Friday 13 November 2015

"£415k (plus VAT)"

On the issue of BBC profligacy...

According to David Keighley's calculations at Conservative Woman (which, as I always check such things, are absolutely spot on)...

The BBC has used up 3422 licence fees - £498,000 - defending itself in an employment tribunal against a man "many" say (as they say at the BBC!) was scapegoated by the BBC over the costly failure of the corporation's disastrous digital archiving system. 

Such a calculation was only possible, however, because someone (Lee Manning) put in a Freedom of Information request to the BBC.

The thing that made me smile (grimly) about all of this was reading the BBC's response to that FoI request: 
Dear Mr Manning, 
Freedom of Information Request - RFI20151777 
Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) dated 24 October, seeking the following information: 
‘Tony Hall dismissed John Linwood for project failure on the DMI Project. What was the cost of making this hasty decision including defending the case in court and payment of damages to Mr Linwood?’ 
We are withholding information regarding payments to Mr Linwood under section 40(2) (personal information) of the Act. Under section 40(2) of the Act, personal information about identifiable living individuals is exempt if disclosure to a third party would breach one or more principles in the Data Protection Act 1998. The individuals concerned would not expect their personal data to be disclosed to a third party. To do so would be unfair; therefore, disclosure would breach the First Data Protection Principle (fair and lawful processing). 
The BBC’s legal fees in relation to Mr Linwoods case were £415k (plus VAT). 
Some clever soul at the BBC thought that writing "£415k (plus VAT)" rather than "498k" would make it sound a bit better. 

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