Broadcasting Act 2009

53.

Investigation into affairs of broadcaster.

53.— (1) The Compliance Committee shall, subject to subsection (2), appoint a member of the staff of the Authority, or such other person as the Committee considers to be suitably qualified to be an investigating officer for the purposes of this Chapter where it is of the opinion that there are circumstances suggesting that it is appropriate to investigate and report on any apparent breach by a broadcaster of a requirement of section 39(1) , 40(1) , (2) or (3), 41(2) , (3) or (4), 106(3) or 127(6) or a broadcasting code or rule.

(2) The terms of appointment of an investigating officer under this section shall relate to the particular apparent breach being investigated and may define the scope of his or her investigation, whether as respects the matters or the period to which it is to extend or otherwise, and in particular may limit the investigation to matters connected with particular circumstances.

(3) Where the Compliance Committee appoints an investigating officer to investigate and report on an apparent breach by a broadcaster, the investigating officer shall—

( a) notify the broadcaster (“broadcaster concerned”) of the matter under investigation,

( b) supply the broadcaster with copies of any documents relevant to the investigation, and

( c) afford to the broadcaster an opportunity to respond, within 7 days of the date of the notification, or such further period not exceeding 21 days as the Committee allows, to the matter under investigation.

(4) It is the duty of the broadcaster concerned to co-operate in any such investigation and provide the investigating officer with such information as he or she considers necessary for the purposes of the investigation.

(5) Where the Compliance Committee appoints an investigating officer to investigate and report on an apparent breach and either—

( a) a person employed by the broadcaster concerned, or

( b) if the making of any programme, the subject of such an investigation, was commissioned by the broadcaster concerned, the person commissioned to make that programme,

requests, for reasons specified by the person, that the Compliance Committee afford to him or her an opportunity to comment within 7 days, or such further period not exceeding 21 days as the Committee allows, on the matter under investigation, then the Compliance Committee shall, having considered the reasons so specified, require the investigating officer to afford to the person such an opportunity, if the Committee is satisfied that—

(i) in the case of a person referred to in paragraph (a), an interest of the person, which the Compliance Committee considers relevant to the person’s employment by the broadcaster concerned, is involved,

(ii) in the case of a person referred to in paragraph (b), the prospects of the person obtaining further commissions in respect of programmes from the broadcaster concerned, may, because of the matter under investigation, be adversely affected, or

(iii) in the case of a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), it is in the interests of fairness to do so, having regard to any potential consequences for the good name of the person.

(6) Where the Compliance Committee proposes to investigate non-compliance by a broadcaster with a broadcasting code which provides for any of the matters referred to in section 42(2)(g) or (h), the investigating officer shall afford to the person employing such matter in a broadcasting service an opportunity to comment within 7 days of notification, or such further period not exceeding 21 days as the Committee allows, in relation to the matter under investigation.

(7) An investigating officer may for the purposes of this section require the broadcaster concerned to—

( a) provide to the investigating officer such information or records in the broadcaster’s possession or control relevant to the investigation, and

( b) where appropriate, attend before the investigating officer for the purposes of the investigation.