Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (409)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

409. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the measures available to the Oireachtas and the Government to ensure that RTE does not act in contravention of its public service obligations as mandated under the Broadcasting Act 2009, particularly in cases where it is reasonably believed by the Minister that an action is in contravention of RTE's public service statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5602/14]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

As a public service broadcasting corporation, RTE is obliged under Section 101 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 to prepare a Public Service Statement within 12 months of the passing of the Act, and every 5 years thereafter. Every such statement is required to set out the principles to be observed and the activities to be undertaken by the corporation in order to fulfil its public service objects, as laid out in section 114 of the Act.

Taken with its statutory objects and any extant statement of strategy prepared under section 99 of the Act, the Public Service Statement informs the corporation's annual Statement of Performance Commitments. The extent to which the corporation has fulfilled its commitments under this Statement of Performance Commitments is reviewed on an annual basis by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in accordance with section 124(2) and, on the basis of this review, the Authority is required to submit to me, as Minister, a report which is to include recommendations in regard to the adequacy of funding of the corporation.

The Deputy will note that the report and recommendation of the Authority as well as my response to the recommendation are laid before the Houses of Oireachtas.