Broadcasting Act 2009

54.

Report, findings, recommendations and procedures relating to outcome of investigation.

54.— (1) ( a) Where an investigating officer forms the view that there has been a breach in respect of any matter which he or she is investigating or the broadcaster concerned has failed to co-operate with the investigation, the officer shall report this to the Compliance Committee.

( b) The report of an investigating officer in relation to an investigation to the Compliance Committee shall include—

(i) the investigating officer’s findings in relation to the matter,

(ii) any response received under section 53 (3) or comment received under section 53 (5) or (6),

(iii) details of any failure by the broadcaster concerned to comply with section 53 (7) , and

(iv) the recommendation of the investigating officer.

(2) Where an investigating officer forms a view that there has been a breach by the broadcaster concerned or that the broadcaster has not co-operated with the investigation, the broadcaster shall be afforded the opportunity of making a submission to the Compliance Committee within 10 days of being notified of the investigating officer’s views and recommendation.

(3) Where the Compliance Committee, having considered a report under subsection (1) and any submissions made under subsection (2), finds that—

( a) there has been a breach by the broadcaster concerned, or

( b) the broadcaster concerned has failed to co-operate in an investigation,

the Committee may recommend to the Authority that the Authority notify the broadcaster concerned in accordance with subsection (4). The Authority shall comply with the recommendation.

(4) A notification under subsection (3) shall—

( a) set out the reasons for the notification,

( b) state that the Authority intends to apply to the Court for a determination that there has been a breach or a failure to co-operate with an investigation, unless the broadcaster concerned requests, in writing within 14 days of the date of the notification or such further period as the Authority allows, that the Authority deal with the matter under section 55 (2) , and

( c) indicate the amount of the financial sanction (not exceeding €250,000) that it proposes, if the matter is dealt with by the Authority under section 55 (2) ,

and the Authority may indicate in the notification the amount of the financial sanction (not exceeding €250,000) that it intends to recommend to the Court if the matter is dealt with by the Court under section 55 (1) .

(5) Where the broadcaster concerned fails to make a request under subsection (4)(b) within the period referred to in that paragraph or informs the Authority that no such request will be made, the Authority shall apply to the Court for a determination that there has been a breach or a failure to co-operate with an investigation by the broadcaster concerned.

(6) Where a broadcaster makes a request under subsection (4)(b), the Authority shall afford the broadcaster an opportunity to make submissions at a hearing before the Authority in respect of the matter.

(7) Where a broadcaster takes the opportunity to make submissions at a hearing under subsection (6), the members of the Authority conducting the hearing shall not include any person who was a member of the Compliance Committee which appointed an investigating officer under section 53 (1) to investigate the alleged breach and made a recommendation under subsection (3).

(8) The Authority shall make rules providing for the conduct of a hearing under subsection (6). The rules may include provision for an oral or other form of hearing, as appropriate, and for the taking of evidence whether orally or otherwise, as appropriate, and the applicable rules of evidence.

(9) The Authority may not award costs or expenses to any party in relation to a hearing under subsection (6).