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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, 12:13 GMT
Ofcom pledges 'openness' policy
Ofcom graphic
Ofcom will act as a one-stop shop for media regulation
The UK's new media "super-regulator" Ofcom has promised to conduct its business openly and to be accountable to MPs and the public.

Ofcom chairman Lord Currie told MPs on Tuesday that the watchdog's board would reach decisions in private but would be "transparent" about its discussions.

He told the Commons Media and Culture committee: "We will be very open about our consultation process."

Ofcom, which launches on 29 December, replaces five regulatory bodies.

It will oversee the converging worlds of television, radio, telecommunications and mobile phones, pulling together the current cluster of media of watchdogs in the UK.

Fast food
Advertising of junk food to children will come under Ofcom's remit
Operating under the Communications Bill, it takes over the role of the Independent Television Commission (ITC), Oftel, the Radio Authority (RA), the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) and the Radiocommunications Agency.

Committee chairman Gerald Kaufman MP asked Lord Currie whether Ofcom was "scared" of meeting in public.

Lord Currie said the body did not want to find its members' "free and open interchange" inhibited, but it would make its decision-making process transparent wherever possible.

He said Ofcom supported "accelerated" moves to switch off the analogue TV signal, which has a target deadline of 2010.

Ofcom will also be involved in issues of taste and decency, competition and takeovers, and public service broadcasting.

Lord Currie said the watchdog would consider the experiences of public service broadcasters overseas before giving its views on the BBC's charter renewal, due in 2006.

It will also report on sensitive issues such as the advertising of junk food and drink to children, and regulation of internet content.

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