List of versions of MOD Green Book (JSP 580) and copy of current version of JSP580

Ceri Gibbons made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Defence Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ministry of Defence,

This is a request for information under FOIA 2000

BACKGROUND

The UK government has published a copy of "MOD Green Book Version 8, Dated 31 Jan 13, on its website.

"The ‘Green Book’ details Ministry of Defence (MOD) working arrangements with the Media throughout the full spectrum of conflict and MOD deployment. The first version of the Green Book was published in 1958 and this is the 8th iteration of the document, and the first to be given a ‘Joint Service Publication’ (JSP) Number (JSP 580) for internal process and management purposes. "

ONLINE LINK:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

It is my understanding this is not the latest version of JSP 580.

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Please provide,

1. A dated list of all versions of MOD Green Book since 1958 with numbers of pages in each version, including draft versions yet to be signed off.

2. A PDF copy of the current version of JSP 580 MOD Green Book.

3. A table to any changes in any versions produced after version 7 (2013) that concern legal obligations of journalists and/or media organisations to the MOD under the common law of confidence, and/or legally binding non-disclosure agreements, and/or obligations under the Official Secrets Act, and/or the National Security Act.

PUBLIC INTEREST ARGUMENTS

Parts 1 and 2.

Clearly the MOD has already published a full unredacted copy of the 2013 version of JSP 580 on its website. There is then no reason why dislosure of the information requested in Parts 1 and 2 of this FOIA request should be exempt from the MOD's obligations under FOIA 2000. There is obviously a stronger public interest in disclosure of the current version than that of previous versions, as this will better inform the public.

Part 3.

The public interest arguments for disclosure of the information in part 3 of this FOIA request are also overwhelming. It is of direct interest to the public trust in news organisations and the democratic process, that journalists and media organisations reporting on MOD activities are legally protected when, in the course of their work, they disclose information to the public, that for political reasons the MOD may wish to keep quiet.

There is an obvious public interest in a clear public understanding of the legal restrictions placed on journalists who interact with the MOD, so that media reports can be properly assessed based on full disclsoure of the legal restrictions under which they are produced at the time when they were produced. This disclosure will also assist the public understanding of the differences in current reports on MOD activities, from those produced under less restrictive legal controls in previous periods of time.

Yours faithfully,
Ceri Gibbons

DDC-Secretariat Parliamentary (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

Mr Gibbons

 

Receipt of your FOI request below is acknowledged and has been given the
reference number FOI2023/11633.  A response is due by 23 October 2023.

 

The UK government has published a copy of "MOD Green Book Version 8, Dated
31 Jan 13, on its website.

 

"The ‘Green Book’ details Ministry of Defence (MOD) working arrangements
with the Media throughout the full spectrum of conflict and MOD
deployment. The first version of the Green Book was published in 1958 and
this is the 8th iteration of the document, and the first to be given a
‘Joint Service Publication’ (JSP) Number (JSP 580) for internal process
and management purposes. "

 

ONLINE LINK:

[1]https://gbr01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

It is my understanding this is not the latest version of JSP 580.

 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

 

Please provide,

 

1. A dated list of all versions of MOD Green Book since 1958 with numbers
of pages in each version, including draft versions yet to be signed off.

 

2. A PDF copy of the current version of JSP 580 MOD Green Book.

 

3. A table to any changes in any versions produced after version 7 (2013)
that concern legal obligations of journalists and/or media organisations
to the MOD under the common law of confidence, and/or legally binding
non-disclosure agreements, and/or obligations under the Official Secrets
Act, and/or the National Security Act.

 

PUBLIC INTEREST ARGUMENTS

 

Parts 1 and 2.

 

Clearly the MOD has already published a full unredacted copy of the 2013
version of JSP 580 on its website. There is then no reason why dislosure
of the information requested  in Parts 1 and 2 of this FOIA request should
be exempt from the MOD's obligations under FOIA 2000. There is obviously a
stronger public interest in disclosure of the current version than that
of  previous versions, as this will better inform the public.

 

Part 3.

 

The public interest arguments for disclosure of the information in part 3 
of this FOIA request are also overwhelming. It is of direct interest to
the public trust in news organisations and the democratic process, that
journalists and media organisations reporting on MOD activities are
legally protected when, in the course of their work, they disclose
information to the public, that for political reasons the MOD may wish to
keep quiet.

 

There is an obvious public interest in a clear public understanding of the
legal restrictions placed on journalists who interact with the MOD, so
that media reports can be properly assessed based on full disclsoure of
the legal restrictions under which they are produced at the time when they
were produced. This disclosure will also assist the public understanding
of the differences in current reports on MOD activities, from those
produced under less restrictive legal controls in previous periods of
time.

 

Regards

 

DDC-Secretariat Manager

Ground Floor Zone B

MOD Main Building

London

SW1A 2HB

 

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References

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1. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

DDC-Secretariat Parliamentary (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Gibbons please see attached a response to your FOI request
reference FOI2023/11633.

 

Attached is the response and the associated documents for release that the
MOD holds within scope of your request.

 

Regards

 

DDC-Secretariat Manager

Ground Floor Zone B

MOD Main Building

London

SW1A 2HB

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is
addressed.  If you are not the intended recipient or there are problems
please notify the sender and then delete the e-mail (and file(s) if
attached) from your system.  Recipients should note that e-mail traffic on
MOD systems is subject to monitoring, recording and auditing to secure the
effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.  The MOD
has taken steps to keep this e-mail and any attachments free from
viruses.  However it accepts no liability for any loss or damage howsoever
caused as a result of any virus being passed on.  It is the responsiblity
of the recipient to perform all necessary checks.