BSC and Radio Authority team up to deal with complaints

The Broadcasting Standards Commission and The Radio Authority are to co-operate on complaint handling and audience research projects in advance of wide-ranging regulatory changes.

For the Communications White Paper, the Government is seeking views from the broadcast industries about future regulation.

A super-regulator Ofcom is expected to be created by the Communications Act in 2003/4.

In its first move towards “joined up regulation” the Commission and the Radio Authority have set out a Memorandum of Understanding on how complaints are to be dealt with between the two bodies.

The move aims to make the complaints procedure clearer for the listener and to avoid separate investigations being carried out by the two bodies which have stemmed from the same complainant.

Information on standards will be shared and each body will take into account the adjudications of the other when making decisions.

The Commission will continue to deal with complaints about fairness and privacy. The Radio Authority, which has the ability to revoke licences, will continue to deal with matters relating to standards that have licensing implications. The statutory obligations of both bodies remain unchanged.

The two bodies are to undertake joint audience research projects relating to standards in radio and other audience expectations. The first of these projects, a joint consultation on taste and decency, will be published at the end of the summer.

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