Requests for information about television licensing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The BBC regularly receives requests for information about TV Licensing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOI Act”). This section sets out the answers to some of the frequently asked questions. If you are considering making a FOI request, please first check whether the information you are seeking is available below.
The BBC’s FOI Act website also contains information about TV Licensing and includes copies of FOI responses considered of wider interest in the disclosure logs. Please note that some of the information here and on the BBC’s FOI website is publicly accessible elsewhere, including under the BBC’s Publication Scheme.
While the BBC aims to be as open as possible, we are not required to make all information about TV Licensing publically available. Some information requested under the FOI Act may be withheld where an exemption is applicable.
The exemptions commonly applied to TV Licensing information are section 31, Law Enforcement and section 43(2), Commercial Prejudice.
Section 31 is relevant where disclosure of the information would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime.
Section 43(2) is relevant where disclosure of the information would prejudice or would be likely to prejudice the commercial position of the BBC or any other person.
Both of these exemptions are ‘qualified’ exemptions and subject to a public interest test. This means that the BBC can only apply the exemptions to information when we are satisfied that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.
General information on the use of exemptions under the FOI Act is available here.
The information available in this section has been divided into the following areas.
Like the right to information under the FOI Act, the right under the Data Protection Act is subject to exemptions which may affect our ability to supply information; each case will be dealt with on an individual basis.
If you are requesting personal information about other people or an address that is not your own, please note that we are not able to disclose this information to you. To do so would be in breach of the Data Protection Act.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the FOI Act”) provides a general right of access to information held by public authorities. The BBC is a public authority for the purposes of the FOI Act in respect of information it holds for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature.
Under the Communications Act 2003 the BBC is the public authority responsible for television licensing. The FOI Act therefore applies to all TV Licensing information held by and on behalf of the BBC by contractors engaged to administer the issue of licences and collection of the licence fee, subject to certain exemptions set out in the FOI Act.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the FOI Act”) gives a person the right to ask for official information from public authorities, including information - held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature – relating to television licensing held by the BBC or on behalf of the BBC by its TV Licensing agents.
If a person is not satisfied with a response received to a request under the FOI Act he or she has the right to an internal review by a BBC senior manager or legal adviser. If a person is not satisfied with the internal review, he or she can appeal to the Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 01625 545 700 or see www.ico.gov.uk.
The Data Protection Act 1998 sets rules about the way organisations, including the BBC and its TV Licensing agents, collect, use and store information about an identifiable individual (personal data). If a person has concerns about the way in which their personal data is processed by TV Licensing they can contact the Information Commissioner at the above address.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.