Clause 21 - Record-keeping and review duties

Part of Online Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 13 December 2022.

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Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 4:15, 13 December 2022

I think we all agree that written records are hugely important. They are important as evidence in cases where Ofcom is considering enforcement action, and a company’s compliance review should be done regularly, especially before they make changes to their service.

The Bill does not intend to place excessive burdens on small and low-risk businesses. As such, clause 21 provides Ofcom with the power to exempt certain types of service from the record-keeping and review duties. However, the details of any exemptions must be published.

To half-answer the point made by the hon. Member for Aberdeen North, the measures will be brought to the Lords, but I will endeavour to keep her up to date as best we can so that we can continue the conversation. We have served together on several Bill Committees, including on technical Bills that required us to spend several days in Committee—although they did not come back for re-committal—so I will endeavour to keep her and, indeed, the hon. Member for Pontypridd, up to date with developments.