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The Proposed ICASA Amendment Bill – A Critique. Presenter - Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator 25 August 2010. The Proposed ICASA Amendment Bill. Published on 25 June 2010, 30 days for public comment Introduced to deal with ICASA inefficiencies, slow turn around times etc

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the proposed icasa amendment bill a critique
The Proposed ICASA Amendment Bill – A Critique

Presenter - Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator

25 August 2010

the proposed icasa amendment bill
The Proposed ICASA Amendment Bill

Published on 25 June 2010, 30 days for public comment

Introduced to deal with ICASA inefficiencies, slow turn around times etc

Deals with these inefficiencies by extending the Minister’s powers

need for a policy development process
Need for a policy development process

SOS has been arguing for a comprehensive policy review process before the Bill is introduced.

Lack of a policy process - key issues of funding and lack of capacity ignored.

some amendments supported
Some amendments supported

Commitment to ensuring shorter turnaround times etc. should certainly be welcomed but still should be backed up by research and benchmarked against national and international best practice.

constitutionality concerns
Constitutionality concerns

Section 192 provides for the establishment of an independent Broadcasting regulator.

The Broadcasting Act and ICASA Act comprise the legislative framework that gives practical effect to this requirement.

Amendments should not be out of line with the Constitution.

specific concerns management of radio frequency spectrum
Specific concerns – management of radio frequency spectrum

ICASA’s powers are downgraded from managing same to simply assigning same.

But managing the broadcasting services frequency is an essential and inseparable part of regulating broadcasting.

specific concerns chairperson must perform functions assigned by minister
Specific concerns – Chairperson must perform functions assigned by Minister

The Chairperson effectively becomes an administrative arm of the Minister

specific concerns minister to chair evaluation committee of councillors
Specific concerns – Minister to chair evaluation committee of Councillors

Evaluation committee can potentially remove councillors for non-performance etc.

slide9
Specific concerns – ICASA’s CEO to be downgraded to a COO. ICASA will no longer have its own accounting officer

Violates Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) that states that every Constitutional body should have its own accounting officer and that person needs to be the CEO.

specific concerns icasa must establish a tariff advisory council
Specific concerns – ICASA must establish a Tariff Advisory Council

ICASA already empowered to set up special committees.

The Minister has to agree to the composition of the new Tariff Advisory Council.

The new Tariff Advisory Council will advise both ICASA and the Minister.

slide11
Specific concerns – members of the Complaints and Compliance Committee will no longer be appointed soley by ICASA

Now nominated “by the Minister in consultation with the National Assembly” and appointed by ICASA.

Directly undermines ICASA’s institutional independence.

specific concerns the ccc no longer plays an advisory role to council ccc responsible for findings
Specific concerns – the CCC no longer plays an advisory role to Council. CCC responsible for findings.

The CCC itself becomes responsible for making findings and issuing orders in place of the ICASA Council.

But this is a role played by ICASA itself.

Entirely unconstitutional.

some of the critical issues not dealt with
Some of the critical issues not dealt with:

Lack of capacity and funding.

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