ICASA Amendment Bill, 2010

Posted by LA Thornton on Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Minister released for public comment the ICASA Amendment Bill, 2010.  The Bill is aimed at clarifying the separate responsibilities of the CEO and Council, improving turn around times for complaints and creating a Tariff Advisory Council, according to the memorandum attached to the draft Bill.

Some further notable changes brought about by the Bill include the following.
  1. The addition of a provision making it ICASA's obligation to implement policy and policy directions.  Currently, because of the Constitutional mandate that the broadcasting regulator must be independent, ICASA is only required to take such policies and policy directions into account when is carries out its independent responsibilities.
  2. The addition of a provision that the Chairperson of Council must perform such functions as the Minister may determine from time to time.  Currently, the Chairperson's functions are fully set out in the legislation.
  3. The addition of a provision that obligates the Minister to assign specific responsibilities to councilors (such as with respect to licensing, economic regulation, or postal matters) when appointments are made.
  4. The members of the Complaints and Compliance Committee are to be nominated by the Minister in consultation with Parliament.  Also, the CCC no longer makes recommendations to the Council, but makes enforceable decisions.   Under the existing legislation, the Council appoints the committee members and ultimately makes decisions on complaints.

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