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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Presenter - Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator
25 August 2010
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Chairperson effectively becomes an administrative arm of the Minister
Evaluation committee can potentially remove councillors for non-performance etc.
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.
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.
Now nominated “by the Minister in consultation with the National Assembly” and appointed by ICASA.
Directly undermines ICASA’s institutional independence.
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.
Lack of capacity and funding.