Which News Agenices Have been Issued With A DA-Notice?

Mr M Meaney made this Freedom of Information request to Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).


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 partially successful.

Dear Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee,

I would like to know how many and which news and media agenices have been issued with a DA-Notice for 2009-2010, and which news and media agenices complied with the request.

To clairfy:

1) How many news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

2) Which news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

3) Which news/media agencies complied with the DA-Notice?

Yours faithfully,
Mr M Meaney

Andrew Vallance,

Dear Mr Meaney,

Thank you for your email.

The Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC) is not listed as a 'Public Authority' in Schedule 1 of either The Freedom of Information Act of 2000 or The Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) of 2002. However, and as you will have seen on the 'dnotice' website, it is committed to practising a policy of maximum disclosure of its activities consistent with the effective conduct of its business and the need to ensure that it honours any assurance of confidentiality given to the individuals and organisations with which it deals. It is in that spirit rather than any statutory obligation that I am respondinng.

Firstly, I think it is as well to remind you of the status ofthe DPBAC and the DA Notice System which it oversees. The DA Notice system is a voluntary code that provides guidance to the British media on the publication or broadcasting of sensitive national security information. The objective is to prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations and methods, or put at risk the safety of those involved in such operations, or lead to attacks that would damage the critical national infrastructure and/or endanger lives. The system is overseen by the Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee, a joint DPBAC is the joint government/media body that approves the standing DA notices and monitors their implementation. The DA Notice Stystem is entirely voluntary, and the advice it offers under the DA Notice code can be accepted or rejected, in while of in part; the System is not supported by any form of sanction (legal otherwise), and the editor of the media agency in question remains responsible for deciding what is or is not published or broadcast.


Sincerely,

Andrew Vallance

Air Vice-Marshal
Secretary, Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee
Office: 0207 218 2206
[mobile number]
Home: 01344 874412
Email: [email address]
Website: www.dnotice.org.uk

________________________________

From: Mr M Meaney [mailto:[FOI #45941 email]]
Sent: Mon 30/08/2010 00:50
To: Andrew Vallance
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Which News Agenices Have been Issued With A DA-Notice?

Dear Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee,

I would like to know how many and which news and media agenices
have been issued with a DA-Notice for 2009-2010, and which news and
media agenices complied with the request.

To clairfy:

1) How many news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

2) Which news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

3) Which news/media agencies complied with the DA-Notice?

Yours faithfully,
Mr M Meaney

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Andrew Vallance,

Dear Mr Meaney,

Please disregard my previous email, which was sent inadvertently before being completed. A full reply will follow very shortly.

Sincerely,

Andrew Vallance

Air Vice-Marshal
Secretary, Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee
Office: 0207 218 2206
[mobile number]
Home: 01344 874412
Email: [email address]
Website: www.dnotice.org.uk

________________________________

From: Mr M Meaney [mailto:[FOI #45941 email]]
Sent: Mon 30/08/2010 00:50
To: Andrew Vallance
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Which News Agenices Have been Issued With A DA-Notice?

Dear Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee,

I would like to know how many and which news and media agenices
have been issued with a DA-Notice for 2009-2010, and which news and
media agenices complied with the request.

To clairfy:

1) How many news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

2) Which news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

3) Which news/media agencies complied with the DA-Notice?

Yours faithfully,
Mr M Meaney

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
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Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #45941 email]

Is [DPBAC request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory
Committee? If so please contact us using this form:
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Andrew Vallance,

Dear Mr Meaney,

Thank you for your email.

The Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC) is not listed as a 'Public Authority' in Schedule 1 of either The Freedom of Information Act of 2000 or The Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) of 2002, and thus is not subject to the provisions of those Acts. However, and as you will have seen on the 'dnotice' website, the DPBAC is committed to practising a policy of maximum disclosure of its activities consistent with the effective conduct of its business and the need to ensure that it honours any assurance of confidentiality given to the individuals and organisations with which it deals. It is in that spirit - rather than any statutory obligation - that I am responding.

Firstly, I think it is as well to remind you of the status of the DPBAC and the DA Notice System which it oversees. The DA Notice system is a voluntary code that provides guidance to the British media solely and exclusively on the publication or broadcasting of sensitive national security information. The objective is to prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations and methods, or put at risk the safety of those involved in such operations, or lead to attacks that would damage the critical national infrastructure and/or endanger lives. The system is overseen by the Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC), an independent joint government/media body that approves the Standing DA Notices and monitors their implementation. The DA Notice System is entirely voluntary, and the advice it offers under the DA Notice code can be accepted or rejected, in whole or in part. The System is not supported by any form of sanction (legal or otherwise), and the editor of the media agency in question always remains responsible for deciding what is or is not published or broadcast. DA Notice advice is offered in strict confidence and is never shared with third parties without prior consent of the parties directly involved.

Turning now to your 3 questions:

1) How many news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

Strictly speaking, the only DA Notices that exist are the 5 Standing DA Notices published in full on the 'dnotice' website. These are the foundation of the System, and they define the limits of its operation. The Secretary - on behalf of the DPBAC - applies the guidelines set out in these Standing Notices to individual cases when DA Notice advice has been sought. This normally takes the form of an individual journalist, editor or official calling the Secretary to seek his advice about a planned article or broadcast. The total number of such requests for DA Notice advice in 2009 was 286 (an average of 5.5 per week), and - thus far - a further 194 requests for DA Notice advice have been made in 2010 (an average to date of 5.9 per week). When a major news story is unfolding which might be connected with sensitive national security issues, the Secretary may write to all UK editors to alert them of the possible need to seek his advice before publication or broadcast. These are generally known as 'Advisories', and in 2009, I sent out 10 such letters, 3 concerning DA Notice 1 (Military Operations and Capabilities) and 7 concerning DA Notice 5 (National Intelligence Agencies and Special Forces). So far this year I have sent out 4 such letters, one each concerning DA Notices 2 (Nuclear & Non-Nuclear Weapons and Equipment) and 4 (Sensitive Installations and Home Addresses) and 2 concerning DA Notice 5 (National Intelligence Agencies and Special Forces). When the occasion demands, the Secretary may also write to an individual editor to point out when something which has been published or broadcast has - in the Secretary's opinion - breached DA Notice guidelines. The object of such letters is to alert an editor to this to help avoid an inadvertent recurrence and to remind him/her that DA Notice advice is available 24/7 for future stories. In 2009, I sent out 5 such letters (all concerning DA Notice 5 - National Intelligence Agencies and Special Forces). So far, I have not sent out any of this type of letter in 2010.

2) Which news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

DA Notice advice is offered to individual editors or journalists in strict confidence. It would not be possible for me to disclose which news agencies were involved without compromising that undertaking. However, suffice it to say that during my time as Secretary, DA Notice advice has been sought at one time or another by all national newspapers and broadcast channels.

3) Which news/media agencies complied with the DA-Notice?

Again, this falls within the obligations of confidentiality to individuals and organisations with which I deal and which are at the heart of the DA Notice System. However, as you will have read in (2) above, DA Notice guidance was breached (in the Secretary's opinion) 5 times in 2009 and on no occasion so far in 2010.

I trust this answers your questions.

Sincerely,

Andrew Vallance

Air Vice-Marshal
Secretary, Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee
Office: 0207 218 2206
[mobile number]
Home: 01344 874412
Email: [email address]
Website: www.dnotice.org.uk

________________________________

From: Mr M Meaney [mailto:[FOI #45941 email]]
Sent: Mon 30/08/2010 00:50
To: Andrew Vallance
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Which News Agenices Have been Issued With A DA-Notice?

Dear Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee,

I would like to know how many and which news and media agenices
have been issued with a DA-Notice for 2009-2010, and which news and
media agenices complied with the request.

To clairfy:

1) How many news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

2) Which news/media agencies have been sent a DA-Notice?

3) Which news/media agencies complied with the DA-Notice?

Yours faithfully,
Mr M Meaney

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/about...

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #45941 email]

Is [DPBAC request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory
Committee? If so please contact us using this form:
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If you find WhatDoTheyKnow useful as an FOI officer, please ask
your web manager to suggest us on your organisation's FOI page.
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