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BBC TV Licensing : Reduced charges for means-tested benefit recipients

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(1) Please supply a summary of information held by the BBC on the subject of a reduced license fee for those on long-term or permanent means-tested state provided benefits. Examples of such persons would include elderly in receipt of guaranteed pension credit and disabled persons.

(2) Does the BBC oppose or support the principle of reduced TV Licence fees for those in receipt of means-tested state benefits ?

(3) Does the BBC accept those on means-tested state-provided benefits are poor and not in receipt of excessive, by decency standards, and disproportionately high payments of license payers money ?

(4) With which government department and parliamentary select committee could this idea be perused ?

(5) Why is BBC London News weekday late evening repeat (series) recording function usually omitted from the programme guide provided by the company partially owned by the BBC ? It is always present for the early evening bulletin, so too for the 22:00 BBC 1 news.

Thank you.

Whoopps,

(4) With which government department and parliamentary select committee could this idea be PURSUED ?

Regards,

Mr Janik.

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

Discounts aren't within the gift of the BBC/TV Licensing - the fee amount and payment terms are governed by legislation.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is the relevant Government Department.

Janik2 left an annotation ()

Thank you.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Janik

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was
received on 14 April 2017.  We will deal with your request as promptly as
possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any
queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20170560.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

Workplace & Information Rights, BBC Legal

BC2 A5, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP

 

[1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2][BBC request email]

 

 

 

 

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Janik,

 

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20170560. We apologise for the delay in issuing this response
to you and we accept that we have failed to meet the statutory 20-day
deadline on this occasion; we would also like to apologise for any
inconvenience caused by the delay.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Rights

 

Information Rights, BBC Legal

BCA4, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP, UK

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882

Fax: 020 8008 2398

 

 

 

 

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2. mailto:[BBC request email]

Janik2 left an annotation ()

Question 1

A number of television licence concessions exist. Blind (severally sight impaired) people are
eligible for half price licences and all people over the age of 75 are eligible for free licences.

The recent BBC Charter Review settlement established that Government will transfer responsibility for the cost of the over 75s concession and the policy determining eligibility. The policy transfer has subsequently been put into statute by the Digital Economy Act 2017 and will take effect from 1 June 2020.

As it has confirmed publicly, the BBC has commissioned Frontier Economics to look at options around the existing TV licence concession available to over 75s - but it is not yet in receipt of the final deliverable from Frontier Economics’ work.

Questions 2 – 4

Please be advised that the Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. As this is not a request for recorded information, and we are not required to create new information to respond to a request, or give a judgement or opinion that is not already recorded, we cannot provide the information in your request.

Question 5

The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and will not be doing so on this occasion. Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”.

The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities. The limited application of the Act to public service broadcasters was to protect freedom of expression and the rights of the media under Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). The BBC, as a media organisation, is under a duty to impart information and ideas on all matters of public interest and the importance of this function has been recognised by the European Court of Human Rights. Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor in enabling the media to fulfil this function.

That said, the BBC makes a huge range of information available about our programmes and
content on bbc.co.uk. We also proactively publish information covered by the Act on our
publication scheme and regularly handle requests for information under the Act.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

(6) Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

(7) I am writing to request an internal review of British Broadcasting Corporation's handling of my FOI request 'BBC TV Licensing : Reduced charges for means-tested benefit recipients'.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(8) My (5) was not a request for "journalism, art or literature.".

(a) It was about the activities of a private company owned, 50% ?, by the BBC which the BBC uses to technically alter, without the knowledge and without the prior consent of persons using a digital television or digital television recording device, the contents of the computer memory on those devices.

(b) I asked "Why is BBC London News weekday late evening repeat (series) recording function usually omitted from the programme guide provided by the company partially owned by the BBC ? It is always present for the early evening bulletin, so too for the 22:00 BBC 1 news."

(c) The BBC has a duty under the Act to assist (section 16) which the BBC overlooked.

(d) The substance of my (5) was the technical delivery of a pre-paid service (meaning the compulsory TV tax of which the BBC wastes tens of millions every year on frivolities - all in secret from the public).

(e) The BBC's weak, lamentable and inadequate excuse of "journalism, art or literature." does not effect the technical delivery of its service on terrestrial digital television. That technical delivery is entirely independent of "journalism" or "art" or even "literature" unless the BBC is claiming, on very dubious grounds, that the technical manual relating to the technical delivery of that technical service is indeed a Work of Art compatible with outstanding literature or honestly classed as "literature" worthy of studying in schools or even in universities.

(9) The BBC failed to apply the Act sectionn16 to my (2) and (3).

(a) My (2) was "Does the BBC oppose or support the principle of reduced TV Licence fees for those in receipt of means-tested state benefits ?"

(b) My (3) was "Does the BBC accept those on means-tested state-provided benefits are poor and not in receipt of excessive, by decency standards, and disproportionately high payments of license payers money ?"

(c) In the context of the BBC's answer to my (1), it would have been useful, helpful and pursuant to section 16 to indicate whether my (2) and (3) were included in the remit (currently kept secret by the BBC) of Frontier Economics' review. May I therefore invite the BBC to have another go and state either the full remit of the Frontier Economics review or whether or not such my (2) and (3) concerns are included or excluded from that review ?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(10) A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

Yours faithfully,

Mr Janik.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Janik,

We have received your request for an internal review regarding RFI20170560 which we received on 23 May 2017.

We will deal with the review as promptly as possible and will endeavour to do so within 20 working days in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s guidance, although in some instances reviews may take longer. If you have any queries, please contact us at the address below.

Please be advised, as stated in our response dated 23 May 2017, the BBC does not offer an internal review when the information requested is not covered by the Act (question 5). If you disagree with our decision you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. 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/.

Please note that should the Information Commissioner’s Office decide that the Act does cover this information, exemptions under the Act might then apply.

The reference number for your internal review is IR2017038.

Kind regards,

Workplace & Information Rights, BBC Legal
BC2B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane,
London, W12 7TP

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi/
Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Janik,

 

Please see attached the BBC’s response to your request for an internal
review.

 

Sincerely,

 

BBC Information Rights Team

 

 

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