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Information Policy & Compliance
Mr W Perrin
By email: email@example.com
6 March 2013 Freedom of Information request – RFI20121521
Dear Mr Perrin
Thank you for your request of 20 December 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in
which you sought information relating to the Pollard Review:
I should be grateful for documents, emails, texts, spreadsheets, meeting notes, minutes held
on paper or in electronic form that summarise in detail the cost breakdown of the Pollard
I am not seeking every last document invoice or chitty simply meaningful transparency on
this major unplanned piece of expenditure. The public interest in BBC expenditure on
management issues at this time is manifest in the recent work of the PAC.
I should also be grateful for any estimates of initial cost of the work that were put to the
Trust for approval.
Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to this request. By way of explanation, the
team dealing with this request has been preparing for the publication of the appendices and further
material relating to the Report, as a consequence of which they have been fully stretched.
We consider that the Pollard Review, being directed to the maintenance and enhancement of the
standards and quality of the BBC’s journalism , and materials related to it are held for the purposes
of journalism, art or literature and therefore outside the scope of the Act. Nevertheless, on this
occasion, the BBC has now published the appendices and other material relating to the inquiry, and
details of the associated costs will also be published in due course.
You will be aware that it has already been stated that the overall cost of the Pollard inquiry to the
BBC is likely to be approximately £2 million. The BBC will be publishing this cost, as well as a
breakdown, once the figures are finalised; we anticipate this will be in two months’ time. We would
therefore like to make you aware that, without prejudice to our position that information relating to
the Pollard Review falls outside the scope of the Act, if the information were to fall within the Act,
the section 22 exemption would apply, as costing information is held with a view to its future
If it were to be covered by section 22, the BBC considers that it would reasonable to withhold the
information prior to publication. The BBC recognises that there is a strong public interest in
disclosing information about the costs associated with the Pollard Review. It is accepted that the
Review has been the focus of widespread interest from the media and the public, and disclosure
would fulfil the general public interest in accountability. However, the public interest in openness
and transparency has already been satisfied by the publication of the Review and supporting
documentation, and particularly, by the BBC’s previous disclosure of the estimated overall cost. The
public interest would therefore favour the planned publication of complete and final cost figures as
opposed to interim and partial disclosures ahead of this schedule.
You have also asked for “any estimates of initial cost of the work that were put to the Trust for
approval". The BBC Trust has published a timeline of the events following ITV’s documentary on
Jimmy Savile here:
On Tuesday 16 October, the Chairman of the Trust wrote to the Director-General; this letter is
published at the above link. In his letter, he explained that the Trust considered it was appropriate
that the Executive Board should commission the Pollard Review. As the Executive Board (chaired for
the purpose of this review by Non-Executive Director Dame Fiona Reynolds) commissioned the
Pollard Review and was responsible for its operation, no estimates of the Review’s cost were put to
the Trust for approval.
I am sorry again for the delay in preparing this request.
James Leaton Gray Head of Information Policy & Compliance
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
telephone 01625 545 700. http://www.ico.gov.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.