British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 A4 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP
Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email [BBC request email]
Calum McLean [FOI #339496 email]
06 July 2016
Dear Calum McLean, Freedom of Information request – RFI20161131
Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act (‘the Act’) 9 June 2016
seeking: 1] How many freedom of information requests were received by the BBC in total
during 2015 (1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015)?
The BBC received 2235 requests under the Act.
2] How many freedom of information requests were refused by the BBC during
2015 (1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015)?
As you will be aware, not all of the information held by the BBC is covered by the Act. Part
VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and 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 Act does not apply to information held by the BBC’s
commercial subsidiaries (for example BBC Worldwide).
When the information is not covered by the Act, we’re not required by law to provide it;
however, in as many instances as possible, we aim to volunteer information in order to be as
open and transparent as possible.
Therefore the information we have provided is for where we have withheld information in its
entirety without volunteering any information. This includes requests that we are not obliged
to answer under the Act as well as requests that are valid under the Act.
In 2015 the BBC withheld information in it entirety in response to 982 requests.
3] How many freedom of information requests were accepted and answered by
the BBC during 2015 (1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015)?
In 2015 the BBC answered 1253 requests in part or fully.
4] How many freedom of information requests that were refused by the BBC
during 2015 (originating between 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015) then
went on to be appealed, either internally by the BBC and/or externally to the
Information Commissioner by the enquirer?
Please note that for requests that are exempt from the Act, the BBC do not offer an internal
review if the requester is unhappy with the response. The requester would need to appeal
the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’). Therefore, some of the cases referred to the
ICO are for requests the BBC have refused based on these grounds.
The BBC received 73 requests for internal reviews where we have refused or not held
information where information is covered by the Act.
The BBC was notified of 58 appeals to the ICO relating to all FOI responses. Please note that
some of these may have also been the subject of an internal review and would therefore also
be included in the figure above.
5] How many freedom of information requests that were refused by the BBC
during 2015 (originating between 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015) that
went to appeal, were then upheld and to which the BBC were required to provide
In total, 18 cases relating to requests made to and refused by the BBC during 2015 were
upheld, whether in whole or in part, requiring further information (including advice and
assistance) to be provided. Appeal Rights
If you are not satisfied that we have complied with the Act in responding to your request, you
have the right to an internal review by a BBC senior manager or legal adviser. Please contact
us at the address above, explaining what you would like us to review and including your
reference number. If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the
Information Commissioner. The contact details are: Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF. Telephone 01625 545 745 or see http://www.ico.org.uk
BBC Information Rights