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Information Commissioner orders BBC to reveal incentives in £500m Capita contract

Information Commissioner orders BBC to reveal incentives in £500m Capita contract

TV Licensing contract to go under microscope

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The Information Commissioner has ordered the BBC to reveal incentives tied into its TV Licensing contract with Capita.

Under the £500 million, 10-year contract, signed in 2002, Capita provides payment, application and query processing, and is charged with maintaining an accurate licence database.

But Capita is also responsible for chasing non-payment, and in a Freedom of Information request an unnamed individual said he wanted “to understand how the BBC incentivises Capita Business Systems Limited ('Capita')" to make sure people pay licences.

The BBC originally rejected the FOI request, believing that the release of the information would prejudice its own commercial interests, and those of Capita.

But the Information Commissioner decided that it was in the “public interest” for the information to be released. The BBC had “incorrectly” applied the exemption.

“As the UK’s largest independent public broadcaster, the BBC must ensure that they are as open as possible to the UK licence payers they serve,” said the head of policy delivery at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Steve Wood.

The BBC has been given 35 days to disclose this information. Capita referred comments to the BBC. A spokesperson at the broadcaster said: "We note the ICO's decision and are considering our response."

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