Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Monday, 12 March 2012

BBC Hit Back at Freedom of Information Act Criticism

Today I received a letter from James Leaton Grey, who is the Head of the BBC's Information Policy & Compliance Team.

I think it's fair to say that there's no love lost between me and James. He's probably still right pissed off that he was the internal reviewer that dealt with our "Evidence from TV Detection Equipment" request, which revealed once and for all how evidentially worthless the BBC's TV detection gizmos really are.

Last week, infuriated that the BBC still couldn't tell me how many complaints had been received about TV Licensing threatograms, I decided to vent my frustration using the complaint link on their website. Shortly afterwards I received an acknowledgement saying that my complaint, highlighting the ineffectiveness of the Information Policy & Compliance Team, had been passed to that very same Team for their consideration. You couldn't make it up!

You can read James's letter, complete with typing errors, by clicking here. I don't suppose it was actually him that typed it, but a bit of spell checking wouldn't have gone amiss.

The edited highlights are:
  • As the BBC handles 1,600 requests for information annually I am being unreasonable to expect they'll always meet the statutory 20 working day deadline to respond.
  • Of the 13 requests I made last year only 3 of them were delayed and then only by a couple of days.
  • Of the 4 requests I have made so far this year 2 of them have been delayed.
  • There is no statutory time frame for the BBC to deal with internal review requests, so if they're delayed past their own deadline then it's just tough luck.
  • The fact that the BBC is so willing to change their mind about disclosure during the internal review process shows that they're prepared to correct earlier mistakes. Contrary to my opinion, it does not exemplify the fact that these mistakes are made in the first instance.
So there you go. It's all my fault the BBC Information Policy & Compliance Team  is shit at their job.

Incidentally the BBC still can't tell me how many complaints it has actually received about TV Licensing threatograms. They evidently haven't got a clue, which is shocking given the amount of public criticism these letters have attracted. No doubt it'll be my fault for asking them such awkward questions when they're so overworked.


Anonymous said...

Sadly, the BBC consider themselves above the law.

I'd really like to see the TV License abolished.

Thank you for keeping everyone in the loop.

33_hertz said...

I am very glad that such a capable person as yourself is batting for our side. Well done. Thanks to you I was able to confidently advise some Polish co-workers re TV Licensing when others were saying "bit of a grey area" to them.


Admin said...

Welcome Captain UKIP. Thanks for visiting and please stay tuned for further articles.

Thanks very much for your continued loyal support 33_hertz. I see you tried to post your comment 3 times by mistake! Unfortunately we need to moderate comments before publication, as there are lots of BBC luvvies reading!

the ranter said...

I find it phenomenally ironic that James is effectively complaining about you harassing him, when at the same time, the company he works for strong-arm thug division are harassing thousands of innocent members of the public on a daily basis with mail threats and doorstep abuse.

I would guess that he probably is less bothered by this harassment due to the 100k+ salary he courtesy of that very same department.

Admin said...

If James was implying I was harassing him he'd be wrong. All I am doing is using the Act to scrutinise the underhand tactics of TV Licensing, and demonstrate how little co-operation they show when people try to hold them to account.

They undoubtedly do not like my requests, because I am very good (if I do say so) at nailing them on succinct points of policy and law. They must be very uncomfortable about that, particularly as they now know that the likes of The Sun and Telegraph read what we write here on a regular basis.

Incidentally they have still not replied telling me the true number of complaints that have been received about TV Licensing correspondence.

As I've mentioned a few times people should be seriously alarmed that the BBC doesn't have those figures close at hand, because it demonstrates the flippant way they deal with public concerns.

Laci The Dog said...

Hey, Peter, before you make accusations about "little knowledge" you should try to understand what someone is saying.

From reading this post, we are pretty much on the same page about the role of the TV licencing folk.

Where we differ is on the value of the institution of the TV licence.

I would prefer to pay for a licence and pay my share to make sure the BBC can remain non-comercial.

If you have seen the alternatives, then you micht change your mind about the "evil" of licencing.

No Drama said...

Dear Laci the Dog,

I'm glad that you are happy with the service provided by the BBC, however, would you agree that it's unreasonable to expect the many people who do not want the BBC's service, to unwillingly subsidise programs you enjoy watching?

If we were to subject the BBC to fair market forces (make a licence optional, and only applicable to those that do want to watch the BBC's content). Then do you think the quality of programs would remain as it is now? Or would you agree that they would decline in quality as a result of their reduced budgets?

Assuming you agree that the quality of programs provided by the BBC would decline, then would you agree that you would be less likely to continue your optional subscription of the BBC's services?

It's easy to see how the BBC could be forced to turn to advertisement driven revenue generation in a fairly short time if they did not have an immoral monopoly upon everyone who has a television.

Unknown said...

Alternative to what Laci? What do the BBC pump out that no other terrestrial or cable company don't.

And who in their right mind wants to give them £140 a year to keep doing so?

Guardian readers and BBC shills. No=one else.