The National Media Commission (NMC) has enacted a piece of legislation (LI 2224) to regulate the airwaves. We publise the first part of the LI below
In exercise of the power conferred on the National Media Commission by section 24 (1) (b) of the National Media Commission Act, 1993 (Act 449), these Regulations are made this 16th day of October, 2015.
Purpose of Regulations
1. The purpose of these Regulations is to establish and maintain standards in the content of public electronic communications network, public electronic communications service and broadcasting services.
Application of Regulations
2. These Regulations apply to
(a) an operator;
(b) an agent of an operator; and
(c) a producer of content for a public electronic commumcations network, a public communications service or a broad casting service.
Requirement for content authorisation
3. (1) An operator shall not convey or permit to be carried on a public electronic communications network , a public electronic communications service or a broadcasting service without obtaining a content authorisation from the Commission.
(2) An operator who contravenes subregulation (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than five thousand penalty units and not more than fifty thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years or to both the fine and term of imprisonment.
Qualification for grant of content authorisation
4. An operator is not qualified to apply for content authorisation un-less that operator is a citizen of Ghana, and is
(a) a registered body corporate;
( b) a registered professional body or association; or
(c) a registered partnership.
Application for content authorisation
5. (1) An operator who intends to carry content on a public electronic communications network, a public electronic communications service or a broadcasting service shall apply in writing to the Commission for content authorisation.
(2) The application shall be as set out in Form One of the First Schedule.
(3) The application shall be submitted with
(a) certified details of the registered capital of public electronic communications network, public communications service or broadcasting service;
(b) the editorial policy of the public electronic communications network , public electronic communications service or broadcasting service;
(c) the fee as prescribed by the Commission;
(d) a programme guide as set out in Form Two of the First Schedule, in respect of broadcasts;
(e) a content profile in respect of other forms of public electronic communication networks or public electronic communications services as set out in Form Three of the First Schedule; and
(f) any other information that the Commission may request.
(4) Where the application is made by a registered body corporate or registered partnership the application shall, in addition to the information required under subregulation (3), be accompanied by a reference that provides information on the experience of the operator; and
(a) in the case of a body corporate,
(i) the certificate of incorporation, and
(ii) a statutory declaration of the structure of the shareholding of the body corporate; or
(b) in the case of a partnership, a statutory declaration of the partnership agreement.
(5) Application for content authorisation shall be supported with documents establishing the identity of the operator.
(6) On receipt of an application, the Commission shall determine whether the programme guide submitted by the applicant conforms to these regulations and any other relevant enactment.
(7) Where the commission considers that the programme guide is unsatisfactory, the Commission shall notify the applicant in writing and shall state in the notice, to what extent, the programme guide must be revised to meet the requirements of the commission.
(8) The applicant shall revise the programme guide and submit the revised programme guide within the period stated, if any, in the notice referred to in subregulation (7).
(9) An approved programme guide is valid for twelve months.
(10) A programme guide shall be renewed not less than forty-five days before its expiry and subregulations (4), (5), (6) and (7) shall apply.
(11) An operator may revise a programme guide subject to the written approval of the commission .
Procedure for grant of content authorisation
6. (1) The commission shall, within fourteen days of receipt of a
completed application for content authorisation, acknowledge receipt of
(2) The commission shall
(a) verify and validate the information received, and determine
whether the applicant has met the requirements stipulated in regulation 5 within ninety days of receipt of the aplication, and
(b) notify the applicant in writing of its decision to grant or refuse the application within five working days of its determination .
(3) Where the commission refuses to grant an application, the commiss ion shall state the reasons for the refusal.
Grant, vailidity and duration of Content Authorisation
7 (1) A content authorisation granted by the Commission shall be as
set out in the Second Schedule and is subject to the terms and conditions specified in the content authorisation.
(2) A content authorisation is valid from the date it is granted for a period of three years.
(3) The commission may extend the period for the validity of content authorisation .
Transferability of content authorisation
8. (1) An operator who has been granted a content authorisation shall not transfer the content authorisation to another person without the prior written approval of the Commission.
(2) An operator who contravenes subregulation (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than five thousand penalty units and not more than fifty thousand penalty units and in addition to the fine, the commission shall revoke the content authorisation granted to the operator.
Renewal of content authorisation
9. (1) An operator who wishes to renew a content authorisation shall submit an application for renewal as set out in Form One of the First
Schedule not less than three months before the expiry date of the content authorisation .
(2) An application for renewal shall be supported by
(a) the documents and information referred to in regulation 5;
(b) the prescribed fee; and
(c) any other information or documents that the Commission may request.
(3) The Commission shall
(a) acknowledge receipt of the application for renewal within five working days of receipt of the application, and
(b) notify the applicant of its decision to grant or refuse the application within sixty days of receipt of the application.
(4) In reaching a decision on an application for renewal, the Commission shall take into account the findings of its monitoring and investigative activities on whether and to what extent the operator
(a) has complied with the terms and conditions of a content authorisation;
(b) has met its obligations under these Regulations and Standard Guidelines issued by the Commission; and
(c) has generally remained in compliance with any enactment relating to electronic communications .
(5) Where the Commission makes a decision to renew a content authorisation, the Commission may issue the authorisation
(a) on such terms and conditions that the Commission considers necessary, or
(b) for a lesser period.
(6) The Commission shall give reasons in writing to an applicant for a refusal to renew a content authorisation.