See this recently published response from the Scottish FOI office to an anonymous request:
FOI reference: FOI/17/03047
Date received: 29 November 2017
Date responded: 22 December 2017
How many Freedom of Information Requests BBC Scotland submit to the Scottish Government &/or Parliament each year, for as many years as records are available & the overall or average cost associated with handling these requests.
How many Freedom of Information Requests BBC Scotland submit to the Scottish Government each year.
The information you have requested is detailed in the table below. For the purposes of this request we have include FOI requests received from both BBC Scotland and BBC Scotland News:
|Year||Number of FOI requests|
|2017 (to 19 Dec)||11|
Overall or average cost associated with handling these requests.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have asked for. This is because although requests are considered under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA), they are allocated to the policy area responsible for that topic, and answered accordingly by an appropriate official as part of their normal duties. Officials are not required to record what proportion of their time is spend handling requests for information and therefore we do not hold a figure for the overall or average cost associated with handling these requests.
University College London did some costing estimates and came up with an average cost of a request from survey data of £189 and a maximum of £3 033.
The BBC is exempt from FOI requests relating to ‘journalism, art or literature’ and tends to tell applicants:
‘The BBC is not required by the Act to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.’
So, what is clear is that BBC Scotland has significantly increased its FOI requests to the Scottish Government since 2014 and the risk of independence became more real to them. I could find no evidence of the BBC elsewhere in the UK making any FOI requests of the UK Government. Also, these figures do not include BBC Scotland’s FOI requests to health boards or to individual hospitals nor does it include those requests made by the Labour, Tory and Lib Dem parties in their attempts to dig dirt which they can use to attack the SNP or to undermine the case for independence. Regular readers will have seen two recent reports by STV based on Tory and Lib Dem FOI requests.