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BBC: Royal Charters

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL556, tabled on 25 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the mid-term review of the BBC Charter not being conducted before the Ofcom review of public service broadcasting; and how will the review by Ofcom be used to inform the mid-term review of the BBC Charter.

Answered on

7 June 2021

Ofcom is required to conduct a review into public service broadcasting at least every five years and went out for consultation in December 2020. The report of its third review, "Public Service Broadcasting in the Internet Age", was published on 2 July 2015.

The concept and principles for the Mid-Term Review are set out in the BBC Royal Charter of 2016. The Royal Charter is clear that “the (mid-term) review must not be undertaken before 2022 and must be completed by 2024.”

Government officials shall be undertaking preparatory work ahead of the mid-term review starting formally next year, and will consult Ofcom on the scope, timing, and terms of reference in due course, as is required by the BBC Charter.

Further, the Charter requires that Ofcom conduct a periodic review of the BBC which looks at the extent to which the BBC is fulfilling its Mission and promoting each of the Public Purposes and addressing any specific issues of concern. This must be concluded in time to inform the Mid-Term Review.