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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



 

What is a Royal Charter?
The BBC's Royal Charter is a formal document granted under the Royal prerogative, establishing the BBC and defining its general objectives and functions. It is supported by the Agreement between the BBC and the Government, which sets out how the BBC will meet its general obligations, the services it will provide, and the standards, it will meet. The current charter and agreement can be accessed at www.bbc.co.uk/info/policies/charter

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Who makes the final decision on the content of the Royal Charter?
The Secretary of State for Culture makes the final decisions on the content of the BBC’s Royal Charter. All decisions were the result of close consultations with the public and other stakeholders, including the industry, BBC and Parliament.

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What is a Green Paper?
A Green Paper is a government proposal, which is published to allow public debate on a specific topic.

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What is a White Paper?
A White Paper is the next stage after a Green Paper. It is a statement of proposed government policy on a particular area of concern.

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Did the consultation responses really make a difference?
Yes. All responses received to our consultations were analysed and used to help decide on the options contained in the Green and White Papers.

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What involvement did the BBC have in the BBC Charter Review process?
The BBC itself is obviously a key stakeholder, along with the rest of the broadcasting industry and the public, and was able to reply to all consultations during Charter review. They were also be required to supply information requested by the Charter review team from time to time.

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How was Parliament involved?
There is no longer any formal requirement for scrutiny of the Royal Charter by either house of Parliament. However, the Secretary of State committed to providing an opportunity for thorough parliamentary scrutiny. The debates took place in both the House of Lords on 16 June 2006 and House of Commons on 10 July 2006. In addition, the House of Lords has set up a special committee to look at Charter review after the Green Paper.

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Was the other reviews that took place in broadcasting, taken into account during BBC Charter review?
All reviews relating to the BBC and related surrounding issues helped inform this Charter review process. These included the independent reviews of BBC Online, the BBC’s digital television services, the BBC’s digital radio services, the BBC’s own internal reviews and those carried out by Ofcom. The DCMS published reviews are available on the publications page.

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What function did Lord Burns and his panel perform?
Lord Burns did helped to shape the initial consultation, and along with his panel is providing independent advice to the Secretary of State. The panel held a series of informed seminars on a number of topics last year and the outcome of these seminars has informed drafting of the Green Paper. All of the advice provided by the panel has been published on this website.

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What advice did Lord Burns’ panel published and where is it available?
The panel has published two papers. Its first paper, ‘Emerging Themes’, sets out some propositions about specific areas of the BBC, and was produced to reflect and summarise the result of debates held during the first phase of the panel’s seminars. Lord Burn’s second paper takes the form of an open letter to the Secretary of State, and reflects the findings of the entire seminar series. This letter represents the panel’s final contribution as part of BBC Charter review, both these papers are published on the website.

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When will the funding review take place?
We expect the funding review to take place around the end of the digital switchover (2012), in order to allow for the necessary planning before any changes are implemented.

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Now Charter Review is over where I go to have my say on the BBC?
You can contact the BBC directly.

Email via the website, www.bbc.co.uk, telephone 08700 100 222, textphone 08700 100 212 or write to BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Glasgow G2 3WT).

Or you can write directly to the programme area concerned or you can write to the BBC Trust.

You can contact the BBC official complaints website: www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

You can also search through the BBC’s Search Engine: www.bbc.co.uk/search

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When will the next BBC Charter Review take place?
The BBC’s Royal Charter normally lasts 10 years and the process of Charter Review normally occurs a couple of years before the end of the current Charter.

The new Charter will take effect as from 1January 2007 and expires on 31 December 2016.

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Where can I access the new BBC Charter and Agreement?
The new BBC Charter and Agreement is available on this website at the below links:

 

 

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