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 television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lord Sugar Carelessly Reveals 2016 The Apprentice Winner


It looks like the BBC has dropped the ball for a second time this week.

According to media reports the winner of the current series of The Apprentice has been inadvertently revealed by the observation that they were the only one being followed on Twitter by belligerent businessman Lord Alan Sugar.

Of all the business hopefuls that trundle through the boardroom, history shows that Sugar only ever follows the winner on Twitter.

The oversight has been pointed out to Sugar, who has now unfollowed the series winner - but too late to prevent their name from becoming public knowledge.

Contestants on the programme are bound by strict confidentiality agreements, so that the eventual outcome isn't leaked to the media.

Sadly those confidentiality agreements don't extend as far as the censorship of Sugar's Twitter feed (but given the BBC's woeful redaction skills, it would undoubtedly balls that up anyway). We're not governed by any sort of confidentiality clause or loyalty to the BBC either, so we have no qualms in revealing the name everyone is talking about.

The winner of the current series of the hit BBC One show wasn't due to be revealed until the 18th December, when the BBC was undoubtedly hoping that millions of viewers would tune in to see who it is.

But you don't need to wait that long, as we can reveal this morning that the name squarely in the frame is 31-year-old small business owner Grainne McCoy.

Grainne, from Northern Ireland, the proud owner of a makeup studio, describes her self as naturally driven. She says needs a bit of mentoring to make her first million and wants to be a good role model to her teenaged son.

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

BBC Finally Releases Awkward FOI Response About Damage Limitation


It turns out we were right.

Information finally released by the BBC confirms that its arse did go into the spasm the moment it realised that some half wit, who is probably reading this right now, had inadvertently publicised vast swathes of its TV Licensing secrets.

The aforementioned half wit now faces hours of retraining on "the safe redaction of documents and the use of Adobe redaction software". There's nothing like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

The BBC went into immediate damage limitation mode and started to anticipate awkward questions the media might pose in the wake of its recent Freedom of Information blunder. For convenience you can view the BBC's rehearsed responses to those questions here.

In scenes reminiscent of a Points Of View complaint, the BBC is apparently less concerned about its own incompetent cock-up and more concerned about the fact that someone (the TV Licensing Blog and others) has dared to notice and mention it.

The BBC willingly released the offending material in response to what it knew was a public request. It cannot blame anyone else for the fact that information is now available for public scrutiny and commentary. Had the boot been on the other foot and sensitive information had landed in the lap of Panorama, then you can be entirely confident the BBC would have reported the fact.

Thanks to the BBC's latest response to Doug Paulley, we now know that there are further revelations in the TV Licensing Monthly Performance Pack for March 2015 that it would rather weren't highlighted to the public.

We now intend to revisit that document and go through it with a very fine tooth comb.

Stay tuned.

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Friday, 25 November 2016

BBC Defies Information Commissioner's Office


The BBC has yet again displayed total contempt towards information rights and transparency, by breaking its promises to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Briefly, so as to avoid going over old ground, information rights campaigner Doug Paulley made a Freedom of Information request to the BBC on 18th July 2016 (view request here). He was seeking information about the BBC's attempts to mitigate an earlier information blunder (read more here).

The information requested by Doug will undoubtedly be very embarrassing to the BBC. It will show the desperate lengths the Corporation went to in order to undo the incompetent oversight of one of its half-witted pen-pushers.

After 90 working days the BBC has still not provided Doug with a response, despite assuring the ICO that it would do. The legal time-limit for compliance is 20 working days.

The chronology of Doug's latest request is as follows:
  • 18th July: Doug submitted his request to the BBC via the WhatDoTheyKnow website.
  • 19th July: The BBC sent an automatic acknowledgement to Doug's request, which was assigned the reference number RFI20161363.
  • 15th August: The BBC issued what it described as a interim response, in which it said it needed more time to consider the exemptions it was considering applying to Doug's request. The BBC indicated that it would provide its final decision by 13th September.
  • 16th September: Having heard nothing, Doug wrote a follow up email to the BBC.
  • 17th September: Doug wrote to the ICO and asked it to conduct a review into the BBC's handling of his request for information.
  • 5th October: The ICO wrote to Doug, confirming that it had asked the BBC to provide a response to his request within 10 working days. The ICO allocated the reference number FS50646863 to Doug's complaint.
  • 23rd October: Having heard nothing, Doug informed the ICO that the BBC had still not provided a response to his request.
  • 18th November: The ICO wrote to Doug, confirming that it had been in touch with the BBC. According to the ICO: "(The BBC) have explained the reasons for the delay and assured me that a response will be sent out next week."
  • 25th November: Having heard nothing, Doug has informed the ICO that the BBC had still not provided a response to his request.
The BBC's "next week" has now passed and, contrary to the assurances given the ICO, it has still failed to provide a response to Doug's request for information.

In other words the BBC made worthless assurances and misled the ICO over its handling of Doug's request.

So much for Tony Hall's new era of transparency and accountability.

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