New contract for collection of reception fees to be awarded
Biel-Bienne, 31.01.2005 - Billag AG's mandate for collection of radio and television reception fees expires at the end of 2007. The Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) has decided to award the new contract using an invitation procedure. The contract will provisionally be awarded at the beginning of 2006.
In 1999 DETEC put the contract for collection of reception fees out to public tender and awarded the contract to the Swisscom subsidiary Billag AG up to the end of 2007. The mandate for the next period will be awarded using an invitation procedure. Within the framework of this procedure, at least three bids will be requested from companies which seem to be appropriate for the task. This ensures that the best bid in economic terms can be chosen. Companies can register their interest in the collection mandate with OFCOM or DETEC.
The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) will put forward possible bidders for the attention of DETEC. By mid-2005 DETEC will decide which companies will be invited to submit a bid. OFCOM will then compare and evaluate the bids.
Collection activity in the area of radio and television reception fees is not one of the procurement procedures subject to invitation to tender according to the WTO agreement. In order to ensure transparency with regard to the award, DETEC has decided to put the mandate out to tender using the so-called invitation procedure.
According to the law on radio and television, anyone wishing to receive radio or television programmes must notify the appropriate authority in advance and pay reception fees. This is irrespective of which programmes are consumed and the technology used for reception. The amount of the fees is set by the Federal Council. The fees finance the programming of the public (and some local) radio and television providers, along with the associated administrative activities. The "Swiss Collection Agency for Radio and Television Fees" according to its official title, is responsible for fee collection and associated supervision and administrative activities.
Address for enquiries
Bernhard Bürki, OFCOM press spokesperson, + 41 32 327 55 50
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications