The Terms of Reference for the Review of the Television License Enforcement has now been published. Secretary of state Sajid Javid first announced his intention to begin a review into TV License enforcement in early September. The Review will begin gathering evidence this autumn, concluding by the end of June 2015, and will be independently led on behalf of Government by David Perry QC.
The project aims to review the enforcement regime for failure to have a TV License in the UK, including looking at whether sanctions for committing the offence are appropriate. It will identify and assess options for amending the current regime, including the possibility of decriminalisation of TV licensing offences. Currently, failure to have a TV License and paying the License fee is an offence punishable by a fine.
The Terms of Reference outline several key considerations including: ‘Value for money for Licence Fee payers and tax payers in enforcement of the failure
to have a TV Licence, including operational, revenue and investment costs of the enforcement regime to the BBC and to the court system.’ ‘Fairness for all License Fee payers’ will also be considered, as well as the ‘Degree to which the regime is easy to understand by all.’
The review promises to collect evidence from stakeholders including the BBC, the government and the Courts, with opinion from the public also being sought. The report will be submitted to the government by the end of June 2015, and presented to both Houses of Parliament as well as the BBC Trust.