Skip to main content

BBC: Governors

Volume 687: debated on Monday 18 December 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the chairman and other governors of the BBC are under continuing and legally enforceable duties, under the terms of their appointment or under the law of equity, not improperly to disclose confidential information obtained by them in that capacity when they cease to be governors. [HL554]

The chairman and other governors of the BBC are appointed by the Queen by Order in Council made under the BBC's royal charter, which does not contain an explicit duty of confidentiality. The interpretation and application of the law is a matter for the courts, but the Government consider that the general principles of the law of confidentiality impose an enforceable duty on a person not to disclose to a third party, in circumstances which would be regarded in law as improper, any information which he had acquired in his former capacity as a governor and which is recognised in law as confidential information.