Royal Mail stripped of its exemption leads to exposure of its Benny Hill fearsPosted on November 12th, 2009 No comments
One of my first complaints to the Information Commissioner this year appears to have been resolved in my favour – the result of which turned up a jem of a story about Benny Hill.
Way back in January I asked the Royal Mail for the minutes of its Stamp Advisory Committee. This is a body that meets a few times every year to decided the designs for our stamps.
I wanted to see the minutes to see what designs had been blocked and why. The Royal Mail turned my application down saying to the information was exempt under S.36 (Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs). I appealled and surprise, surprise I was turned down again.
My appeal was lodged with the Commissioner, and although I haven’t heard anything for about six months, last week I got an envelope through the door (it amuses me how the Royal Mail still prefer to post out some of their responses as if e-mail was never invented). In it were the minutes I had asked for, although there were still a few redactions.
It would appear that this is the way a large number of appeals will be settled these days. The Commissioner’s office looks at the case and then tells the public authority to sort its act out. The matter is then sorted out informally without the need for a Decision Notice.
When I did get to see the minutes it was noted that a set of stamps to celebrate 50 years of ITV was being planned but that Benny Hill was not going to feature in the set. The key item in the minutes that had not been redacted was that it was felt Benny Hill’s jokes were “in direct opposition to the company’s policies on harassment in the work place”.
I’ve embedded a classic clip from Benny Hill as well as the article as it appeared in the Daily Mail.
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