BBC Complaints – A programme I was in | Ofcom
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BBC Complaints – A programme I was in | Ofcom

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Please read these instructions carefully before submitting a complaint to Ofcom.

If you think you, your relative or your organisation were treated unfairly and/or your or their privacy was infringed in a BBC programme, we encourage you to follow the BBC’s complaints procedures in the first instance. You can do this by visiting this page http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/. You can also complain to us directly.

Before completing the form, we advise you to read the relevant Ofcom Procedures https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/100101/ Procedures-for-the-consideration-and-adjudication-of-Fairness-and-Privacy-complaints.pdf. You should complain to us within 20 working days from when the programme was broadcast or last made available on BBC iPlayer, or 20 working days from when you received your final response from the BBC.

If you intend to provide Ofcom with separate supporting documentation, or if you are complaining on behalf of another person or an organisation and need to provide us with written authorisation that you can make the complaint for them, you should download and print Of333- Fairness and Privacy Complaint Form (PDF, 164Kb) to complete by hand. Please send the completed complaint form and any supporting documentation to: Ofcom, Fairness and Privacy Complaints, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA. You may send your completed complaint form and supporting documentation by email to:  ofcomfairnessandprivacy@ofcom.org.uk.

Sometimes the BBC may try to resolve your complaint directly with you instead of Ofcom investigating your concern. This approach is encouraged by Ofcom. Therefore, any proposals to resolve your complaint will be sent to you for your consideration.

If Ofcom upholds a Fairness and Privacy complaint, our powers are limited. We cannot, for example, order any financial compensation or an apology from the BBC. All Fairness and Privacy complaint adjudications are published in Ofcom’s Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin. In exceptional cases, Ofcom may direct the BBC to broadcast a summary of our findings. In serious cases, Ofcom may consider imposing a sanction, e.g. a fine on the BBC.

Please provide us with accurate contact information. We will use the details you provide to update any contact information we already hold about you.

Section 1: Your details

Section 2: The programme

Please complete the form as fully as possible, referring to the relevant Ofcom procedures for handling complaints, investigations and sanctions for a full list of the information you should provide. Failure to provide these details may prevent Ofcom from identifying the programme within a reasonable time and otherwise delay or prevent us from being able to consider the complaint.

3a Making a complaint on your own behalf

Are you "the person affected"? (Please see the relevant Ofcom Procedures) Ofcom procedures for handling complaints, investigations and sanctions)

If 'Yes' go to section 4 'The Complaint' If 'No' go to section 3b 'Making a complaint on behalf of another person'

3b Making a complaint on behalf of another person

You can make a complaint on behalf of someone else ("the person affected"), provided that you are authorised to do so by them. In exceptional circumstances, a member of the family of "the person affected" or someone closely connected to that person may make a complaint without having obtained the authority of the "the person affected". This would be permitted if the person affected is unable to give that authority, for example, because she/he is under the age of 16.

Are you making a complaint on behalf of "the person affected"?

If 'Yes' go to section 3c 'Appropriate Authority'.

If 'No' you do not appear to be making a complaint on your own behalf or on behalf of another person. Ofcom may not be able to consider your complaint as one of fairness and/or privacy. Please refer to Ofcom's website for further information on making a complaint about a breach of content standards for BBC television, radio and on demand.

3c Appropriate authority

If you wish to make a complaint on behalf of another person who satisfies the definition of "the person affected" you will need to provide Ofcom with appropriate written authorisation from that person. Ofcom takes this to mean a copy of a letter that is signed by 'the person affected' and includes a clear statement that the person making the complaint is authorised to do so by the person affected.

Do you have appropriate written authorisation from the person affected?

If ‘Yes’ you will be able to attach the appropriate written authorisation on the next page or alternatively you can send it to Ofcom by post or email. Go to section 4 'The complaint'. If 'No' Ofcom may not be able to consider your complaint as one of fairness and/or privacy. Please refer to Ofcom's website for further information on making a complaint about a breach of content standards for BBC television, radio and on demand.

Section 4: The complaint

All broadcasters regulated by Ofcom must comply with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

Section 7 (Fairness) of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code outlines, with regard to unjust or unfair treatment, practices to be followed by broadcasters when dealing with individuals or organisations participating in or otherwise directly affected by programmes. This can be found at https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/100117/broadcast-code-april-2017-section-7.pdf

Please note that Ofcom is not able to consider complaints of unjust or unfair treatment in the making of the programme.

Section 8 (Privacy) of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code outlines, with regard to unwarranted infringement of privacy, practices to be followed by broadcasters when dealing with individuals or organisations particpating in or otherwise directly affected by programmes. This can be found at https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/100118/broadcast-code-april-2017-section-8.pdf

Please note that Ofcom is able to consider complaints of unwarranted infringment of privacy in programmes ('the programme as broadcast') as well as in connection with the obtaining of material included in such programmes.

Were you treated unfairly in the programme as broadcast?
Was your privacy unwarrantably infringed in connection with the obtaining of material included in the programme?
Was your privacy unwarrantably infringed in the programme as broadcast?

Section 5: Complaint to the BBC

Have you already made a complaint to the BBC?
On the next page you will be asked to provide a copy of your final response, or the most recent correspondence you have received from the BBC, and any other information you consider to be relevant to your complaint.

Section 6: Delay in making the complaint

Ofcom may refuse to consider your complaint if it appears not to have been made within a reasonable time after the last broadcast of the programme (or after it was last available on a BBC on demand service). You should submit your complaint to Ofcom within 20 working days after the broadcast of the relevant programme (or after it was last available on a BBC on demand service).

Please note: Ordinarily, Ofcom will not accept a complaint which is submitted after this deadline.

If you are submitting your complaint later than 20 working days after the broadcast of the programme or after it was last available on a BBC on demand service, you should explain in detail why the complaint was not submitted earlier. Ofcom will then weigh up all the relevant factors (including your explanation for the delay in submitting the complaint) and decide whether or not it is appropriate for us to consider your complaint despite the delay.

For further information on time limits on making a complaint, please see the relevant Ofcom Procedures https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/information-for-industry/guidance/procedures

Have you made your complaint within the relevant time limit?

Section 7: Legal proceedings

Ofcom is not able to consider a fairness and/or privacy complaint if the matter complained of is the subject of proceedings in a court of law in the UK.

Is the matter you are complaining about the subject of any proceedings in a court of law in the UK or are there any other current legal proceedings which might affect your complaint?

Declaration

- I understand that Ofcom complies with the data protection legislation and that the information on this form will be used by Ofcom for the purposes of carrying out its functions in relation to the consideration and, where appropriate, adjudication of fairness and privacy complaints.

- I understand that on receipt of this complaint, Ofcom will provide a copy of this complaint form and any accompanying information to the BBC.

- I understand that the consideration of this complaint falls under Ofcom’s jurisdiction and undertake to abide by all Ofcom’s published rules and procedures.

- I understand that I need to remain actively involved with my complaint throughout the process once I have made it. If Ofcom asks me for a response about, or information connected to, a matter relating to my complaint I understand I must reply by the deadline (or contact Ofcom as soon as possible to let you know why I cannot keep to the deadline). If I do not respond to Ofcom, I understand you may close my complaint because Ofcom might consider I no longer wish to pursue it.

Data protection

We use the information contained in this form in order to carry out our functions in relation to the consideration and, where appropriate, adjudication of fairness and privacy complaints under the Communications Act 2003 and the BBC Royal Charter and Agreement. Please see Ofcom’s  General Privacy Statement for further information about how Ofcom handles your personal information and your corresponding rights. We will keep your information confidential and will not disclose it to third parties, except where we are required to do so by law or it is necessary for us to do so in order to consider your complaint. On receiving your complaint, Ofcom will forward a copy of the complaint form and any accompanying information to the BBC.

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