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Thursday 1 August 2013

BBC Finally Release ITV Savile Programme Information

The BBC has finally responded to our Freedom of Information Act request seeking information they held about ITV's "Exposure - The Other Side of Jimmy Savile" programme.

We first requested this information on 6th October 2012. In the intervening 7 months the BBC has been less than co-operative with our request. Not only have they well-exceeded the legal time limits to provide a response, but they have also ignored our correspondence along the way. Their abysmal and unlawful handling of our request directly contradicts the BBC Trust's notion of improved transparency and accountability in the wake of the Savilegate scandal.

We are currently wading through their disclosure documents which, in the finest traditions of BBC transparency and accountability, have been provided in low quality scanned format. The disclosure documents and full trail of our correspondence with the BBC can be viewed here.

Edit: Having now read through all the disclosure documents there is no obvious smoking gun. The only comment that can be made is that the BBC obviously went into PR overdrive in the days leading up to the ITV programme and "directed" several publications about what to write.

There's nothing obvious that would explain why the BBC has delayed their response for 7 months. Our only suspicion is that they have omitted some of the information requested. Previous media reports suggest that the BBC received a letter from ITV outlining details of the Exposure programme, but the BBC has not disclosed anything matching that description.

If you spot anything we've missed please let us know!

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