Harris Nageswaran

Dear Queen Mary University of London,

I'm requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act. I refer to the FOI made by Amelia Jones on 04/02/22 and responded to by yourselves on 08/04/22 (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...).

In this FOI, the document labelled '20211117 email' refers to both a document made by Maggie Leggett regarding this branding issue, and a paper written by Jonathan Morgan, Maggie Leggett and Irene Leigh. I would like to request copies of both of these documents.

In the document labelled '20211117 Identity consultation group there is also mention of "work conducted as part of the merger showed strong international identity with the Barts name". I would like to request a copy of this work if it exists.

I would also like to request a copy of any legal correspondence recieved by the University over this issue.

Do let me know if you need clarification on any aspect of this request.

Yours faithfully,
Harris Nageswaran

QM FOI Enquiries, Queen Mary University of London

Dear Harris Nageswaran

We acknowledge receipt of your request and will respond as soon as we can.

Best wishes
Kaya

Kaya Wiles (she/her)
Executive Officer (Academic Secretariat)
 
Academic Registry and Council Secretariat (ARCS)
Queen Mary University of London
Department W, 81 Mile End Road, London, E1 4UJ
Tel: 020 7882 3454
Email: [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Harris Nageswaran

Dear QM FOI Enquiries,

I'm writing to remind you to respond to this request as soon as possible. By law this request should have been responded to by the 30th May 2022.

Yours sincerely,

Harris Nageswaran

QM FOI Enquiries, Queen Mary University of London

FOI 2022/F188

 

Dear Harris Nageswaran,

 

Thank you for your request.

 

We can provide the following responses.

 

‘1. In this FOI, the document labelled '20211117 email' refers to both a
document made by Maggie Leggett regarding this branding issue, and a paper
written by Jonathan Morgan, Maggie Leggett and Irene Leigh. I would like
to request copies of both of these documents.’

 

Maggie Leggett did produce some relevant information within the scope of
your request. We believe that this information is exempt under s.43(2) of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and are now considering the public
interest test. The Information Commissioner’s Office’s guidance states
that an extra 20 working days are allowed in order to do this, which is
29^th June 2022. We will endeavour to respond by then. We contend that
disclosure of this information would be likely to prejudice our commercial
interests because of its possible impact upon our reputation and upon
future student recruitment.

 

The document that Jonathan Morgan intended to write was never completed
and the proposed discussion at SET never happened. In this respect, the
requested information is not held.

 

‘2. In the document labelled '20211117 Identity consultation group there
is also mention of "work conducted as part of the merger showed strong
international identity with the Barts name". I would like to request a
copy of this work if it exists.’

 

This information is not held.

 

‘3. a copy of any legal correspondence recieved [sic] by the University
over this issue.’

 

This information is not held.

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask QMUL to conduct a
review of this decision.  To do this, please contact QMUL in writing
(including by fax, letter or email), describe the original request,
explain your grounds for dissatisfaction, and include an address for
correspondence.  You have 40 working days from receipt of this
communication to submit a review request.  When the review process has
been completed, if you are still dissatisfied, you may ask the Information
Commissioner to intervene. Please see [1]www.ico.org.uk for details.

Yours sincerely

 

Queen Mary University of London

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/

QM FOI Enquiries, Queen Mary University of London

FOI 2022/F188

 

Dear Harris Nageswaran,

 

As advised in our initial response of 9^th June, we hold some information
you requested. We stated that we believed that information was exempt
under s.43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and extended the
deadline in order to consider the public interest test.

 

We have now completed that exercise and have concluded that we believe the
public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest
in disclosing the information.

 

Releasing the information would be likely to damage our reputation, and
has the potential to impact our ability to recruit students. This would
affect our commercial interests. The Information Commissioner’s guidance
notes that the public interest is not about what is of interest to the
public, it is about public good. We see no benefit to the public good in
releasing this information; however, it would damage the public good if
students who were anticipating joining us in September were needlessly put
off owing to reputational damage. There is also the age of the information
to consider: this dates back to last November. Since then, information has
been put into the public domain via the media on this issue. There is also
no plausible suspicion of wrongdoing.

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask QMUL to conduct a
review of this decision.  To do this, please contact QMUL in writing
(including by fax, letter or email), describe the original request,
explain your grounds for dissatisfaction, and include an address for
correspondence.  You have 40 working days from receipt of this
communication to submit a review request.  When the review process has
been completed, if you are still dissatisfied, you may ask the Information
Commissioner to intervene. Please see [1]www.ico.org.uk for details.

Yours sincerely

 

Queen Mary University of London

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Queen Mary University of London,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Queen Mary University of London's handling of my FOI request 'BL Rebranding Documents'. I am requesting an internal review, with particular focus on the public interest test, which I believe has been performed incorrectly and has overlooked some important points in favour of disclosure.

There are no grounds to prove that releasing the information requested would damage the reputation of the institution, and indeed you have provided no evidence to back this up suggestion. Changing the name of the Faculty is a decision that was made by the University under the due processes of the institution. The impact of this decision will therefore occur independently of disclosure of this information. It therefore cannot follow that the release of this information will cause institutional harm, and you have not sufficiently proved that any possibility of this will occur with any probability. As a public institution is it only right that the public are able to understand how decisions are made, and thus it is clearly in the public interest to release this information.

Beyond this, it is even more questionable that you contend that the release of this information will cause an impact to recruitment. Again you have not produced any reasoning or evidence that this may be the case and therefore we cannot accept that this is a valid excuse to hold back information from the public without valid justification. While I agree there is no evidence of wrongdoing, witholding this information is more likely to cause public mistrust in the processes of the University by implying there is wrongdoing and thus it is even more important that we uphold the tenets of the freedom of information act here.

You also note that information has been put into the public domain via the media, however there is no overlap with the information I am requesting here. This is therefore of no relevant to this request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest, and of course, please feel free to contact me if you need anything else. I should note that I intend to follow all the processes available to the public, to their full exhaustion.

Yours faithfully,
Harris Nageswaran