

(6)In determining the matters to which an assessment under this section should relate, OFCOM must have regard to such general guidance relating to the carrying out of impact assessments as they consider appropriate.

(7)Where OFCOM publish an assessment under this section—

(a)they must provide an opportunity of making representations to them about their proposal to members of the public and other persons who, in OFCOM’s opinion, are likely to be affected to a significant extent by its implementation;

(b)the published assessment must be accompanied by a statement setting out how representations may be made; and

(c)OFCOM are not to implement their proposal unless the period for making representations about it has expired and they have considered all the representations that were made in that period.

(8)Where OFCOM are required (apart from this section)—

(a)to consult about a proposal to which this section applies, or

(b)to give a person an opportunity of making representations about it,

the requirements of this section are in addition to, but may be performed contemporaneously with, the other requirements.

(9)Every report under paragraph 12 of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11) (OFCOM’s annual report) must set out—

(a)a list of the assessments under this section carried out during the financial year to which the report relates; and

(b)a summary of the decisions taken during that year in relation to proposals to which assessments carried out in that year or previous financial years relate.

(10)The publication of anything under this section must be in such manner as OFCOM consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the persons who, in OFCOM’s opinion, are likely to be affected if their proposal is implemented.

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