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Last Updated: 14 Aug 2013

General Introduction to DA-Notices

1. Public discussion of the United Kingdom's defence and counter-terrorist policy and overall strategy does not impose a threat to national security and is welcomed by Government. It is important however that such discussion should not disclose details which could damage national security. The DA-Notice System is a means of providing advice and guidance to the media about defence and counter-terrorist information the publication of which would be damaging to national security. The system is voluntary, it has no legal authority and the final responsibility for deciding whether or not to publish rests solely with the editor or publisher concerned.

2. DA-Notices are issued by the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC), an advisory body composed of senior civil servants and editors from national and regional newspapers, periodicals, news agencies, television and radio. It operates on the shared belief that there is a continuing need for a system of guidance and advice such as the DA-Notice System, and that a voluntary, advisory basis is best for such a system.

3. When these notices were first published under their new title of Defence Advisory Notices in 1993, they reflected the changed circumstances following the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The 2000 revision has allowed an overall reduction of the scope of the notices while retaining those parts that are appropriate for the current level of threat that involves grave danger to the State and/or individuals. Compliance with the DA-Notice system does not relieve the editor of responsibilities under the Official Secrets Act.

4. The Secretary DPBAC (the DA-Notice Secretary) is the servant of the Government and the Press and Broadcasting sides of the Committee. He is available at all times to Government departments and the media to give advice on the system and, after consultation with Government departments as appropriate, to help in assessing the relevance of a DA-Notice to particular circumstances. Within this system, all discussions with editors, publishers and programme makers are conducted in confidence.

5. Although not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act of 2002, the DPBAC is committed to practising a policy of maximum disclosure of its activities consistent with the effective conduct of its business and the need to ensure that it honours any assurance of confidentiality given to the individuals and organisations with which it deals.

DA-Notices: Covering Notes

1. These DA-Notices are issued by the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee. Any questions about the DA-Notices, their application or interpretation should be addressed to the Secretary, Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee, (the "DA-Notice Secretary"). He is available at any time and details of how to contact him are given on the DA-Notice Secretary page.

2. The revised DA-Notices replace those which were issued in 1993, and are unclassified. They are addressed to editors, producers, publishers and officials, and additional copies are freely available from the Secretary if holders wish to circulate them more widely within their own organisations.

3. Copies will be made available on request to other organisations and individuals.