TVLMT spreadsheet and other documents

The request was partially successful.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I refer to Freedom of Information request RFI20130094.

Disclosure Document 2, released in response to the request, contains the instruction "Log request on TVLMT spreadsheet". Under the Freedom of Information Act please provide the most up-to-date version of this spreadsheet.

Disclosure Document 3 refers to:

"Related documents - Complaint Codes - R139
Freedom of Information Checklist - R151
Freedom of Information presentation R341".

Again under the Freedom of Information Act please provide the most up-to-date versions of these related documents.

Yours faithfully,

Watchkeeper

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

Good work Watchkeeper. Don't expect a reply anytime soon, as they're very busy trying to redact the Pollard Review transcripts etc.

Watchkeeper left an annotation ()

Doyle Williams specifically said "I am seeking ALL INFORMATION the BBC holds ..." (emphasis mine), yet the BBC did not release these documents. I know the BBC is committed to "only passing the minimum necessary information" (its own words) and here we see it trying to get away with doing just that. Well - not on my watch. What an odious organisation it is.

I never expect the BBC to comply with the law and respond promptly and at the latest within 20 working days. The "unprecedented number of FoI requests" is just the current excuse which I can see being trotted out indefinitely. The BBC is only interested in the law when it, itself, prosecutes those in the D & E classes of society.

I'll get a "sincere apology", though, which will make everything all right. In the crazy world of the BBC, breaking the law is excusable if after having done so it offers a "sincere apology" to someone with no connection whatsoever to the legal system.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Sir,

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 17th February 2013. 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 RFI20130233.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

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

Tel: 020 8008 2882

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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 'TVLMT spreadsheet and other documents'. The law required the BBC to answer PROMPTLY and in any event no later than 15TH MARCH 2013. No answer was received PROMPTLY and no answer was received by THE DEADLINE LAID DOWN IN LAW. The review should not just report that the BBC has indeed failed to comply with the law but disclose the reasons why this has occurred. It happens too often to be dismissed as "due to an unprecedented number of FoI requests". Please state what lessons are learned during the review, and what remedial action will be taken to prevent such a breach of the Law in future.

The reviewer should also seek to uncover why the BBC will subject anyone in breach of the Communications Act 2003 to the full rigour of the Law, but when it, itself, is in breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 - and on a regular basis - it is apparently unconcerned at its own law-breaking.

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

Yours faithfully,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

A further week has passed (5 working days) and there is still no response to FoI request RFI20130233. Nor have I had the courtesy of an acknowledgement of my request for an internal review of your handling of the enquiry.

I don't think I need to remind you that all correspondence is available for viewing by the general public on the World Wide Web. Your blatant law-breaking is plain to all. Is this the sort of reputation the BBC desires? "The BBC is the world's leading public service broadcaster. Its mission is to enrich people's lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain. It also breaks the Law on a regular basis". Mmmm ...

Please state how you intend to proceed.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Sir/Madam,

We received your request for an internal review relating to our response to RFI20130233. Your request for an internal review was received on 16th March 2013. I apologise for the delay in formally acknowledging your response.

We aim to deal with the review within 30 working days of receipt when possible. If you have any queries please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your internal review is IR2013028.

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London, W12 7TP

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

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Dear FOI Enquiries,

I reject your apology as being insincere and insubstantial.

Another week has gone by and you have done nothing.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

4 Attachments

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20130233. I apologise for the delay in responding to your
request.

 

Yours sincerely,

Theresa Pollard

 

BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre                          

Wood Lane

London W12 7TP

 

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

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

Tel: 020 8008 2882

Fax: 020 8008 2398

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

 

 

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References

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

Dear FOI Enquiries,

After all this time you have failed to provide the spreadsheet which was requested. A print-out or hard copy in PDF form of a spreadsheet is not a spreadsheet. Please supply the document requested - the actual spreadsheet.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Under s.11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are obliged to
comply with any preferences expressed by the requester to ‘communicate
information by particular means’ insofar as it is ‘reasonably
practicable’. It is reasonably practicable for us to have released such
information to you in the format that we have.
 
In any case, the full excel spread sheet for Disclosure Document 1 wasn't
disclosed to you in the format it is held (Excel), as the spread sheet
held contains personal data of third parties, which is exempt from
disclosure under s.40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act, and in Excel
even if cells are redacted it is still possible to see the personal
details by highlighting the cells. We are obliged to comply with the Data
Protection Act in that we must not unfairly disclose any personal data of
requesters.
 
I hope this explanation is helpful.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre, Wood Lane, London W12 7TP
 

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Dear FOI Enquiries,

I reject your explanation.

As for point 1, "practicability", what you have done is to redact the spreadsheet, export either the part or the whole as a PDF file then submit that file as Disclosure Document 1. This requires MORE effort than to redact the spreadsheet then submit it, itself, as Disclosure Document 1.

As for point 2, "personal data", you wrote:

"... and in Excel even if cells are redacted it is still possible to see the personal details by highlighting the cells".

This is nonsense. You are addressing an Excel user of many years experience. Highlighting a cell displays no more information than is visible when the cell is NOT highlit, unless it contains a formula. A formula, usually a mathematical or logical expression, is unlikely to contain personal data. So if a cell contains no entry whatsoever i.e. it is a blank cell with neither formula nor data (having been redacted), highlighting it until Doomsday comes will not reveal personal data which are not there.

The BBC can perfectly easily redact this spreadsheet and remove personal data. A simple "search and replace" will find personal data in both cell contents and formulæ, replacing those data with whatever symbols you choose. That the BBC has not done so smells suspiciously of something to hide.

Please comply with the request for information.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

So another week has passed and you have not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my last message.
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
3. reported the findings of your review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

So another two weeks have passed and you have not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my messages dated 5th and 12th April,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of your review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Come on, BBC - shake a leg.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

So another week passes, and still not a squeak from the BBC. The world watches, waits and wonders.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Yet another week has passed and you have not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of your review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

A sixth week passes by, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of your review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

The new Director-General of the BBC has said "The BBC sets incredibly high standards. At our best we provide a service like no other. Our challenge is to perform at our best all of the time." Freedom of Information excepted, of course.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

An eighth week passes by, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

The new Director-General of the BBC has said "The BBC sets incredibly high standards. At our best we provide a service like no other. Our challenge is to perform at our best all of the time." Freedom of Information excepted, of course.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

("It's only a repeat if you've seen it before")

Mr Hillas left an annotation ()

Any impartial observer will realise that the request you have made is perfectly reasonable, Watchkeeper.

The BBC are doing themselves no favours.

Watchkeeper left an annotation ()

No favours at all.

At least the BBC is demonstrating here to a wider audience what you and I have known all along - it's a rogue organisation unfit for purpose.

A simple acknowledgement of my request would only be common courtesy, yet the BBC will not do even that.

Dear FOI Enquiries,

A ninth week has passed by, which is 45 working days. We now enter the tenth week, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Ten weeks have now passed by, 50 working days, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

I commend to you Winston Churchill's famous annotation to documents - "Action this day".

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Eleven weeks have now passed by, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Why does the BBC treat legitimate enquiries, enquirers and the Law itself with such obvious contempt?

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Thirteen weeks have now elapsed, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Is the BBC going for some sort of record?

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

The trouble is Watchkeeper that you're asking too many embarrassing questions. You should know by now that the BBC don't like being asked embarrassing questions. They hate the embarrassing truth being exposed even more. Who are we, anonymous little people, to dare ask questions about their many institutional scandals and inadequacies?

In the BBC's eyes their empire has an unlimited source of money, no bullying/harassment, no sex offenders, flawless editorial content, Michelin-starred cuisine in the staff canteen, modest pension and severance packages, politely worded TV Licensing "threatograms" and far fewer managers than they really need.

They clearly are on a different planet.

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Sixteen weeks have now elapsed, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

The longer the BBC delays, the worse it looks.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Another week gone by - seventeen weeks have now elapsed - and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Is anyone there?

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Eighteen weeks and counting, and the BBC still has not:

1. acknowledged nor replied to my previous messages,
2. provided the spreadsheet requested under the freedom of Information Act,
3. reported the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

After 20 weeks of non-communication I still live in hope that there are honourable people at the BBC who will:

1. acknowledge or reply to my previous messages,
2. provide the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. report the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Come on, people - do the decent thing.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Dear FOI Enquiries,

After 23 weeks of non-communication and following my last message it appears that there are NO honourable people at the BBC who will:

1. acknowledge or reply to my previous messages,
2. provide the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. report the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

That being the case I'll settle for a response from the usual type of BBC person.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Mark Salter left an annotation ()

Watchkeeper, I wondered if you had already reported this case on non-compliance with the ICO?

They have had significant time to respond/acknowledge, perhaps it is time for the ICO to stretch their legs?

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

The problem is that he has made the request under an obvious pseudonym, which means it is not technically valid. The ICO will not investigate in such cases, as the BBC knows only too well.

Watchkeeper left an annotation ()

Mr Jones has the right of it. But by continuing to message them at (admittedly irregular) intervals the FoI request is maintained in the public arena and the BBC shown up for its intransigence and contempt for the FoI Act.

Dear FOI Enquiries,

After 24 weeks of non-communication and following my last messages I'm still hoping the BBC will:

1. acknowledge or reply to my previous messages,
2. provide the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. report the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Mr Hillas left an annotation ()

Still waiting for your reasonable request to be actioned by the BBC, Watchkeeper? 6 months. Absolutely disgraceful.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

The BBC have been promising for months to respond "very soon" to this request of mine.

Dear FOI Enquiries,

We reach 25 weeks of non-communication and the BBC has not responded to my reasonable requests, which are to:

1. acknowledge or reply to my previous messages,
2. provide the spreadsheet requested under the Freedom of Information Act,
3. report the findings of its review into the BBC's breaking of the law in not responding promptly to my request nor within the 20 working day limit.

Come on, Rupinder. What possible reasons can there be for evading these issues? As it is, you've made the BBC look foolish. Please do the decent thing.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

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 'TVLMT spreadsheet and other documents'.

In 6 months there has been no communication whatsoever from the BBC regarding this FoI request despite many reminders and requests for action.

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

Yours faithfully,

Watchkeeper

Louise Lander, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Watchkeeper

 

Re: your letter of 2/12/2013 - TVLMT spreadsheet Internal Review

 

Further to my previous email, I am preparing responses to points 2 and 3
of your letter of 2/12/2013. However, I have reached a decision in respect
of point 1 of your letter, and I did not want to delay issue of this part
of the response to you any further while I complete the remainder of my
response.

 

In respect of point 1 (your request for a copy of the TVLMT spreadsheet) I
have considered the response you received on 5^th April 2013, which
advised that “Under s.11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are
obliged to comply with any preferences expressed by the requester to
‘communicate information by particular means’ insofar as it is ‘reasonably
practicable’. It is reasonably practicable for us to have released such
information to you in the format that we have.”

 

In response, I note that the Freedom of Information Act grants access to
information, not documents. I am also aware that there are a number of
valid concerns around the inadvertent disclosure of information which may
occur when Excel spreadsheets are disclosed (see, for example:
[1]http://www.ico.org.uk/news/blog/2013/the... and
[2]http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/....

 

However, with regard to section 11 of the Act, I do not agree that it
would be not be ‘reasonably practicable’ to provide you with a copy of the
Excel spreadsheet on this occasion. While it may be a rather basic
approach, I have created a new spreadsheet by copying over all relevant
columns with the exception of the data contained in columns D and E, which
are exempt by virtue of section 40. The use of this exemption has been
indicated in the relevant columns on the spreadsheet itself. This ensures
that the original data remains protected in this instance, but should
still enable you to filter and review the information contained in the
spreadsheet as required.

 

Please find a redacted copy of the TVLMT Excel spreadsheet attached.

 

Should you require details of our reference number for any further
correspondence, I have dealt with this part of your letter as IR2013078. I
will respond to points 2 and 3 of your letter as soon as my review is
completed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Louise Lander

 

Louise Lander| Advisor FOI Information Policy and Compliance | Room BC2
B6 Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TP | Tel: 0208 752 6689

 

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References

Visible links
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2. http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/...
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Dear Ms Lander,

Thank you for your attention to the matter and for providing the spreadsheet requested. Your intervention is appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Watchkeeper

Louise Lander, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Watchkeeper

 

Please find attached the decision in respect of reviews IR2013028 and
IR2013078. As I mentioned previously to you, if you feel that the review
has not addressed any of the points you raised, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Louise Lander| Advisor FOI Information Policy and Compliance | Room BC2
B6 Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TP | Tel: 0208 752 6689

 

 

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