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BBC Ordered To Disclose Capita Contract Incentives

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ordered the BBC to publish details of all incentives written into its license fee collection deal with outsourcing firm Capita.

A previous Freedom of Information request, filed in 2008, had been rejected by the BBC after the corporation claimed that the disclosure could damage its commercial interests. But the ICO has said that the case is in the public interest and has ordered the full disclosure of the deal.

The ICO has set a 35-day deadline from the date of its decision fro the BBC to disclose all relevant information about the contract.

Head of Policy Delivery at the ICO Steve Wood said: "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."

"On this occasion, the BBC incorrectly applied an exemption under the belief that it was not in the public interest for the corporation to release details of the incentives they offer to one of their contractors,” he added.

"However it is our view that the corporation must be open to public scrutiny in order to show the many people who regularly watch their programmes, listen to their radio stations and use their website that they continue to provide value for money."