Ofcom - Non-Executive Board Member

Body: Ofcom
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Culture, Media & Sport, Regulation
Location: Meetings are usually held at Ofcom’s London offices although these are being held virtually during the pandemic. Board Members will sometimes be expected to attend meetings/functions in different parts of the UK.
Skills required: Communication / Media / Marketing
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £42,519 per annum
Time Requirements: The successful candidate must be prepared to commit to up to two days per week. In addition to attending meetings of the Board, the new member will be expected to serve on one or more Board Committees (including the People Committee, Content Board and/or the Risk and Audit Committee). Short-listed candidates will have an opportunity to visit Ofcom and to be briefed by the Chief Executive.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    13/10/2021

  • Closed for Applications

    10/11/2021 at 23:00

  • Panel Sift

    TBC

  • Final Interview Date

    TBC

  • Announcement

    TBC

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is seeking to appoint a new Board Member to Ofcom.

The appointee will be expected to have a strong media background with senior editorial experience, including experience or knowledge of online media and an understanding of associated policy issues and regulatory issues. 

DCMS is committed to equality of opportunity and is committed to ensuring that public appointments better represent the views of the communities which they serve. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes. We want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour.

 

About Ofcom

Ofcom is the regulator for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications, wireless communications, radio and postal services. Ofcom has also taken on new duties in 2021 in regulating content on Video Sharing Platforms and has a new role in making sure telecoms networks have adequate cyber security. Ofcom is also preparing for new online duties to help make the internet a safer place.  Ofcom is accountable to Parliament but is independent of both Government and those it regulates.

Ofcom was created by the Office of Communications Act 2002, and its functions and duties are set out in a range of further primary and secondary legislation, including, in particular, the Communications Act 2003, the Broadcasting Acts of 1990 and 1996, the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006, the Postal Services Act 2011 and the Digital Economy Acts of 2010 and 2017. A new Online Safety Bill is expected to be enacted in 2022. 

Ofcom operates at the cutting edge of the digital communications industries in the UK, with a duty to further the interests of citizens and consumers, encouraging and enforcing competition.  It has responsibility for overseeing television and radio broadcasting throughout the United Kingdom including regulating the BBC and ensuring news is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality; it regulates the postal and telecommunications sectors, taking steps to protect consumers and overseeing universal service obligations.  It supports the delivery of new network infrastructure through regulation and has further duties in relation to the security and resilience of communications networks. Ofcom also ensures the effective use of spectrum and that a wide range of electronic communications services are available (such as broadband and mobile telephony).

Role of the Board

The Ofcom Board currently comprises nine Directors (including three Executive Directors), with the overall number of Directors currently capped at twelve. 

The Ofcom Board has oversight over the fulfilment of Ofcom’s general duties and specific statutory responsibilities and its overall funding and expenditure. The Board is also responsible for approving the strategic objectives and priorities for Ofcom, agreeing an appropriate level of risk appetite and ensuring management maintains an effective system of internal control

The Board acts on a collective basis and operates on the principles of collective responsibility, support and respect. It takes decisions after considering recommendations made to it by the Ofcom Executive, which has operational responsibility and answers to the Board. The work of both the Board and Executive is informed by the contribution of a number of advisory bodies.

All Board Members are also members of the ‘People Committee’, and Members may be asked to sit on the Risk & Audit Committee and the Content Board. One Member is appointed by the Ofcom Board to be Chair of the Content Board. The Ofcom Board also has three Members representing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively (the NI Board Member recruitment process is currently underway). 

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

All candidates will need to demonstrate in their application that they meet the majority of following essential criteria to a high standard:

  • Media background with editorial experience and an understanding of associated policy issues and regulatory issues;  
  • The ability to understand the business and economic principles underpinning media and, in particular, commercial media in the digital environment; 
  • An understanding of issues affecting the communications sector, including an appreciation of the competitive and consumer dynamics in this fast changing area; 
  • Sound judgement and decision-making to ensure successful delivery in a highly complex organisation; 
  • The ability to operate at Board level and be a team player working with the Chair and other colleagues; and
  • Personal integrity of a high order, demonstrable understanding of Ofcom’s need to make independent and impartial judgements under pressure.

It would also be desirable for candidates to have: 

  • knowledge and understanding of the UK’s political and constitutional context; and
  • relevant international experience in broadcasting and/or online media

The individual should be at ease with fast moving high technology environments where innovation is commonplace and markets are constantly adapting. The ability to translate technology innovation into potential market effects and structural shifts would also be an advantage. 

This individual will also be expected to understand and participate in all the Board’s discussions across its entire remit including the impact of convergence within broadcasting for consumers and regulation of the BBC, fixed-line and mobile telecoms, postal services and spectrum.

Additional Information

Length of term

This appointment is for up to four years. 

Operating openly and transparently

As a public entity, Ofcom is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), and the Board is required to carry out its work openly and transparently, for example publishing its meeting minutes.

Disclosure or publication of certain information about Board members, and the work of the Board, may be required by FOIA, legislation or Ofcom’s Management Agreement with the Department. This may include the fees / salary, expenses, hospitality and external interests of non-executive directors.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • A CV of no more than two sides of A4; this should provide details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any publications or awards;
  • A supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria – please make sure you refer to the contents of this document; and
  • The Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form attached at the foot of this advert.
  • The Diversity Monitoring Form which must be completed by clicking this link, before submitting your application – please note this replaces the previous PDF monitoring form.

Completed applications should be sent to: publicappointments@dcms.gov.uk. Please put ‘Ofcom Board Member’ in the subject line.

If you have any questions about the appointments process, please contact Anders Egeland-Eriksen at anders.eriksen@dcms.gov.uk.

Diversity and inclusion
We want to ensure any appointee is committed to promoting diversity, in its broadest possible sense. This will include embedding a commitment to the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour. We ask all applicants to complete a diversity monitoring form. We hope you will help us by providing this information. Your data is not disclosed to the panel, but allows us to constantly evaluate any potential barriers to becoming a public appointee and what we can do to encourage a more diverse field to apply.

Disability Confident
We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application, which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under the majority of the essential criteria.

If you wish to apply under this scheme, state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application. This will in no way prejudice your application.

Reasonable adjustments
If you would like a confidential discussion regarding any reasonable adjustments ahead of making your application or during the process, please contact us.

 

About DCMS

Our department operates at the heart of government on some of the UK’s biggest economic and social issues. Our mission is to drive growth, enrich lives and promote the UK to the world. We champion innovation and creativity. From the Arts to Artificial Intelligence, a quarter of UK businesses are in our sectors, and are among the fastest growing of our economy. Emerging technology is opening up new possibilities for human endeavour and self-expression. But we need to harness it, create new norms for the online world and build a strong civil society so that the benefits are shared by all. Our actions over more than 25 years of DCMS have become woven into the fabric of our nation. Today we continue to shape the world we want to live in – building a future fit for everyone.

DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 45 agencies and public bodies.

If you are not completely satisfied

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact publicappointments@dcms.gov.uk.

Supporting information
This appointments process adheres to the Cabinet Office Governance Code on Public Appointments, which is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

All applicants are expected to abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life and the 12 Principles of Governance.

Eligibility Criteria 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you become bankrupt or make an arrangement with a creditor
  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors;
  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986;
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offence, the conviction not being spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c. 53);
  • you become subject to a debt relief order or a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • you fail to declare any conflict of interest.

Conflicts of Interest and Due Diligence

If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of Ofcom, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your application. If you have queries about this and would like to discuss further please contact the Public Appointments Team.

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media.

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Advisory Assessment Panel and they may wish to explore issues with you should you be invited to interview. The information may also be shared with ministers and the Cabinet Office.

Expenses

Expenses incurred by external candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed, except in exceptional circumstances, and only when agreed in advance.

Attachments
Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form
OCPA Complaints Procedure
Public Appointments Privacy Notice 2021
Ofcom Board Member Role Specification
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