The Broadcasting Commission says it is awaiting parliamentary approval of recommendations, which were made to the Ministry of Information, to intensify its clamp down on payola.

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Youth and Information, Dr Grace Mclean, made the disclosure at the National Integrity Action and Jamaica Reggae Industry Association Forum, yesterday.

She said the recommendations include disclosing music being played as part of sponsored air time.

She explained that fines as high as $15 million and can be charged if the law is broken.

Chief Education Officer, Dr Grace McLean, speaking on behalf of Information Minister, Ruel Reid.

She said the proposed changes in law are to help eliminate professional malpractice’s in media output, and could result in both criminal sanctions against offenders and the suspension of the licence of broadcast stations.

Senator Falconer noted that the Broadcasting Commission presently operates from rented space on the fifth floor of the Victoria Mutual Building Society’s complex on Knutsford Boulevard, in New Kingston, and  this  is inadequate to meet the needs of the staff, the commissioners and stakeholders.

She pointed out that the rent paid per annum by the commission is $15.4 million, noting that the rent has increased every year since the fiscal year 2004/05 when it was $4.5 million per annum.

The property at 9 Central Avenue was valued by the National Land Agency in January, for $98 million.

The commission’s primary mandate is to ensure that Jamaica’s population has access to diverse age appropriate media content on existing broadcasting platforms.

It regulates the operations of 27 radio stations, three free to air television stations and 47 subscriber television operators.