I do not intend to detain the Committee for long, although there is one item that I shall wish to return to at the earliest opportunity.
In responding to the previous clause stand part debate, the Minister said that the DTI currently acted as a regulator, so it is curious that it is not mentioned in the Bill. We all know what the DTI is, but it would have been appropriate to define its role for the benefit of laypersons like myself who do not have the great wealth of expertise of my hon. Friends and other
Members on both sides of the Committee. Will the Minister take this opportunity to rectify that?
I shall return to the other matter in the not too distant future.
Clearly, the clause must be included in the Bill, but it is a sad clause, owing partly to its omissions and partly to its inclusions. As my hon. Friend said, it would have been clearer to include some definition of the functions of the DCMS and the DTI in relation to Ofcom, although it might not have been within the scope of the Bill to do so. The situation was even more disparate before 1997, when the Home Office was also involved. That is yet another argument for there being only one Government Department with responsibility for communications; a Government communications organisation.
It is a sad clause because there is no subsection 1(e) referring to the BBC. There should be, because the BBC board of governors is a regulator.