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Martin Rosenbaum | 18:29 UK time, Wednesday, 12 July 2006

There will now be an intermission. More follows in the second week of August.

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  • 1.
  • At 03:29 PM on 19 Jul 2006,
  • Iver wrote:


What, do you reckon, are the chances of obtaining the following information through a FOI Request to the BBC.

Q. Provision of the statistics as to how many times (that) any of the processes referred to in the Agreement between the BBC & HM's Secretary of State for National Heritage (dated 25/1/96), Section 8. DEFENCE AND EMERGENCY ARRANGEMENTS (copy available here) have been enacted. Not the details of the processes themselves (i.e the broadcasting or non-broadcasting of items requested by a Government Minister), but just the statistics.

After all, the BBC when sending such an announcement or other matter may at its discretion announce or refrain from announcing that it is sent at the request of a named Minister. The release of this information is therefore at the BBC's discretion.

What do you reckon? Has anyone tried to garner this info before?

  • 2.
  • At 06:34 PM on 19 Jul 2006,
  • Duncan Drury wrote:

You might want to cover the government's use of Crown Copyright to stifle the Freedom of Information act when you get back. See the open democracy article on how the government is using Crown Copyright to prevent Craig Murray, former ambassador to Usbekistan, from publishing FOI information on his website. Pretty soon they might close down your blog too!

  • 3.
  • At 07:16 PM on 26 Jul 2006,
  • jenny wrote:

Hello Martin

I’m a bit confused by how the FOI applies to the BBC.

The BBC say “the Act does not apply to information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output (TV, radio, online etc), or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.”

That’s not what the FOI says but that’s by the by. What I don’t understand is what does the FOI Act actually apply to??? Surely everything the BBC do is associated with creating the BBC’s output?

  • 4.
  • At 03:55 PM on 09 Aug 2006,
  • Martin Rosenbaum wrote:

Iver -
Sorry for delay in responding. I'm not aware of the BBC having been asked for or disclosed this information, but then I don't deal with incoming FOI requests.
The BBC publishes a selection of its disclosures at, so it's worth checking that.
I can't say what the chances are of any information being disclosed, since it's not my responsibility, but if you want to pursue it you should email with your request.

  • 5.
  • At 04:05 PM on 09 Aug 2006,
  • Martin Rosenbaum wrote:

Jenny -
Again, apologies for delay in responding.
What the FOI Act says is that the BBC is only covered by FOI "in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature". The BBC's view of what this means is as you yourself quote in your comment. Doubtless this will be tested by certain cases in the future.
You can see the sort of information which the BBC has disclosed under FOI on the disclosures log at There's plenty of it.

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