The Royal Charter is the constitutional basis for the BBC. It sets out the public purposes of the BBC, guarantees its independence, and outlines the duties of the Trust and the Executive Board. The current Charter runs until 31 December 2016.
The Agreement with the Secretary of State sits alongside the Charter. It provides detail on many of the topics outlined in the Charter and also covers the BBC's funding and its regulatory duties. The Agreement is an important constitutional document because together with the Charter, it establishes the BBC's independence from the Government.
The current Agreement was laid in Parliament in July 2006.
March 2010 amendment
The Agreement was amended in March 2010 to reflect the changes made to UK law as a result of the implementation of the Audio Visual Media Services directive.
February 2011 amendment
The Agreement was amended on 11 February 2011 to allow the BBC to use licence fee money to contribute to the cost of restructuring the World Service ahead of it coming under licence fee funding in 2014/15.
September 2011 amendment
On 21 October 2010, the BBC agreed a new licence fee settlement with the Government.
The Agreement was amended on 13 September 2011 to formally implement the licence fee settlement and also to confirm new arrangements with the NAO that will enable it to choose which areas of the BBC it investigates.
A summary of these changes and their background can be found below.
Correspondence between the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and the BBC Chairman relating to the negotiations on changes to the access arrangements for the National Audit Office.
Protocols are formal documents which set out how the BBC Trust will carry out its functions as required by the BBC's Royal Charter and Framework Agreement. Protocols set out the Trust's processes and the respective roles and responsibilities of the BBC Trust and Executive Board.
The protocols have been divided into the following categories. They are available from these pages.