Preparations for Digital Switchover: Twenty-eighth Report of Session 2007-08, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

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The Department for Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform are jointly responsible for digital switchover, the programme to convert over 1,100 tv transmitters to ditigal and switch off analogue signals by 2012. The Departments have passed to the BBC responsibility for funding the public information campaign and delivering the help scheme, and set aside £803 million of licence fee money to pay for these activities. The BBC is accountable to the BBC Trust for the value for money with which it uses the licence fee, not the Departments. Therefore the Departments have no means of holding the BBC to account for this use of licence fee money. To data, take-up of the help scheme has been significantly lower than the Departments expected. If help scheme take-up rates experienced in Copeland, the first area to switch, were replicated across the country, there would be a 250 million surplus in the licence fee settlement. The Departments have not decided how any surplus would be handled and it is felt generally that the Departments have not taken effective action to protection consumer interests.

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List of Reports from the Committee of Public Accounts 200708

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