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Journalism Literature Art

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Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

There have been circumstances when a FOI request has been denied, due to exemption 32 "journalism literature and art", but the data has been provided on a voluntary basis, despite the potential exemption... An example of the exact language used by the BBC is given below:

"However, in this instance, we have opted to provide you
with information relevant to your request voluntarily, despite the Act not
obliging us to do so. "

Please provide data regarding the advice, recommendations and policy guiding BBC FOI staff to "volunteer" information, despite section 32 prohibition.

Yours faithfully,

Terry A.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Terry A,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 28 April 2020.  We will 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 RFI20200513.

Kind regards,

Information Rights

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [BBC request email]

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Terry,

 

Please find attached our response to your request for information
reference RFI20200513.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Rights, BBC Legal

BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

 

[1]Description: \\BBCFS2025\UserData$\myrien01\Documents\My
Pictures\BBC.png

References

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Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of British Broadcasting Corporation's handling of my FOI request 'Journalism Literature Art'.

The data I have requested concerns: " Advice, recommendations and policy"... on how data considered to be exempt due to: "Part VI of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act "Journalism, art or literature" can sometimes be released.

You state that: "The BBC may on occasion opt to voluntarily provide information held for the purposes of journalism, art or literature in response to requests made under the Act, even though it is not legally obliged to do so". This is extremely vague, and suggests that such decisions are made arbitrarily. My request simply asks you to provide information regarding policies/recommendations and guidelines that assist foi staff in their decision to "opt" in favour of providing such data, albeit considered "exempt".

Such data cannot be described as being held FOR the purposes of "journalism, art or literature"; it is held for OTHER purposes- specifically, data release policy, and certainly has no bearing upon protecting: "The freedom of expression of the media".

It is on that basis I request an internal review of my request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/j...

Yours faithfully,

Terry A.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Terry A

 

We have received your request for an internal review which was received 28
May 2020. We shall deal with the review as promptly as possible and, aim
to respond at the latest, within 20 working days. If you have any queries
please contact us at the address below.

 

The reference number for your internal review is IR2020023.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Rights, BBC Legal

BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

 

[1]Description: \\BBCFS2025\UserData$\myrien01\Documents\My
Pictures\BBC.png

 

 

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Terry A

 

I refer to your request for an internal review of the BBC’s decision on
your FOI request (RFI20200513 / IR2020023).

 

Please see attached the BBC’s internal review decision.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Rights, BBC Legal

BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

 

 

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Terry A. left an annotation ()

This has been passed on to the ICO, for further investigation.

Mark Salter left an annotation ()

Hi Terry.

I think the decision to voluntarily release data is arbitrarily as you suspected, as there is no policy information to disclose - why the initial response 'hides' behind the 'Journalism Literature Art' banner I don't comprehend. I think this is confirmed by the BBC declining as the act does not require the *creation* of data.

Good luck with the ICO though, it will be interesting to see how fast they are now turning cases around.

Will you please share the ICO response here at all and the link to the ICO published response once available?

Terry A. left an annotation ()

I'll post the ICO'S finding here, when I receive it.

Terry A. left an annotation ()

Update on complaint to ICO. The ICO have stated:

“Thank you for your correspondence...
Your complaint has been accepted as eligible for further consideration and will be allocated to a case officer as soon as possible.
If you have any specific concerns before then, please contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113”

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Terry A. please sign in and let everyone know.