This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Number of Freedom of Information Requests Refused By The BBC in 2015'.

 
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Information Rights 
bbc.co.uk/foi 
bbc.co.uk/privacy 
 
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 
an answer. 
 
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  
 
Yours sincerely, 
 
BBC Information Rights 
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