The Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television (ICA) is an extra-parliamentary federal commission which rules on complaints against:
- Radio and television programmes provided by national, regional and local Swiss broadcasters
- Other journalistic material published by the national broadcaster, SRG SSR, encompassing online content, Teletext bulletins, programme-related information, international news and information services, and accompanying material for individual programmes
- Refused access to a radio or television programme (editorial content or publicity) of a Swiss broadcaster
- Refused access to the editorial content of other journalistic services provided by SRG SSR.
The ICA determines whether any violation of the relevant provisions of national and international law has been committed. This includes compliance with the requirements of appropriateness and diversity, observance of fundamental rights, protection of minorities and the prohibition of glorification or extenuation of violence. Appeals against decisions of the ICA may be lodged directly with the Federal Supreme Court.
Before a complaint can be filed with the ICA, the proceedings must be brought before the office of the ombudsman. The ombudsmen act as arbitrators and mediators.
The Authority comprises nine part-time members appointed by the Federal Council, and a secretariat. It is not bound in its area of responsibility by any instructions from the Federal Assembly, the Federal Council and the Federal Administration. The ICA submits an annual report on its activities to the Federal Council.
The ICA is organised in a quasi-judicial fashion. The Authority’s proceedings are normally held in public.