Details of convictions against people undertaking TV Licensing related home visits.

The request was partially successful.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I understand that TV Licensing is not a legal entity in and of itself, but rather an exercise in branding. My understand is that you negotiate contracts for other organisations (largely Capita) to undertake work on matters concerning the adminisration of the TV License system, and the detection, investigation and prosecution of TV License evasion.

Since you award the work on a contractual basis, it seems reasonable for me to presume that you would monitor the performance of the various contractors against a number of criteria, which would require you to collect various items of data.

This gives rise to the following questions...

Question 1

Are any of the metrics used in assessing the performance of TV Licensing contractors concerned with whether the contractor's staff have been found to be dishonest in terms of fabricating evidence?

Question 2

Assuming that you do consider the honesty of your contractor's staff to be a factor when reviewing contract performance, can you provide me with details as to level (both quantity and severity) of dishonest incidents you consider to be unacceptable performance?

Question 3

Do you require contractors to notify you of incidents of dishonesty?

Question 4

Can you please provide me with a list comprising of the offence, date of conviction, geographic area of conviction (a county level would be sufficient) and details of sentence for all incidents of you have knowledge of people engaged on TV Licensing work receiving a conviction as a consequence of actions undertaken in connection with that work.

Question 5

Do you require contractors to notify you in circumstances where they have had to take internal disciplinary action against an employee for matters pertaining to dishonest conduct?

Question 6

Assuming the answer to question 5 to be yes, can you provide me with any data you hold concerning such incidents.

I accept the need to anonymise data in response to questions 5 and 6.

My thanks for affording this matter your attention.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Milan

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Milan,

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 6th September 2013. 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 RFI20131304.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP
Email: [BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Milan,

Please find attached the response to your request for information, reference RFI20131304.

Yours sincerely,
The Information Policy and Compliance Team

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre
Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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Dear FOI Enquiries,

Thank you for your recent communication in which you have attempted to answer a number of questions I have posed.

I find it incredible that you are prepared to rely upon being informally notified, verbally, of cases where people acting on your behalf in a judicial process have been prepared to act dishonestly. That you do not even record to the information you ARE provided with is simply staggering.

As someone who does have a television license, but has tangled with TV Licensing in the past, I have to warn you that you have a serious problem here, and it will come back to bite you. TVL staff are operating under a bonus scheme, and there is more and more evidence to suggest that some Enforcement Officers are submitting fake TVL178 evidence to the courts in order to claim their bonus...

Since when did bonus payments have a part in a judicial process?

Yours sincerely,

Martin Milan

Watchkeeper left an annotation ()

You ask a pertinent question. The BBC has taken us back to the days of the "thief-takers":

"In English legal history, a thief-taker was a private individual (e.g. employed by Capita Business Services Ltd and described by the BBC as 'like other members of the public') hired to capture criminals (e.g. those alleged to watch or record television programmes at the same time as transmission)".

When a public limited company employs thief-takers then prosecutes the alleged offenders, with a confession as the only evidence, before magistrates who have received "court training sessions" there can be no justice.

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