Broadcasting Act 2009

65.

Applications for sound broadcasting contracts.

65.— (1) In order to secure the orderly development of broadcasting services and to allow for the establishment of a diversity of services in an area catering for a wide range of tastes including those of minority interests, the Authority shall liaise and consult with the Communications Regulator in the preparation by that body of an allocation plan for the frequency range dedicated to sound broadcasting.

(2) The Authority, having regard to an allocation plan under subsection (1) and after consultation with the Communications Regulator, in respect of the availability of radio frequencies for sound broadcasting services shall—

( a) specify the area (which area may consist of the whole or any part of the State) in relation to which applications for a sound broadcasting contract are to be invited, and

( b) direct the Contract Awards Committee to invite applications for sound broadcasting contracts for the area specified and the Committee shall comply with such direction.

(3) Where the Authority proposes to specify an area under subsection (2) , the Authority may conduct, or arrange for there to be conducted, either or both—

( a) a study in that area or amongst a community of interest for the purposes of ascertaining the interests and wishes of that area or community in respect of sound broadcasting services, or

( b) a study as to the sectoral impact of an additional sound broadcasting contract in that area.

(4) The Authority shall publish the results of any study conducted under subsection (3) on a website maintained by the Authority.

(5) The Authority may direct the Contract Awards Committee to consider the results of a study conducted under subsection (3) in complying with a direction under subsection (2) , and the Contract Awards Committee shall comply with such an additional direction.

(6) On receipt of a direction from the Authority under subsection (2) the Contract Awards Committee may, in accordance with the terms of any such direction, by public notice invite expressions of interest in the securing of contracts for sound broadcasting services under this Act. Any expressions of interest must be made within 60 days of the date of such notice and must indicate in general terms the type of service that would be provided and shall not be regarded as an application for a sound broadcasting contract.

(7) A public notice under subsection (6) may invite all interested parties to express their views on the type of sound broadcasting service proposed.

(8) The Contract Awards Committee shall, subject to this Part, invite applications for a sound broadcasting contract for the provision of a sound broadcasting service in each area specified by the Authority under subsection (2) and, subject to this Part, may recommend that the Authority enter into such contract, and the Authority shall follow any such recommendation.

(9) Where the Contract Awards Committee invites applications for a sound broadcasting contract for the provision of a sound broadcasting service it shall by public notice specify the area in relation to which the sound broadcasting service is to be provided pursuant to such contract and by such notice shall invite persons interested in providing such a service to apply for such contract.

(10) In considering applications for the award of a sound broadcasting contract the Contract Awards Committee shall determine applications in accordance with section 66 and assign a score to each, or a combination of, the criteria specified in section 66 (2) and the Contract Awards Committee shall inform each person who has indicated his or her intention of being an applicant for a contract of such assignment.

(11) The Contract Awards Committee shall in reaching its decision as to the award of a sound broadcasting contract assign an agreed score to each of the applications received in accordance with subsection (10) .

(12) The Contract Awards Committee’s view on an assignment of a score under subsection (11) shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members of the Contract Awards Committee.

(13) Every notice under subsection (9) shall—

( a) be published on a website maintained by the Authority, and where appropriate, in a newspaper circulating in the area to be served,

( b) specify the procedure to be followed in order to make an application, and

( c) specify any other matters which appear to the Contract Awards Committee to be necessary or relevant.