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BBC opposes FOI restrictions

Martin Rosenbaum | 12:09 UK time, Thursday, 21 June 2007

The government's consultation exercise on whether to amend the freedom of information regulations closes today. It now has three months to review the arguments and announce a response.

The BBC submitted its comments this week and argued against the plan to restrict FOI disclosures. In its submission, the BBC states:

Amending the regulations to restrict access to information has inevitable and important disadvantages – it would prevent valuable FOI disclosures which are in the public interest and it would risk undermining the principles of FOI. This course should only be pursued if there is an even more important need to reduce the administrative burden of FOI. We do not believe that exists. There will always be some inappropriate and burdensome FOI requests, but they do not reach the level which requires a change to the regulations.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:42 PM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • Joseph wrote:

I find myself shaking my head in amazement, the BBC opposes FOI restrictions?.

I am sorry, is this not the same BBC which refuses to publish the Balen report?.

I hav posted often on this 'open secrets' site how is it possible for the BBC to attack the Governement and othe entites for hiding behind this act whilst doing exactly the same.

To give an example of how poor the BBC is perceived in Europe, I wish to give an example: Today I was travelling from Amsterdam to Maastricht and in a very 'Bill Byron' trip got into a conversation with some Dutch commuters, the conversation got round to how poor the BBC's reporting is in relation to the Middle East, the majority view was how biased the BBC is in it's attacks on the Israelis.

When I explained the entire issue surrounding the Balen Report, they all asked how is it possible for a public funded organisation to use public funds to stop the publication of the said report!.

I suggested that they visit the BBC website and ask you directly for a clear answer.

  • 2.
  • At 06:25 PM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • max skapol wrote:

It's like crapping in front of someone's door and then ring the bell to ask for a toilet paper.

What Joseph above said.

I read the article and thought "Good on you, BBC". Then I read Joseph's comments. Having then read up on the Balen Report I now have to say "Good on you, BBC."
I agree about the hypocracy of the BBC but the wider picture here is about the importance of the FoI andnot just to the BBC. It has been extraordinarily important and has led to some wonderful revelations, both nationally and locally (my local paper found out a history of sexual offences at our local railway station which put train operators to shame).

  • 4.
  • At 03:14 PM on 25 Jun 2007,
  • Joseph wrote:

In response to 'BaldockBaldrick', I understand your perspective on the FOI, I agree that it has brought public awareness to some issues which certain groups would have wished to stay hidden.

The BBC has a duty to report the news, I support them in these activities 100%, however, I find the refusal to publish this specific report to be of grave concern when you take into account the millions of people who listen to the BBC.

Our elected politicians I expect to be hypocrites, of the BBC I expect (perhaps naively) them to be both impartial and non political, unfortuanlty at present they seem to be both biased and political.

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