Ofcom's main decision making body is the Board, which provides strategic direction for the organisation.
It has a Non-Executive Chairman, Executive Directors (including the Chief Executive), and Non-Executive Directors.
The Executive runs the organisation and answers to the Board.
The Ofcom Board meets at least once a month (with the exception of August). Agendas, summary, notes and minutes are published regularly on the Ofcom website.
Functions and Role
Historically the regulatory regimes for broadcasting, telecommunications and spectrum management have encompassed a broad range of governance models.
These have included oversight by Government-appointed Commission, by Director-General and by Government Agency.
Ofcom's governance structure is different. It is based upon a model which is familiar to the commercial sector but which marks a departure from the past.
Ofcom has a Board with a Chairman and both executive and non-executive members. The Executive runs the organisation and answers to the Board, whilst the work of both Board and Executive is informed by the contribution of a number of advisory bodies.
The Ofcom Board provides strategic direction for Ofcom. It is the main statutory instrument of regulation with a fundamental role in the effective implementation of the Communications Act 2003.
The Board is chaired by Patricia Hodgson. Its membership is published. There are up to nine additional members including the Chief Executive of Ofcom and up to three members of the executive.
The Ofcom Board meets at least once a month (with the exception of August). Agendas and notes of meetings are published regularly on the Ofcom website.
The Board has a central governance function, with oversight over the fulfilment of Ofcom's general duties and specific statutory responsibilities as well as its adherence to the ethos of a public service organisation. The Board also has oversight of Ofcom's overall funding and expenditure.
The Board acts on a collective basis. As the body charged with governing Ofcom's strategic direction, the Board has agreed that its members will abide by the following principles:
- The Board will operate on the principles of collective responsibility, support and respect.
- Board members should have access to all the information necessary to ensure vigorous debate and effective decision-making.
- In all situations, all Board members will be deemed to have agreed with all decisions.
- External pressure will not alter Board processes except for potential timelines.
- Board members' behaviour in response to decisions is required to be the same inside and outside Ofcom.
- Minority views will not be made public internally or externally.
- Nominated Board members (other than those who disagreed with a decision) may be required to explain and articulate specific decisions.
- If a Board member resigns he or she may state the basis for the disagreement, but may not publicly rehearse the arguments of other Board members.
Reservations to the Ofcom Board
The Board provides strategic direction for the performance of Ofcom’s regulatory functions by reference to its statutory duties and has overall responsibility for financial and operational matters.
The Board may take any decision it considers it is appropriate to be taken by the Board notwithstanding the delegations approved by the Board through the Delegations Framework. The delegations in the delegations framework are also subject to the reservation of the following matters to the Board:
a) approval of Ofcom's annual budget, overall financial policy and Financial Authorities Framework;
b) approval of Ofcom's annual report and accounts;
c) approval of any contract value in excess of £5,000,000;
d) approval of Ofcom's annual plan, long term objectives and overall strategic policy framework;
e) undertaking a formal regular review of the Board’s own performance and that of Board committees;
f) approval of terms of reference of Board committees;
g) approval of appointments and remuneration of Non-Executive members to Board committees;
h) Approval of appointments of non-executive members of the Channel Four Board (subject to the formal approval of the Secretary of State) and decisions as to the number of members of the Channel Four Board; and
i) Decisions concerning appointments to MG Alba (the Gaelic Media Service)
Approved by the Ofcom Board, 24 May 2016
The Board is scheduled to meet on the following dates. (Meetings to be held at Ofcom's offices in London unless otherwise indicated.)
19 January 2016
16 February 2016
26 February 2016
15 March 2016
19 April 2016
24 May 2016
21 June 2016
19 July 2016
20 September 2016
18 October 2016
15 November 2016
13 December 2016