The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced today that 19 of its 55 public bodies are being abolished or reformed

The move is part of a drive across Government to increase radically the transparency and accountability of all public services.

The changes include:

  • reforming Ofcom

  • reforming the funding mechanism for S4C by removing its link with the Retail Price Index

  • changing the arrangements for determining the Horserace Betting Levy

  • abolishing the current Public Lending Right body and transferring the administration of the Public Lending Right fund to another, existing, body

  • continuing the Football Licensing Authority as a separate body until after 2012 when its expertise and functions will be transferred to another body. The Government will also support plans to extend its advisory remit to include other sports grounds, and these functions would then also be transferred.

Today’s announcement follows on from proposals set out by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt in July this year.

Mr Hunt said:

“Across Government we are increasing the efficiency, transparency and accountability of public bodies, while at the same time cutting their number and cost. 

“As part of that I will be abolishing or reforming a number of bodies in the culture, media and sport sectors.  These changes will allow us to continue to deliver some of the world’s best culture, media and sport, while at the same time ensuring efficiency, transparency and better value for money for the public.”

Mr Hunt also confirmed today that:

  • the UK Film Council will be abolished, although Lottery funding and Government support for film will continue

  • the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and the Advisory Council on Libraries will be abolished

  • UK Sport and Sport England will be merged to create a more unified, coherent and cost-effective structure as part of the Government’s 2012 Olympic Games legacy plans.  DCMS is also working with the Youth Sport Trust to explore how they could be brought into the new structure

  • the National Lottery Commission will be merged with the Gambling Commission

  • the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites will be abolished and the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships will be declassified

  • the Theatres Trust will be declassified so it can act independently

  • the Olympic Lottery Distributor and the Olympic Delivery Authority will be wound up, as planned, in 2013 and 2014 respectively

  • the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel has now been abolished

The Government has decided not to proceed with a merger of heritage and architecture bodies in this Bill.   Any future decision on changes which require legislation would be considered at a later date.   However, DCMS has asked English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as a matter of urgency, to identify and reduce any overlap of activities. 

The national museums and galleries will remain under the sponsorship of DCMS. 

Notes to editors

  1. A full list of the changes to DCMS’s public bodies is attached.

  2. A full list of changes to public bodies across Government was published today by the Cabinet Office.  Any necessary legislative changes would be made through the Cabinet Office’s Public Bodies Bill, which is due to be published later this year. 

  3. DCMS set out a number proposed changes to its public bodies on 26 July 2010 (press notice 081/10). 

  4. S4C: The Broadcasting Act 1990 (as amended) includes a provision that S4C will be funded at the level it was in 1997, then increased annually by the amount of the Retail Price Index.  The Government considers that this is unsustainable in the current financial climate and intends to change it so that the Secretary of State will determine the level of funding.

  5. Ofcom: We have identified several Ofcom duties which should be amended or removed to return the policy-setting role to the Secretary of State, reduce unnecessary expense and to avoid duplication. The proposed changes are:

  • Amend the duty for Ofcom to review public service broadcasting every five years (part 3, section 264 of the Communications Act 2003) so that a review will only be conducted at the discretion of the Secretary of State.  The Secretary of State will also determine the scope of the review.

  • Allow Ofcom flexibility to implement changes to its governance structures (part 1 section 12-21 of the Communications Act 2003).  Any revised structure will require the approval of the Secretary of State.

  • Remove the duty on Ofcom to promote development opportunities for training and equality of opportunity (part 1 section 27 of the Communications Act 2003);

  • Change the regional Channel 3 networking arrangement review from an annual review to a reserve power for Ofcom to assess as required (section 290-294 and Schedule 11 of the Communications Act 2003);

  • Amend the duty for Ofcom to review the media ownership rules every three years (section 391 of the Communications Act 2003) so that a review will be conducted at the discretion of the Secretary of State.

  • Remove the requirement for public service broadcasters to provide annual statements of programme policy (266 and 270 of the Communications Act 2003); and

  • Amend the duty on Ofcom to review a “change of control” to a Channel 3 licensee or Channel 5 (section 351 and 353 of the Communications Act 2003) so that one isn’t automatically required.  However, the Secretary of State will retain the power to request one. The fit and proper persons regime on new owners of channel 3 and 5 licences will remain.

  • Enable Ofcom to charge fees for satellite filings made to the International Telecommunications Union (section 28 of the Communications Act 2003)

    1. Film: The key mechanisms that support British the film industry (including film tax relief which is worth more than £100 million a year) will remain in place.  Lottery funding for film is set to increase because of the changes in allocation that the Government has made.  We are currently considering with stakeholders how best Government can support the industry and strengthen its sustainability, and an announcement will be made later this year.

    2. National Lottery Commission/Gambling Commission: The Secretary of State confirmed in a written statement to Parliament on 26 July 2010 that he intended to merge the National Lottery Commission and the Gambling Commission.  DCMS is working with both bodies on the merger which will improve efficiency while preserving appropriate and effective regulation of both sectors.

    3. Tote: The Chancellor announced in the Budget on 22 June 2010 that the Government would resolve the future of the Tote by June 2011.  DCMS announced on 15 September 2010 that it was preparing to launch an open market process.

    4. Football Licensing Authority: The Government will support the Sports Grounds Safety Authority Bill 2010-11, a private members’ bill, presented on 30 June 2010 by Jonathan Lord MP.  This would rename the Football Licensing Authority the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and allow it to provide advice, on request, about safety at sports grounds to any national or international organisation, person or body (including local authorities and Ministers of the Crown) and to charge for these services in certain circumstances.

    5. Where proposed changes have implications for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we will work closely with them to finalise proposals.

Changes to DCMS public bodies: Public Body Proposed reforms

1 Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites

No Longer an NDPB - Abolish body and transfer functions in relation to England to English Heritage. As previously announced.

2 Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships

No Longer an NDPB  - Declassify and transfer functions. As previously announced.

3 Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection

No Longer an NDPB  - Declassify and reconstitute as a committee of experts

4 Advisory Council on Libraries

No Longer an NDPB - Abolish body and functions. As previously announced

5 Arts Council England

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a function which requires political impartiality

6 BBC

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

7 Big Lottery Fund

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a function which requires political impartiality. Move policy responsibility to Cabinet Office

8 British Library

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

9 Channel 4

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

10 Churches Conservation Trust

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

11 Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment

Under Consideration  - Still considering the options for reform

12 English Heritage

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

13 Football Licensing Authority

No longer an NDPB - Abolish the current NDPB and transfer expertise and functions to another body

14 Gambling Commission

Merge - Merge with National Lottery Commission, as previously announced

15 Historic Royal Palaces

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

16 Horserace Betting Levy Appeal Tribunal

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

17 Horserace Betting Levy Board

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government. Modify functions to remove Secretary of State’s role in determining the levy.

18 Horserace Totalisator Board

No longer an NDPB - Declassify and transfer from public ownership

No longer an NDPB - Abolish body and functions, as previously announced.

20 British Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

21 Horniman Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

22 Geffrye Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

23 Imperial War Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

24 Museum of Science and Industry Manchester

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

26 National Maritime Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

27 National Museum of Science and Industry

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

28 National Museums Liverpool

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

30 Natural History Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

31 Royal Armouries

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

32 Sir John Soane’s Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

33 Victoria & Albert Museum

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

34 Wallace Collection

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

36 Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

No longer an NDPB - Abolish body and transfer functions, as previously announced.

37 National Heritage Memorial Fund/Heritage Lottery Fund

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

38 National Lottery Commission

Merge - Merge with Gambling Commission, as previously announced

39 Olympic Delivery Authority

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government. To be wound up as planned by March 2014. As previously announced

40 Olympic Lottery Distributor

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a function which requires political impartiality. To be wound up as planned by March 2013. As previously announced

41 Public Lending Right

No longer an NDPB  - Abolish the current NDPB and transfer functions

42 Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

43 S4C

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government. Amend current RPI/funding link.

44 Sport England

Merge - Merge with UK Sport, as previously announced

45 The Theatres Trust

No longer an NDPB  - Continue as a charity, as previously announced

46 Treasure Valuation Committee

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

47 UK Anti Doping

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which requires impartiality

48 UK Film Council

No longer an NDPB  - Abolish body and transfer functions, as previously announced.

49 UK Sport

Merge - Merge with Sport England, as previously announced

50 Visit Britain

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government

51 Visit England

Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government. Modify constitution to increase representation of destinations on Visit England Board

52 OFCOM

Merge - Merge the postal services regulator, Postcomm, will be merged into Ofcom. Several Ofcom duties will be removed or modified

53 The Design Council

Out of scope for DCMS - this is jointly sponsored with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) - see BIS list for details

54 The Royal Household

Out of scope (due to Constitutional status)

55 The Royal Parks

Out of scope (an Executive Agency)

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