ICO Press Release
12 February 2008
The Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has ordered the BBC to disclose the name of the highest earner at BBC Northern Ireland and their pay band under the Freedom of Information Act. However, the Information Commissioner agreed with the BBC that it would be unreasonable to disclose the exact salary.
The complainant also requested information on the payments made to several named television presenters and the costs of producing John Daly’s TV show. The BBC refused to disclose the information on the basis it was not a public authority with regard to the requests for information about talent costs and in-house production costs.
The Information Commissioner has ruled that the information was not held for the dominant purposes of journalism, art or literature and therefore falls within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. However, the Information Commissioner concluded that the information relating to payments of presenters is exempt because it is personal information and release would breach the Data Protection Act. The Commissioner also found that the information relating to programme costs is exempt from disclosure as its release may prejudice the BBC’s commercial interests.
Read the decision notice (Pdf)