Reasons for rescheduling second episode of the Labyrinth

Simon St John made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The request was refused by Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

From: Simon St John

Delivered

Dear Australian Broadcasting Corporation,

I request all correspondence and documents (including but not limited to the ratings data for the first episode) relating to the decision
(including the reasoning behind the decision) to reschedule the final episode of the two-part television program known as 'Labyrinth' from the original scehduled date of Thursday 15 January 2015 to 10:15pm on Sunday 25 January 2015.

Yours faithfully,

Simon St John

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

A handful of requests to the Australian Broadcasting Commission have been made since only a short time. Most of them will probably fail, this one included.

Alex Sadleir (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/user/alex... who knows a lot about FOI made this comment (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/h... on the request about the "Hottest 100" (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/h... ...

BEGIN QUOTATION
From https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/p... (about #qanda tweets)

"The ABC is specifically excluded from the operation of the FOI Act in relation to its program material by virtue of s7(2) and Part II, Schedule 2 of the FOI Act. ‘Program material’ for the purposes of that Part has been interpreted to mean:
“the program and all versions of the whole or any part of the program, any transmission broadcast or publication of the program, and includes a document of any content or form embodied in the program and any document acquired or created for the purpose of creating the program, whether or not incorporated into the completed program...[and including] a document created after a program is broadcast [such as] transcripts of programs ... and documents produced by the ABC or incorporated in its records directly concerning the substantive content of the broadcast program”"

So rightly or wrongly, they'll probably knock this request back and it would take a Tribunal to overrule that interpretation of "program material" :/
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I add only only the relevant links for s 7(2) of the Act (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/c... and for Schedule 2 of the Act (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/c...

It is worthwhile to say that the Australian Information Commissioner has occassionally decided that some material is not "Program material" despite the assertion from the Australian Broadcasting Commission. But a person can read the cases and see that they are very much ambiguous compared with the case relevant to the current request. I recommend that you do not waste your time or ABC time in a request for review.

To see when a request has been successful, a person can search Right to Know for all requests made to the Australian Broadcasting Commission; here it is https://www.righttoknow.org.au/body/abc

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Simon St John left an annotation ()

I appreciate Locutus Sum's annotation (February 19, 2015) but I do not agree with the point made. This FOI request is not to do with the 'program material' itself but rather to the reason for the second episode being rescheduled, which I do not believe falls within the definition of 'program material'.

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

I just read ‘ER’ and Special Broadcasting Service [2015] AICmr 12 (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/A... where the information Commissioner made a similar ruling. I would refer to paragraphs 21 and 22 which seem to support that anything that relates to a program is program material.

That said, simply because information is exempt, does not prevent it from being disclosed outside the FOI Act, unless the agency is obliged by the law or a contract to keep information confidential.

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From: Simon St John

Delivered

Dear Australian Broadcasting Corporation,

I am checking on the progress of my request, which ordinarily should have been responded to by 19th March 2015.

Thank you very much for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Simon St John

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Dear Mr St John
 
Thank you for your email. Please accept my apologies for the delay in
responding.
 
I note that you have requested access to the following documents under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act):
 
“documents relating to the decision (including the reasoning behind the
decision) to reschedule the final episode of the two-part television
program known as 'Labyrinth' from the original scheduled date of Thursday
15 January 2015 to 10:15pm on Sunday 25 January 2015”
 
The FOI Act is unlikely to be a useful mechanism for you to find answers
to your question about the program “Labyrinth”. You should be aware that
the ABC is specifically excluded from the operation of the FOI Act in
relation to its program material by virtue of s7(2) and Part II, Schedule
2 of the FOI Act. ‘Program material’ for the purposes of that Part has
been interpreted to mean:
 
“the program and all versions of the whole or any part of the program, any
transmission broadcast or publication of the program, and includes a
document of any content or form embodied in the program and any document
acquired or created for the purpose of creating the program, whether or
not incorporated into the completed program.” This certainly does not
prevent you from pursuing the request, however you may wish to bear it in
mind.
 
I have consulted with managers within the Television scheduling
department, who have informed me that the ABC makes decisions about the
nature of content presented on ABC Television—and when that content is
presented—based on a number of factors, including scheduling requirements,
classification time periods, audience expectation, and rights management.
These decisions are made in the overarching context of the ABC’s
commitment to meeting its Charter obligations. From time to time, changes
to the television schedule are necessary in order to meet those competing
demands, and the ABC attempts to minimise the impact on audience of any
such changes.
 
If you are dissatisfied about ABC content or services and would like a
response, you may lodge a complaint. Information about how the ABC’s
complaints process is available here:
[1]http://about.abc.net.au/talk-to-the-abc/...
 
In light of the above, unless I hear from you I do not propose taking
further steps to process your FOI request.
 
Regards
 

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Australian Broadcasting Corporation only: