Buses destroyed by Top Gear

Mr Fairchild made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by British Broadcasting Corporation.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I would like information on buses that were destroyed by your programme Top Gear.

In series 12 episode 5 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fys1m you destroyed two bendy buses, a double deck bus, a single deck bus, and a minibus.

For each vehicle, I would like to know the registration number, and details of where the remains/salvage was disposed to.

I understand that if this is a business then you should be able to provide the name, but if this is a person not acting in the course of business you may not be able to do so due to Data Protection. In this scenario please give the approximate geographical location.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Fairchild

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Fairchild

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, about buses destroyed on 'Top Gear' which was
received on 5th July. We shall deal with your request as promptly as
possible and, at the latest, within 20 working days. If you have any
queries about your request please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20110782.

Kind regards

BBC Information Policy and Compliance

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

show quoted sections

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Fairchild,

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20110782.

<<RFI20110782 - final response.pdf>>

Kind regards

Louise Wright
Information Policy and Compliance    

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [2][BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

 
[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal
views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in
reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/foi
2. mailto:[BBC request email]
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Nick Leaton left an annotation ()

Ask them for the contracts.

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Your response is not acceptable. You state "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 will 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 ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”."

I am not asking for information related to the purposes of journalism, art or literature.

I am asking for information on how, when and to whom a PUBLIC BODY disposes of redundant assets. This has nothing whatsoever to do with journalism, art or literature.

I would appreciate being provided with the requested information.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Fairchild

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Fairchild,

I'm sorry our response is disappointing to you but I'm afraid we will
not be disclosing the information you requested for the reasons
explained in our letter.

However if you disagree with our decision that the information you
requested is not covered by the Act you do have the right to appeal to
the Information Commissioner's Office, as stated in the section 'Appeal
Rights' at the end of our letter. The contact details for your
convenience are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF telephone 01625 545 700.
http://www.ico.gov.uk

Kind regards

Louise Wright
BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252
White City
201 Wood Lane
London
W12 7TS

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

show quoted sections

Nick Leaton left an annotation ()

Don't believe them. Appeal to the ICO on the grounds you are after the accounts, and not the journalism.

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

Do appeal to the ICO.
The BBC often issue FOIA refusals, because they do not expect people to challenge them. The BBC hold the public in contempt and do not expect people to question their decisions. Over the last 3 years the BBC has rejected 50% of FOIA requests, some of them almost on autopilot.
I can see the public interest here, at a time when the BBC has been widely criticised for the frivolous way it uses licence fee payers money.
The ICO doesn't always rule in the BBC's favour.

Mr Fairchild left an annotation ()

This has indeed been appealed to the ICO. I shall keep people updated.

Mr Fairchild left an annotation ()

I have received a preliminary verdict that the BBC was correct in not releasing the information. Any other thoughts?

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

The current state of the law on the BBC's "derogation" is that if information is held to any extent for the purposes of journalism, art or literature, then it is not covered by FOI. This is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court, so it's possible the situation may change. In the meantime, the law is as described in this Court of Appeal judgement:
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...

So the question is whether the disposal of things that were used in the making of a programme counts as journalism, art or literature. There's some discussion of what is covered in paragraphs 53-59 of the Court of Appeal judgement. I think one could probably argue that the disposal shouldn't count, since it doesn't really affect the programme-making itself. But if the Commissioner doesn't agree then you'd have to take the case to the Tribunal to argue it further.

Joe Turner left an annotation ()

I'd like to see someone complain to the ICO regarding the lack of a FOI review system by the BBC, which is surely in violation of the FOI Act. In fact..

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

I have just come across this previous ICO decision, which may help: http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

Briefly, the BBC were asked about the costs of televising Children in Need and the payments they made to presenters. True to form they refused to answer by stating the information was exempt because it was held for the purposes of journalism, art or literature.

The Commissioner disagreed and ordered the BBC to release the full information requested.

Note the following in para 13: "The Commissioner holds the view that financial information about a programme cost or payment made has no bearing on the ability of the programme maker to be creative. Indeed, in this instance the programme had already been created. Any later request for information about cost or payment can have no effect on the journalistic, artistic or literary creativity that went into the programme's production. The Commissioner does not accept that the requested information was held for the purposes of journalism, art or literature and is therefore satisfied that the Act applies in this case."

You request is no different as far as I can see. You want to know the cost of buses destroyed after the programme has been made and broadcast. That's no different to asking for presenter payments as far as I can see.

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org