Who we are and what we do

The BAI is the regulator of broadcasting in Ireland.  Our key functions are:

  • licensing radio and television services additional to those provided by RT√Č, TG4, the Houses of the Oireachtas Channel and the Irish Film Channel
  • making broadcasting codes and rules
  • the review of the performance of RT√Č and TG4 against their stated annual public objects and on the adequacy or otherwise of the public funding available to PSBs to meet their public services objects
  • provide, and award, funding for programming and archiving relating to Irish culture, heritage and experience under the Broadcasting Funding Scheme
  • monitor and enforce compliance of the licensed broadcasters with the broadcasting codes and rules and/or with their broadcasting contracts
  • provide for, and decide on, complaints from viewers and listeners regarding broadcast content on all Irish broadcasting services
  • support the development of the broadcasting sector including through research and training
  • foster and support the understanding of media including co-operation with broadcasters and educationalists

The BAI consists of the Authority, the Contract Awards Committee, the Compliance Committee and the Executive. The remit of the BAI is set down in the Broadcasting Act 2009.  The BAI also has a role in media mergers which was assigned to the BAI under Part 4, Media Mergers, of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014.

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How we do it

We are committed to being an effective regulator, trusted by the public, broadcasters and legislators to serve the viewing and listening needs of the people of Ireland, now and in the future. There are core values that underpin the work of the BAI and all are of equal importance:

  • Motivated by public interest
  • Fair and proportionate
  • Expert and informed
  • Independent and impartial
  • Professional and committed to learning
  • Accountable, transparent and cost effective
  • Cultural and linguistic diversity

The BAI publishes a strategy statement every three years setting out the high level goals we will aim to achieve. The Authority then plans on a three-year basis, setting out work that will be undertaken to achieve these high level goals.

Then on an annual basis, the BAI identifies specific objectives under each strategic goal, which informs the organisation’s annual workplan. The workplans are presented to the Authority and the Committees for discussion and approval at the start of each year.

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What we spend and how we spend it (part 1)

The BAI is funded through a levy paid by public service broadcasters and broadcasting contractors at a level required to meet the expenses of the BAI in carrying out its functions. The BAI budgets on both a three-year and annual basis and allocates funds to projects that correspond to the high level goals in our workplans and to operational activities required to carry out the day-to-day operations of the BAI to ensure we fulfil all our obligations. Financial Statements: The BAI publishes a statement of annual accounts in its annual reports. Financial, Audit and Risk Committee: The financial activities of the BAI are overseen by the internal Financial, Audit and Risk Committee which is a standing committee of the Authority and has an independent member. This committee ensures that the internal financial controls in the BAI are effective and adhere to best financial practice.

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What we spend and how we spend it (part 2)

Expenditure & contracts over ‚ā¨20k: The BAI publishes a ‚ÄėPurchase Report‚Äô, on a quarterly basis, detailing any expenditures and contract commitments that exceed ‚ā¨20k and also, a ‚ÄėPrompt Payments Report‚Äô which details the BAI‚Äôs performance in meeting the administrative requirement for a 15 day payment period to suppliers for commercial transactions. The BAI is committed to making every effort to pay its suppliers promptly. Suppliers are subject to terms and conditions for goods¬†and services. Pay and expenses: The rates of pay and expenses applied by the BAI are the standard civil service pay and expense rates.

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What our priorities are and how we are doing

The priorities of the BAI are agreed at the outset of the year and then published in its¬†Annual Workplan.¬†¬†The BAI reviews its performance and submits a progress report to the Authority on each of the activities in the workplan mid-year and an annual review is submitted in February/March each year. The latest performance review is for 2015.¬† Also, a record of our work, main projects and events is provided in the BAI’s annual reports. The Financial, Audit and Risk Committee report to the Authority, every two months, on the processes and procedures of the financial activities of the BAI. The matters presented are recorded in the Authority minutes which can be found in the publications section.

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How we make decisions

The Authority & Committees The BAI’s main decision body is the Authority, which provides strategic direction for the organisation. The Contract Awards Committee and the Compliance Committee are responsible for operational activities covering licensing and compliance (such as monitoring & complaints) respectively.  The Financial, Audit and Risk Committee oversees the financial activities of the BAI. The agendas and minutes for meetings of the Authority are made publicly available. The Contract Awards Committee issues its decisions on the award of a licence.   The Compliance Committee publishes its decisions on complaints. Public Consultations We are committed to engaging with our stakeholders, and taking account of their views and input in the way that we carry out our work including consulting when we are developing a new, or revising a current, policy such as a programming code or the Sound & Vision funding scheme or when we are planning a new area of work, or to change the way we do something.

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Our Policies and Procedures (part 1)

The Authority and the statutory committees regularly review the performance of their functions to ensure that regulation does not impose or maintain unnecessary administrative burdens.¬† In March 2021, the Authority published a statement explaining the BAI’s ongoing review of its regulatory activities in this regard. This Statement can be found here.

Our main policies and procedures are available via the links below. This is not an exhaustive list. We have included policies that are unique to the BAI and may be of public interest and not standard policies such as Health & Safety and the Smoke-Free Workplace Policy.  The policies are also available in the publications section.

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Our Policies and Procedures (part 2)

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Information Routinely Published

The information routinely published by the BAI is available in the publications section of this website. ¬†The information is categorised and the topics include; Authority Agendas & Minutes; Broadcast Complaint Decisions; Corporate Policy & Reports; Funding; Licensing; Procurement & Tendering; and, Purchase & Prompt Payment Reports. Also in the publications section, are the annual reports of the BAI which detail the BAI’s activities for the previous year and the financial accounts for that period.

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BAI Irish Language Scheme 2020 - 2023

The BAI Irish Language Scheme has been¬†developed to set out a standard approach across the organisation to fulfil its obligations in relation to the Irish language over a three year period, taking into account what is practical and achievable within that timeframe. Objective setting will be incremental in nature, with service provision increasing on a year-by-year basis. This is the BAI’s third Irish Language Scheme. Download: BAI Irish Language Scheme Further information about the scheme can be obtained by emailing: teanga@bai.ie M√°s maith leat dul i dteagmh√°il le duine a labhra√≠onn Gaeilge, is f√©idir labhairt le Clare O’Sullivan, Caroline Keville, Sara Mc Namara n√≥ Fionnuala Murphy.

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Freedom of Information

The BAI falls under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and is obliged to make information available in accordance with the requirements of this Act having regard to due process and procedures.¬† The BAI aims to operate in an open and transparent manner including making as much information as possible available to the public via this website or on request from the BAI’s offices.¬† The BAI provides¬†information on the BAI’s obligations under, and approach to, FOI.

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Data Protection

The BAI’s appointed Data Protection Officer is Liam Boyle. Please contact dpo@bai.ie with any Data Protection Queries. A copy of the BAI’s Data Protection Policy can be found here¬†and the BAI’s Privacy Statement is¬† here.

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Making a Protected Disclosure to the BAI

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 as amended by the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022, is legislation enacted to provide protection to employees who wish to raise a concern relating to potential wrongdoing in the workplace. The Act sets out a number of ways in which disclosures can be made to employers as well as to external bodies.

Role of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Section 7 of the Protected Disclosures Act provides that protected disclosures may be made to certain external regulators, referred to as ‚Äúprescribed persons‚ÄĚ in the Act. These prescribed persons are listed in¬†Statutory Instrument 367/2020.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is a prescribed person under section 7 of the Protected Disclosures Act and Statutory Instrument 367 of 2020. This means that employees may make protected disclosures to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland regarding compliance with the Broadcasting Act 2009.

However, the Protected Disclosures Act will only apply to disclosures made to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in this way if:

  • the person making the disclosure reasonably believes that the relevant wrongdoing relates to compliance with the Broadcasting Act 2009 and
  • the person making the disclosure reasonably believes that the information disclosed, and any allegation contained in it, are substantially true.

All disclosures, however made, are taken seriously and all efforts are made to address appropriately the issues raised.

In general, protected disclosures made to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland are dealt with on a confidential basis. There are some exceptions to this, for example, if identifying the person making the disclosure is essential to the effective investigation of matters raised.

How to make a disclosure:

To make a disclosure to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland please email protecteddisclosures@bai.ie or phone 01-6441256

A disclosure should contain:

  • Name of the individual making the disclosure and contact details.
  • Name of the organisation(s) involved.
  • As many details as possible regarding the concern(s).

We will acknowledge disclosures within 7 days of receipt and will assess the information provided. The BAI received no protected disclosure reports during the period January to December 2022.

 

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