British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 A4 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP
Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Via email: email@example.com
27 February 2018
Dear Lisa Len Request for Information – RFI20180165
Thank you for your request of 10th November 2017 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’)
seeking the following information:
“Please could you supply me with statistics pertaining to television licence cancellations for the year
Please note that “TV Licensing” is a trade mark used by companies contracted by the BBC to administer
the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing system. The majority of
the administration of TV Licensing is contracted to Capita Business Services Ltd (‘Capita’). Over-the-counter
services are provided by PayPoint plc (‘PayPoint’) in the UK, and by the Post Office in the Isle of Man and
Channel Islands. Marketing and printing services are contracted to Proximity London Ltd. Media services
are contracted to Media Planning Limited trading as Havas Media UK. The BBC is a public authority in
respect of its television licensing functions and retains overall responsibility.
Please see below the information you have requested. The data relates to licences in force where the
licence has been cancelled by TV Licensing as a result of payment failure, and by customers themselves.
This figure does not include licences cancelled for customers aged 74 when they turn 75 because these fall
within the Over 75 free licences category.
There are more licences in force than ever before – 25.8m – and cancellations are down by 17% since
If you are not satisfied that the BBC has complied with the Act in responding to your request you have the
right to an internal review by a BBC senior manager or legal adviser. Please contact us at the address above,
explaining what you would like us to review under the Act and including your reference number. If you are
not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. The contact details
are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123
1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate) or see http://www.ico.org.uk/.
Rupinder Panesar Freedom of Information Advisor, TV Licensing Management Team
Freedom of Information
From January 2005 the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of
recorded information held by public authorities. The Act also sets out exemptions from that right and
places a number of obligations on public authorities. The term “public authority” is defined in the Act; it
includes all public bodies and government departments in the UK. The BBC, Channel 4, S4C and MG Alba
are the only broadcasting organisations covered by the Act.
Application to the BBC
The BBC has a long tradition of making information available and accessible. It seeks to be open and
accountable and already provides the public with a great deal of information about its activities. BBC
Audience Services operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week handling telephone and written comments
and queries, and the BBC’s website bbc.co.uk provides an extensive online information resource.
It is important to bear this in mind when considering the Freedom of Information Act and how it applies to
the BBC. The Act does not apply to the BBC in the way it does to most public authorities in one significant
respect. It recognises the different position of the BBC (as well as Channel 4 and S4C) by saying that it
covers information “held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”. This means the
Act does not apply to information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output (TV, radio, online
etc), or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.
A great deal of information within this category is currently available from the BBC and will continue to be
so. If this is the type of information you are looking for, you can check whether it is available on the BBC’s
website bbc.co.uk or contact BBC Audience Services.
The Act does apply to all of the other information we hold about the management and running of the BBC.
The BBC's aim is to enrich people's lives with great programmes and services that inform, educate and
entertain. It broadcasts radio and television programmes on analogue and digital services in the UK. It
delivers interactive services across the web, television and mobile devices. The BBC's online service is one
of Europe's most widely visited content sites. Around the world, international multimedia broadcaster BBC
World Service delivers a wide range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless
handheld devices, together with BBC World News, the commercially-funded international news and
information television channel.
The BBC's remit as a public service broadcaster is defined in the BBC Charter and Agreement. It is the
responsibility of the BBC Trust (the sovereign body within the BBC) to ensure that the organisation
delivers against this remit by setting key objectives, approving strategy and policy, and monitoring and
assessing performance. The Trustees also safeguard the BBC's independence and ensure the Corporation is
accountable to its audiences and to Parliament.
Day-to-day operations are run by the Director-General and his senior management team, the Executive
Board. All BBC output in the UK is funded by an annual Licence Fee. This is determined and regularly
reviewed by Parliament. Each year, the BBC publishes an Annual Report & Accounts, and reports to
Parliament on how it has delivered against its public service remit.