Head of European Affairs
24, Highbury Crescent, London, N5 1RX,UK
Tel:+44(0)207 226 6663 ex 252.
Fax: +44(0)207 354 0607
michelle (dot) childs (at) cptech.org
Some of the things
that I have been involved in that are most relevant to digital, health and access issues:
Before working for Cptech I did some freelance consultancy including:
Before that I was Head of Policy Research and Analysis at the Consumers' Association
(now known as Which?) My main responsibility was to manage policy research and research staff
(11) across 4 campaigning areas (health, food, personal finance, consumer markets) and advising
on new policy areas. I was also a member of the campaign board for four multidisciplinary
campaigns teams. My responsibilities included advising on campaign strategy and tactics,
matrix management of teams, and acting as spokesperson for key campaign messages in a
variety of fora. With other Heads of Departments, I advised on campaign tactics
across all campaign areas. While there I sat on a number of Committees most relevant
for my present role:
- trainer on European Commission sponsored European Consumer Law course for consumer
organisations across Europe.
- Lecturer on regulatory framework for Electronic Communication and the E -Commerce Directive.
- Digital Television. The UK is in the process of switching over from analogue to digital Television.The UK Government set up committees to directly advise Ministers on the process. I was on two:
- The overarching Ministerial Steering Committee. I was the sole consumer representative for coalition of consumer and disability organisations. Chaired by Ministers from Departments of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and Trade and Industry (DTI.) Group responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of digital switchover action plan. Included stakeholders from broadcasters, manufacturers and retailers.
- The Consumer Expert Group. I was the inaugural chair. The role of the group was to report to the DCMS Minister on consumer issues in relation to switchover.
- I was an Expert Advisor to a DG Sanco commissioned study on consumer protection law I was also one of the four person Advisory Panel to the Director General of the Office of Fair Trading (UK's competition authority). Role includes advising on the OFT's strategy its objectives and annual plan.
- Member of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue Intellectual Property Group- where I first worked in collaboration with Cptech.
- I was involved in a number of self regulatory initiatives: I was the policy adviser to the Consumers Assocaition Which? Web trader scheme- a trustmark scheme for online traders who signed up to a code of practice with an adr scheme to encourage and offer protection to consumer shopping on line. It was the most successful code in the UK. I was a member of the HM Treasury instigated Banking Services Consumer Codes Review Group (Julius report 2001)
Before the Consumers' Association I was a consultant to Hong Kong telecoms regulator advising on the introduction of competition rules into the broadcasting legislation.
Before that I was a policy advisor to OFTEL (the UK's then Telecoms Regulator) At OFTEL I held a series of positions:
- Policy advisor - International liberalisation project. The objective was to end BT's and Mercury's duopoly for the provision of direct dialled international telephone calls. It required negotiations with the Federal Communications Commission, Department of Justice (USA) and the WTO (Geneva)) to persuade them that sufficient safeguards were in place. Then: Project leader of the Convergence project. :Objective was the identification of the key regulatory and technical issues raised by convergence and (with core team members) the development of the policies and structures necessary to deal with those issues
- Project Manager - OFTEL's Long Term Strategy. The objective was to assess OFTEL's future
role against likely market developments and to set out the approach and where necessary, the
rules required to enable it to perform its role.
- Work Packages Manager: Competition in Broadcasting Markets Project. The objective was to
complete the development of OFTEL policy in relation to competition in broadcasting and
to ensure that the main market players understood this policy. Responsibilites included leading
OFTEL's work on the regulation of Electronic Programme Guides ("EPG's" - used as navigation aids
for digital television); and leading OFTEL's work on the interoperability of set top boxes and
integrated digital television.
- OFTEL publications for which I have been responsible (Either as main author or editor)
- OFTEL's response to the UK Green paper - Regulating Communications: Approaching
Convergence in the Information Age; Beyond the telephone, the television and the PC(II & III)
- two submissions to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Inquiry into
audio-visual communications and the regulation of broadcasting;
- OFTEL's response to the European Commission e Green paper on the convergence of the
telecommunications, media and information technology sectors and the implications for
regulation (plus follow up submissions);
- Draft International Facilities Guidelines
Before OFTEL I was a lawyer, (Solicitor), in the Commercial Litigation Department of a City of London law firm handling a range of disputes including: computer disputes, intellectual property, contractual disputes, professional negligence; property and insolvency. I have a law degree LLB (Hons) from the University of the West of England