The BBC is run in the interests of its viewers and listeners.
The BBC is established under a Royal Charter. The current Charter came into force in 2007 and runs until the end of 2016. It explicitly recognises the BBC's editorial independence and sets out its public purposes.
Under the new Charter, the BBC is governed by the BBC Trust, which sets the strategic direction of the BBC and has a clear duty to represent the interests of licence fee payers. The Trust sets purpose remits, issues service licences and holds the Executive Board to account for its performance in delivering BBC services.
The Trust works closely with national Audience Councils in order to understand the needs and concerns of audiences.
Operational responsibility rests with the Executive Board. It is responsible for delivering the BBC's services and running the organisation in accordance with the overall strategy set by the Trust.
For more details and an explanation of purpose remits and service licences, see the most recent Annual Report.
Government responsibility for broadcasting and creative industries in the UK lies with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.