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British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP
Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Policy & Compliance
Kathy Baguley email@example.com
16th August 2016
Dear Ms Baguley,
Freedom of Information request - RFI20161453
Thank you for your request to the BBC of August 6th 2016, seeking the fol owing information under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 “How many guest appearances Diane Abbott MP has made on the following shows between 1st January
2010 and 31st July 2016:
Daily & Sunday Politics, both nationally and locally
The Andrew Marr show
The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of
‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and
wil 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
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 activities.1
The limited application of the Act to public service broadcasters was to protect freedom of
expression and the rights of the media under Article10 European Convention on Human Rights
(“ECHR”). The BBC, as a media organisation, is under a duty to impart information and ideas on al
matters of public interest and the importance of this function has been recognised by the European
1 For more information about how the Act applies to the BBC please see the enclosure which fol ows this letter.
Please note that this guidance is not intended to be a comprehensive legal interpretation of how the Act applies to the
Court of Human Rights. Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor in enabling the
media to fulfil this function.
That said, the BBC makes a huge range of information available about our programmes and content
on bbc.co.uk. We also proactively publish information covered by the Act on our publication scheme
and regularly handle requests for information under the Act.
Information about appearances in return for fees are listed in Ms Abbott’s entry on the Register of
Members Interests at the Houses of Parliament http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/contents1617.htm
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 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate) or see 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.
BBC News Division
Freedom of Information
From January 2005 the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives a general right of access
to al 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 al 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 wel 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 wil
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 al 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
The BBC's remit as a public service broadcaster is defined in the BBC Charter and Agreement.
It is the responsibility of the BBC Trust (the sovereign body within the BBC) to ensure that the
organisation delivers against this remit by setting key objectives, approving strategy and policy,
and monitoring and assessing performance. The Trustees also safeguard the BBC's
independence and ensure the Corporation is accountable to its audiences and to Parliament.