Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

Mark Urban has stated that he had several meetings with Sergei Skripal for purposes other than as a news journalist. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44717835) Therefore, as far as the BBC is concerned, these meetings are not exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In the same article, Mark Urban states, "Sergei's Salisbury life might be best described as semi-retired, since he was making occasional trips to lecture or advise friendly intelligence services". So an active MI6 agent holds secret meetings with a former military man who is working for the BBC.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I request

1: all correspondence and documentation held by the BBC on Mark Urban's meetings with Sergei Skripal for purposes other than as a BBC news reporter;

2: all correspondence and documentation held by the BBC on Mark Urban's links with Military Intelligence, other than in his declared journalistic capacity;

3: all correspondence and documentation held by the BBC on Mark Urban's links with any secret or secretive society, such as Masonic Lodge 4257.

4: all correspondence and documentation held by the BBC raising possible conflicts of interests arising from Mark Urban's role as a BBC journalist.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Fantom

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Ian Fantom,

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 28.08.18. 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 RFI20181631.

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]

Tel: 020 8008 2882

show quoted sections

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Fanton,

                                            

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20181631

 

Yours sincerely

 

BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room BC2 A4

Broadcast Centre

White City

London

W12 7TS

UK

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

 

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

 

References

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

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 'Mark Urban's non-journalistic meetings with Sergei Skripal'.

In your response to my Freedom of Information Request ‘Mark Urban's non-journalistic meetings with Sergei Skripal’ [Freedom of Information Request - RFI20181631] you say that the disclosure of the information requested would contravene the Data Protection Act. I can understand how you could come to have such personal information on Mark Urban as an employee of the BBC, but I cannot understand why such personal information would be released by answering my questions about his meetings with Sergei Skripal. I can understand why you may consider information on his Masonic Lodge to be personal, but I can’t understand why you should hold that information for the purposes of employment. Indeed, if any of the information about Mark Urban’s meetings with Sergei Skripal has to be kept confidential because of the Data Protection Act, then I have to wonder why the BBC would have that information in the first place.

Similarly, if Sergei Skripal is not an employee of the BBC, I have to wonder how the BBC would come to have confidential information to be protected under the Data Protection Act that I as a member of the public am not entitled to have.

In any case, I should have thought that such information could be given with any confidential details being blacked out. Your point-blank refusal to provide any information on any of those points leads me to suspect there may be some sort of contractual agreement between the BBC and Sergei Skripal, whether directly or through a third party, and whether in writing or as an unwritten agreement.

Please conduct an internal review of your refusal of my Freedom of Information Request, and if you still refuse my request, then please explain your reasoning for each of my questions.

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

Yours faithfully,

Ian Fantom

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Fantom,

We have received your request for an internal review which was received on 12 January 2018. We shall deal with the review as promptly as possible and, 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 IR2019002.

Yours sincerely,

Information Rights, BBC Legal
BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

show quoted sections

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Fantom

 

I am contacting you in connection with the internal review of your FOI
request RFI20181631.

 

I can confirm that the internal review is in progress, but that the BBC
will require further time to complete the review. We will respond to you
as soon as possible, and in any event no later than 8 March 2019.

 

Best wishes

 

BBC Information Rights

BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2][BBC request email]

 

show quoted sections

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Fantom

Please find attached a response from the BBC.

Kind regards

BBC Information Rights

show quoted sections

Ian Fantom left an annotation ()

In dismissing the reasons for the BBC's refusal, then presenting different reasons, they appear to be upholding my view that the BBC were hiding behind the Data Protection Act. The review's answer to my point 1 seems to say that any information other than as a BBC news reporter was held for journalistic purposes! On points 2 and 3 they deny holding information, and of course I can't question them on what information is held privately. Their answer to point 4 is intriguing. They seem to be saying that information held by the BBC which raises possible conflicts of interest is held for journalistic purposes.