Consultation paper on BBC Governors' public value test

Consultation paper (PDF, 33 pages) released by the BBC Governors, concerning Service Licences and a "public value test".

The BBC Charter Green Paper proposed that each BBC service should have a Service Licence. The consultation paper explains that these would be intended to determine the budget, remit and performance targets for each service, and sets out the Governors' current thinking on how the Service Licences would work in practice.

The public value test is seen as a "structured, evidence-based, decision-making tool" to aid Governors (and the envisaged BBC Trust) taking decisions on significant service-related investment proposals. It would not be a primarily quantitative assessment and would recognise the need for judgement. The test would comprise two parts: (i) a public value assessment, measuring the contribution that the BBC service would make to "public value" and (ii) a market impact assessment, the main indicators of which would be "the wider economic value which would be created by the service" and "any potential crowding-out of other players in the market".

The consultation paper provides some information on what the public value assessment would consider. But discussion of the market impact assessment is limited mainly to procedural matters, such as when it would be undertaken, rather than the nature of the assessment. The Governors state that the methodology for market impact analysis will be developed in agreement with Ofcom (note that there is disagreement between Ofcom and the BBC as to who would undertake the assessment, see here and here).

The consultation paper is supported by an appendix containing a "robustness assessment" of the public value test by Spectrum Strategy Consultants (PDF, 54 landscape pages).

See this OfcomWatch post for a brief commentary.

Filed under BBC, Media, Ofcom.

Reckon LLP is an economics consultancy with expertise in data analysis, economic regulation and competition law.

About Reckon