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Monday, October 05, 2009

Public broadcasters and the right to know-about them

In a recent post I commented on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's various views about it's current exclusion from the Freedom of Information Act "with respect to documents in relation to its program material" and whether this matched or should match the BBC's exclusion from the UK FOI Act "in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature". Two decisions last Friday in the UK reversed previous thinking there that the predominant purpose for keeping the material determined whether it was covered by or excluded from the Act. Justice Irwin in the High Court said information fell outside the FOI Act if it was held to any significant extent for one of the purposes mentioned in the exclusion provision. The Federal Court of Australia in 2006 interpreted the ABC exclusion as covering anything that had a direct or indirect relationship to program material, so welcome aboard BBC. Martin Rosenbaum at Open Secrets has more about the UK developments. As to any real difference between the formulations or at least court interpretations of them.....

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