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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Exposed: Capita TV Licensing Bonus Payments

Capita TV Licensing bosses can earn thousands in bonus payments if the door-knocking goons in their charge obtain a high number of prosecution statements, according to documents leaked to the Daily Mail.

The damning documents, dating from 2016, were given to the Daily Mail by a former Capita TV Licensing Area Manager turned whistleblower.

They show that Area Managers, who are each responsible for around a dozen Visiting Officers, can earn thousands extra by driving their teams hard to make as many "Code 8" visits as possible.

A Code 8 visit, you might remember from previous articles, is one where the goon conducts a prosecution interview under caution and completes a TVL178 Record of Interview form. The completed TVL178 form is the primary piece of evidence against an alleged licence fee evader.

There is a real concern that any scheme that incentivises the collection of prosecution evidence might encourage beneficiaries to fabricate or embellish the evidence they collect. We know, as a matter of fact, that several former Capita TV Licensing goons have been convicted of offences relating to dishonesty. We have previously published our concerns about a bonus system wide open to abuse.

Last year, as a result of the Ian Doyle Daily Mail exposé, Capita and BBC bosses were summoned to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee to offer reassuring platitudes about what an oh-so-honest job they do in collecting the TV licence fee.

The Committee was told that no bonus payments were made based on the number of prosecution statements obtained, but these latest revelations seem to cast doubt on the accuracy of that statement.

Meg Hillier MP, Chairman of the Committee, has indicated that she will now be writing to the BBC and Capita to demand clarification over the "very concerning" allegations that the Committee may have been misled.

"We had been assured by the BBC that prosecutions were a last resort but this raises questions about Capita's priorities", she said.

The whistleblower said: "Taking people to court was part and parcel of the job. We all knew what the prosecution statements were for.

"We could make a licence sale without taking a prosecution statement, but that wasn’t the way we operated.

"You had to take a prosecution statement to make a sale. If they [Visiting Officers] hit my prosecution target I get a bonus, if they hit my sales target I get a bonus."

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Anonymous said...

From "Watchkeeper's Log" of a few years ago:

Quote >>
Colin Jones, billed as "Field Operations Director at Capita", has been waxing lyrical about the Motorola MC70GPS EDAs used by his happy band of TV licence salesmen. He also presents some interesting statistics about the TV Licensing™ "enforcement" operation. For example:

Officers quickly download visit details and manage, sort and plan visits at any time. They can rapidly validate customers' licence details, check addresses and perform licence transfers via the main database. Furthermore, they report visit outcomes and any address amendments from the field and, to improve revenues, conduct most sales transactions remotely. Productivity has increased too; officers spend less time on administration and make more visits. With each officer easily selling 10 new licences per week, they are generating an annual income of over £32 million. A trial of the devices also indicated that the prosecution rate will rise, creating further income.

(emphasis mine)

Did you clock that? This ties in with what has appeared on the Capita Website, that they have moved AWAY from law enforcement TO a sales-oriented operation. Forget the "Enforcement Unit" on the side of the Transit - it's a "Sales Unit". And notice particularly that most disgusting revelation of all - prosecution is also all about generating income.
<< Endquote

If Meg Hillier has been assured by the BBC that prosecutions were a last resort then she has been, to put it charitably, misled. According to Jones, "the prosecution rate will rise, creating further income".

M. SHAKEY said...

Apart from the OBVIOUS danger of an INCENTIVISED bonus scheme for gaining a CONVICTION.....
Your prior Blogs on this subject show that this COMMON practice for 'TV Licensing' scum.

Dont talk to me about 'possible' fabrication of evidence in order to gain a conviction.

Enough said.....?

Fred Bear said...

They can also use the database to target women, who are their preferred victims.

Gnas said...

I have my license valid until October 2018 howver I have just cancelled the standing order with my bank. I have since received both e mail and phone calls stating there is a problem. This is harassment as there is no right from BBC or their agents.
What form or redress do I have agianst this?

Fred Bear said...

Gnas, it's best to cancel your licence before cancelling payments. As far as the BBC is concerned there is no such thing as pay-as-you go with a TV Licence - they maintain that you've bought a year long licence. From their ludicrous perspective they are doing you a favour by letting you pay by installments. If you've been in the system for a time then for the first 6 months of the licence, you are paying for the current licence and for the final 6 months you are paying for the next licence.

I suggest cancelling the licence by letter if you haven't done already. Tell them that you don't want to hear from them again and if they persist you'll inform OFCOM or your MP. Generally the mention of MP gets them jumpy as they live in constant fear of their precious licence fee being taken away.

M. SHAKEY said...

Do we know who the whistle-blower was? It states from 2016 a 'former' Area Manager..?? Does anyone have/seen any of the 'documents' mentioned ? Maybe this person could be brought 'on-side'.