This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'FOI Request on Bilderberg Reporting Policy'.



 
 
Mr Arthur Smith 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
 
 
11th October 2011 
 
Dear Mr Smith, 
 
Freedom of Information request – RFI 20111216 
 
Thank you for your request to the BBC of 5th October 2011, seeking the following information 
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:   
 
“The only possible conclusion is that there must be a policy in effect at the BBC regarding the 
reporting of Bilderberg.  
Please send all details of this policy and an explanation of its origin within 28 days as per the 
Freedom of Information Act 2000.” 

 
The information you have requested is out of scope of the Act but we are happy to explain on this 
occasion that the BBC does not have any policy about the reporting of the Bilderberg conference. 
 
We hope you find this helpful. Please note that the information you have requested is excluded 
from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’    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” 1.  The BBC is not required by the Act 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; however, on this occasion we’re happy to provide the above information 
in response to your request.   
 
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 
                                                 
1 For more information about how the Act applies to the BBC please see the enclosure at the end of this letter.  Please note that 
this guidance is not intended to be a comprehensive legal interpretation of how the Act applies to the BBC. 
 
 

 
details are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, 
SK9 5AF telephone 01625 545 700. http://www.ico.gov.uk 
 
Yours sincerely, 
 
 
Stephanie Harris 
Head of Accountability, BBC News 
 
 
 

 
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 
 
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 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.  
 
Day-to-day operations are run by the Director-General and his senior management team, the Executive 
Board. All BBC output in the UK is funded by an annual Licence Fee. This is determined and regularly 
reviewed by Parliament. Each year, the BBC publishes an Annual Report & Accounts, and reports to 
Parliament on how it has delivered against its public service remit. 
 
 
 
 
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