British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 A4 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP
Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Leonardi email@example.com
20 February 2020
Dear Ms Leonardi Request for Information – RFI20200091
Thank you for your request to the BBC of 23rd January 2020 under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (‘the Act’) seeking the following information:
“Please could you inform me of the number of TV licences cancelled in 2019 (January 1st 2019 to
31st December 2019)”
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. Target Group (‘Target’) is the
supplier for the Simple Payment Plan trial. Marketing and printing services are contracted to
Proximity London Ltd. Media services are contracted to Havas Media Limited. The BBC is a public
authority in respect of its television licensing functions and retains overall responsibility.
Please be advised the Act gives a general right of access to al types of recorded information held
by public authorities; and that we are not required to create new information to respond to a
request, or give a judgement or opinion that is not already recorded.
By way of background, licences can be cancelled for a variety of reasons by customers who no
longer need a licence - for example, if they have moved into an address which already has one.
Whilst TV Licensing management information is compiled by financial year, cancellations data is
reported on a monthly basis.
A monthly breakdown of all cancellations for the 2018/19 financial year (including the months
January 2019 to March 2019) is readily available on the TV Licensing website at https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-licences-facts-and-figures-AB18.
Please note that our routine information terms some cancellations as expired, depending on the
circumstances of the cancellation, and these are not reported as cancelled licences. Please also
note that the information above relates to licences in force where the licence has been cancelled
by TV Licensing as a result of payment failure, and by customers themselves. Therefore these
figures cannot be taken to mean solely the number of licences cancelled by customers during this
I can confirm that we hold monthly cancel ations statistics for the remaining period specified in
your request i.e. April 2019 to December 2019. However, please be advised that monthly
cancel ations figures are consolidated at the end of the financial year and intended to be published
on the TV Licensing website, following the publication of the TV Licensing Annual Review in July
each year. I am withholding the figures for the remaining months within the scope of your request
i.e. April to November 2019 under section 22(1)(a) of the Act; which relates to information which
is intended for future publication (specifically, that the information is held with a view to its being
published by the BBC at a future date). Please note that this information is intended for publication
on the TV Licensing website later this calendar year.
I am satisfied in terms of section 2(2) of the Act that in al the circumstances of the case, the public
interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. I
have provided further explanation of my consideration of the public interest in the section ‘Why
information has been withheld’, below. Why information has been withheld
I am required under section 2(2) of the Act to assess whether the public interest in maintaining
the exemption used above outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
In favour of disclosure, there is a general public interest in providing further information about the
BBC’s television licensing activities which affect a large percentage of the general public.
In addition, I consider that the fol owing factors are in favour of withholding the information:
That the publication of information by public authorities is a carefully planned and managed
That the release of information generated for internal reporting only would not provide an
accurate public understanding of television licensing before that information has been
reviewed and consolidated.
In this instance, the public interest is served by maintaining the BBC’s planning procedures. I am
therefore satisfied in terms of section 2 of the Act that in all the circumstances of the case, the
public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest (outlined above) in
disclosing the information.
If you are not satisfied that we have 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 and including your reference
number. A request for an internal review must be made within 40 working days of receiving the
BBC’s response to your original request.
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, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or see https://ico.org.uk/.
Rupinder Panesar Freedom of Information Advisor, TV Licensing Management Team