British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 A4 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP
Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email email@example.com
12 March 2020
Dear Mr Parslow, Freedom of Information request – RFI20200254
Thank you for your request to the BBC of 14 February seeking the following information under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’):
I have asked you on many occasions for simple information on bias. It states in your charter that you must
be fair and impartial and the whole country (even you Director General told you to ignore bias. Even this
week, The panel on question time was so skewed to remaining in the EU it beggared belief.
You are an official government organization and must disclose under the Freedom of Information Act and
you are breaking the law when you refuse to do so. The last reply to me was sorry we are unable to do this
please complain to Ofcom - did you get a liberal elitist oxbridge gap year student to right that reply.
I was the data controller for a large company that held MoD data and personal information. It was quite
clear to me what I had to release and what I did not. You will breaking the law if you do not reply and I
believe you are deliberately not disclosing
So what I require under the FOI Act is:
1. The senior person that refused my request on each occasion - just the title of the person will do or that
could be a breach of their privacy - I have kept all replies so please let me know the answer for each one.
2. A proper breakdown of the anti brexit and remain bias accusations for the last four years? I have
requested it before on many occasions and this is information you must have analysed or how could you
possibly be complying with your charter.
Please release the information to me in accordance with the law of this country in the correct timescale? It
is your duty to do so.
Freedom of Information Act requests are responded to by the Information Rights team who
collectively work on requests.
As we have previously responded, the information you have requested regarding accusations of
alleged bias, is excluded from the Act because if held it would be held for the purposes of
‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you
and will not be doing so on this occasion. Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information
held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held
for ‘purposes other
than those of journalism, art or literature”. The BBC is not required to supply
information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is
closely associated with these creative activities1.
The limited application of the Act to public service broadcasters was to protect freedom of
expression and the rights of the media under Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights
(“ECHR”). The BBC, as a media organisation, is under a duty to impart information and ideas on
all matters of public interest and the importance of this function has been recognised by the
European Court of Human Rights. Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor in
enabling the media to fulfil this function. However, the BBC makes a huge range of information
available about our programmes and content on bbc.co.uk. Appeal Rights
The BBC does not offer an internal review when the information requested is not covered by the
Act. If you disagree with our decision you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. Contact
details are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
SK9 5AF, tel: 0303 123 1113 or see http://www.ico.org.uk
Please note that should the Information Commissioner’s Office decide that the Act does cover
this information, exemptions under the Act might then apply.
Information Rights BBC Legal
1 For more information about how the Act applies to the BBC please see the enclosure which follows this letter.
Please note that this guidance is not intended to be a comprehensive legal interpretation of how the Act applies to the
Freedom of Information
From January 2005 the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives a general right of access
to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. The Act also sets out
exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. The term
“public authority” is defined in the Act; it includes all public bodies and government
departments in the UK. The BBC, Channel 4, S4C and MG Alba are the only broadcasting
organisations covered by the Act. Application to the BBC
The BBC has a long tradition of making information available and accessible. It seeks to be
open and accountable and already provides the public with a great deal of information about
its activities. BBC Audience Services operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week handling
telephone and written comments and queries, and the BBC’s website bbc.co.uk provides an
extensive online information resource.
It is important to bear this in mind when considering the Freedom of Information Act and
how it applies to the BBC. The Act does not apply to the BBC in the way it does to most
public authorities in one significant respect. It recognises the different position of the BBC (as
well as Channel 4 and S4C) by saying that it covers information “held for purposes other than
those of journalism, art or literature”. This means the Act does not apply to information held
for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output (TV, radio, online etc), or information that
supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.
A great deal of information within this category is currently available from the BBC and will
continue to be so. If this is the type of information you are looking for, you can check
whether it is available on the BBC’s website bbc.co.uk or contact BBC Audience Services.
The Act does apply to all of the other information we hold about the management and
running of the BBC.
The BBC's aim is to enrich people's lives with great programmes and services that inform,
educate and entertain. It broadcasts radio and television programmes on analogue and digital
services in the UK. It delivers interactive services across the web, television and mobile
devices. The BBC's online service is one of Europe's most widely visited content sites.
Around the world, international multimedia broadcaster BBC World Service delivers a wide
range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless handheld devices,
together with BBC World News, the commercially-funded international news and
information television channel.
The BBC's remit as a public service broadcaster is defined in the BBC Charter and
Agreement. It is the responsibility of the Ofcom (the BBC’s independent regulator) to ensure
that the organisation delivers against this remit by setting key objectives, approving strategy
and policy, and monitoring and assessing performance. Ofcom also safeguard the BBC's
independence and ensure the Corporation is accountable to its audiences and to Parliament.