Consumer Forum for Communications up for review

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The Consumer Forum for Communications (CFC) promotes dialogue and information-sharing between consumer bodies and other relevant organisations about issues of common concern relating to communications policy and developments at UK, European and international level.

The Forum feeds into Ofcom’s policy priorities and thinking, and has a particular brief to ensure that the views and needs of consumers in vulnerable circumstances are represented in debate about communications issues. It has an independent chair, who is paid by Ofcom.

REVIEW

Last year Ofcom suggested that we review how the CFC works. However, we decided at the time that in light of changing consumer representation we would postpone a full review until 2014/15. A year on, the consumer landscape has become more settled and clear.

We continue to believe that the Forum has operated well and is an effective way for us to hear consumer stakeholders' views and to debate current and emerging communications issues, but we consider that now is the right time to conduct a full review of the Forum.

The Consumer Panel has made a proposal, which can be read here. This is still on the table, but we are also considering other options.

VIEWS SOUGHT

We have invited CFC members to send in written responses or to discuss the issues in a phone call or meeting. We are also inviting views from other interested parties. Points on which we would welcome suggestions include:

  • The Forum’s terms of reference - the current terms of reference can be found here
  • Logistical support to ensure the Forum fulfills its terms and is appropriately supported
  • The role of the CFC Chair
  • How to ensure that membership of the Forum reflects the diversity of consumer interest

Claire Milne, who is currently Chair of the CFC, is stepping aside, and we will consider suggestions for a new independent Chair as part of the review. We will announce whether there is a need to advertise this role when we complete the review.

We aim to complete the review by September and to confirm any changes by the next CFC meeting on 17 September.