Saturday 22 December 2018

The BBC is therefore not obliged...

"The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and will not be doing so on this occasion."

Those are very familiar words to those who put in a Freedom of Information request to the BBC

A Conservative MP Andrew Percy has just had the pleasure of reading them too after the BBC rejected his FoI request to get the BBC to disclose the total budget of BBC Sounds (the replacement for the BBC iPlayer) as well as information on how many times it had been promoted on BBC television and the cost of a promotional film featuring Kylie Minogue and Idris Elba. 

The Times previously found that the BBC planned to spend over £10 million on advertising it.

Mr. Percy says: 
The BBC has committed millions of pounds of licence fee payers’ money to advertising BBC Sounds. I think it is reasonable to ask exactly how much it is spending and what value it attributes to this. The new BBC charter promised more transparency on promotion of its services, so I’m surprised that BBC management has . . . sought to hide behind an opt-out.
Ha, well, welcome to our world, sir! 

The BBC has issued a statement in response: 
The BBC is committed to transparency and we voluntarily disclose more information about ourselves than any other broadcaster. This is our biggest product launch in ten years and like any media organisation we’re using advertising to tell audiences about it because the more people who use it the better value it delivers to licence fee payers.
It will still be good to know how much the BBC is spending on it though, wouldn't it? After all we pay for it.


  1. Andrew Percy knows all about transparency
    I've found he ran away from Twitter last year.
    So since he is my MP I had to leave a msg on his Facebook page
    about his change of heart in the way first he talked Brexit and then said Mrs May way is the only way.
    I said "People will say you are the party that tricked us out of proper-Brexit"
    ... I seemed to now banned from commenting on his Facebook page.

    1. Some run away on the doorstep too. He can't run away from the constituency surgery though.

  2. The National Audit Office appears to be able to get answers to this sort of question, e.g. E20:renewing the EastEnders set.

    1. Interesting, especially the reasons given in the summary:

      'The BBC will not be able to deliver value for money on the E20 programme in the way that it envisaged in 2015. Disappointingly, some of the reasons for this were built into E20 at the outset and could have been addressed earlier. These include insufficient construction project management expertise that contributed to a lack of appropriate technical challenge, inadequate integration between the programme team and end users, and early planning processes that led to underestimation of aspects of complexity, cost and risks of its revised approach. The programme costs have also been adversely impacted by inflation in the construction industry across the UK, which has had a greater impact than it would have done had the programme completed without any delays.'

      That looks like management failure and incompetence. All those wonderful layers of highly paid dg / deputy dg, directors, strategists, controllers and a plethora of other titles and responsibilities failed miserably.

    2. The BBC will draw the right conclusion. They will now appoint a Controller of Construction Sets and a Deputy Controller of Construction Sets (with special responsibilities for equality). The DCCS will chair the regular meetings of the Wolf Whistle Elimination Team which will spend a year discussing the contents of a leaflet, to be translated into Polish, Latvian and Ukrainian for distribution to all construction staff.

  3. Dimbles, currently enjoying a farewell tour of the lucrative hunting grounds, had an oddly churlish view of BBC 'management' recently, joining Simpo, Gav, Paul mason, etc. Pensions secure, lads.

  4. The FOI refusal is easily challengeable, cos the BBC's excuse is not valid.
    Promoting part of its business is "marketing" NOT "journalism"

  5. It may be challengeable. But won't be easy.

    28gate springs to mind.

    And I think they once blew off an admittedly daft request about toilet rolls on one of three bases they use, the closest of which would be 'literature'.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.