The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the BBC in the way it does to almost all public authorities in one significant respect. The Act recognises the different position of the BBC, as well as the other public service broadcasters covered by the Act (Channel 4, S4C and the Gaelic Media Service) by providing that it covers information "held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature". This means that the Act does not apply to material held for the purposes of creating the BBC's output (TV, radio, online etc), or material which supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

Some documents in the Publication Scheme include information that is excluded from the scope of the Act. For example, the Annual Report and Accounts of the BBC includes information about our creative and journalistic output. For the convenience of users of the Publication Scheme, we are happy to provide access to selected documents of this type through the Publication Scheme, even if they include material which is not within the scope of the Act. When we choose to include this type of information in our Publication Scheme it should not be taken to mean that it is within the scope of the Act.

The classes of information will not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information in draft form
  • Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.