Section 24 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 sets out that the BAI is independent in the performance of its duties. In line with its obligations under the Broadcasting Act 2009, the Official Languages Act 2003 and the State’s 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) operates an Irish Language Action Plan. This action plan sets out objectives for the BAI in respect of the Irish Language including initiatives to build on the volume of Irish language programming.
The Broadcasting Act 2009 sets out the regulatory framework in respect of the provision of Irish language content on sound broadcasting services. Under Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 the BAI facilitate the licensing of commercial and community radio stations. Pursuant to Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, matters in relation to content on radio are the subject of contractual negotiations between the BAI and the radio stations. Under section 66(2)(d) of the Act, when assessing licensing applications the BAI must have regard to the provision of Irish language content. In the course of the contractual negotiations, applicants put forward commitments for a range of broadcast issues, for example, in regard to the provision of Irish language content. Where applicable, Irish language commitments form part of a broadcaster’s individual broadcasting contract and are monitored by the BAI on an on-going basis to ensure compliance.
The Act requires RTÉ and TG4 to publish Annual Statements of Performance Commitments with targets relating to a range of broadcasting services, including Irish language performance commitments. The BAI reviews performance in the context of these statements each year under Part 7 of the Act.