Revealed: BBC's 3,701 Freedom of Info requests

The BBC has answered 3,701 Freedom of Information requests since they were introduced in 2005, at a cost of millions to the taxpayer.

The extent of the disclosures was revealed in another FoI request made at the end of July by information freedom website What Do They Know?

The BBC's position as a publicly funded body means it does not have to disclose information that isn't directly related to its creative output. This means information "held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature".

According to figures published in UK newspaper The Guardian last year, the cost of responding to FoI requests between January 2005 and September 2009 was more than £3 million. In 2008/9, staff costs for FoI requests were put at more than £614,000, and accommodation and phone bills added up to a curiously high £22,000.

And the numbers are rising. In 2009, the total number of FoI requests to which the corporation was obliged to respond was around 887. In the first seven months of 2010 alone, the figure was 529.

Among the requests are 479 that have been refused. These include a number requesting information about internal BBC meetings concerning the so-called 'dodgy dossier' on the Iraq war and the death of Dr David Kelly, as well the sacking of former director-general Greg Dyke.

You can view the complete list as a Google spreadsheet here.