Ofcom: Conflict of Interests

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st November 2021.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of Ofcom’s conflict of interest policies to curb regulators moving to jobs at the organisations that they regulated while at Ofcom.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of the number of Ofcom staff who have left Ofcom to work for organisations that are regulated by Ofcom over the last five years.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with Ofcom with regard to staff from the regulator moving to jobs at organisations regulated by Ofcom.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Minister of State

Ofcom is responsible for the recruitment, retention and terms and conditions of its staff and as such is not a matter for the Secretary of State to discuss with Ofcom.

Ofcom has a robust and comprehensive conflict of interest policy, managed and regularly reviewed by its Executive Board, that upholds high regulatory standards of independence, impartiality and integrity. The policy and procedures in place enable Ofcom’s Executive to take swift and appropriate action should a situation emerge where an employee leaves to join a company it regulates.

In the past two years Ofcom has placed circa six staff on immediate garden leave as they have left to join companies which Ofcom regulates or will regulate in the future. Ofcom does not have data immediately available for a five year period but can provide this on request once available.

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