Current Membership of the Tate Board’s Councils and Committees

Glen Tarman made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Tate (Gallery)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear The Tate Gallery,

15 September 2013

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please provide the following information:

1. The current Membership of the Tate Board’s Councils and Committees
2. The reason why Tate does not have an up to date list publicly available on its website. The version Tate provides for the public here http://www.tate.org.uk/download/file/fid... (at the url http://www.tate.org.uk/about/who-we-are/...) is dated 26 April 2011 i.e. over 2 years' out of date. The information provided by Tate is undoubtedly incorrect: many Tate Trustees listed are now retired, other members are possibly no longer involved in varied Council and Committees and new Trustees are in place, presumably some of whom are on Committees, and, in all probability, some new members have been co-opted.
3. Given all members of the Councils and Committees are appointed by the Tate Board, how does the fact that Tate has not provided the public (including Tate Members) and other stakeholders with the names of the persons on the Sub Committees and Advisory Councils of the governing Board of Trustees for over two years fit with:
i. Tate's Vision to 2015 'to be more Open'
ii. Tate's Ethics Policy "duty to the public to be transparent and accountable"
iii. The Openness Principle of the Principles of Public Life which Tate Board and staff, 'like others who serve the public', 'should follow' (the Nolan Committee) ("Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should [..] restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands."]
4. If there is any reason why Tate cannot provide the public a current Membership of the Tate Board’s Councils and Committees on the Tate website at all times, and, if so, what that might be.

Yours faithfully,

Glen Tarman

FOI, Tate (Gallery)

Dear Glen Tarman,

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request (our ref: 431) was received on the 15th September 2013. It will be dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and we will send you a response within 20 working days.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.


Kind regards,

Chris Bastock
On Behalf of Tate's Freedom of Information Group

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Jessica Holifield, Tate (Gallery)

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Tarman
Please see attached the response to your recent request for information.
Kind regards
Jessica Holifield
Governance and Policy Manager
On behalf of the Freedom of Information Group
 

Please note that any information sent, received or held by Tate may be
disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Dear The Tate Gallery,

Thank you for the letter dated 9 October 2013 and the appendix provided.

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

I am writing to request an internal review of The Tate Gallery's handling of my Freedom of Information Request 'Current Membership of the Tate Board’s Councils and Committees'.

I am pleased that my Freedom of Information Request [Tate Ref: 431] has resulted in the current membership of Tate’s Councils and Committees (as at 9 October 2013) being published online in the designated place on Tate's website for all stakeholders (rectifying the oversight that had meant incorrect information more than 2 years' out of date had been provided to the public to this point). By my calculation Tate had 45 people listed that were no longer in those roles and 43 not listed that are in governance roles ie there were 88 governance roles that were incorrect in the listing provided to the public.

Tate's response to my Freedom of Information Request states that: "We publish information on the membership of our Councils and Committees through other means. [...] The overall membership of all these Councils and Committees is published in the annual Tate Report. Some of the Committees have decision-making authority and the membership of these is published in the Annual Accounts."

Reviewing the most recent versions of these documents, I believe it is not the case that these documents set out the overall membership of all these Councils and Committees. For example, the latest Annual Accounts appears only to list the membership of the Collection Committee and the Audit Committee. These may be committees with delegated authority from the Board but they are not the only ones: the Freedom of Information Appeals Committee is also of this status and yet its membership is not listed in the Annual Accounts.

The 2012/13 Tate Report appears to not list the following memberships of the Councils and Committees appointed by the Tate Board:

- Finance and Operations Committee
- Investment Committee
- Governance and People Committee
- Freedom of Information Appeals Committee
- Ethics Committee
- Tate Modern Project Board
- Millbank Development Committee

As such, I believe that the assertion in reply to my Q3 that "the information you have requested is already published by Tate" not to be the case. The above advisory committees, advisory councils and project boards in addition to the membership of the Freedom of Information Appeals Committee had not already been published in these documents.

It is only the summary format now published in response to my Freedom of Information Request which provides full information. The alphabetical listing of all those that have been Members of Councils and Committees of the Tate Board of Trustees in the annual Report from Tate does not provide the public with information as to who had served on the above committees nor whether they still sit on those Councils and Committees.

In relation to my Q4 "If there is any reason why Tate cannot provide the public a current Membership of the Tate Board’s Councils and Committees on the Tate website at all times, and, if so, what that might be." Tate replied:
"With regard to the document that is the subject of your question, although we are satisfied that we are fulfilling our obligations by publishing updated information annually in the Tate Report and Annual Accounts, we recognise your point with regard to clarity and transparency. We will update the version currently on the website."

The above reply does not answer the question asked. Whilst I welcome Tate recognising there is a point here with regard to clarity and transparency, and that an updated version has now been placed on the website, Tate has not informed me as to whether there is any reason why Tate cannot provide the public and other stakeholders with a current Membership of the Tate Board’s Councils and Committees on the Tate website at all times (and should that not be possible, the reason as to why). The response is not clear with regard to ongoing updating.

If Tate believes it is fulfilling its obligations by publishing updated information annually in the Tate Report and Annual Accounts, that information is not complete (as outlined above) and is likely to be in some way out of date when published. As such, even if Tate improves the information provided in its annual Report and Annual Accounts, a format summary of the membership of Tate’s Councils and Committees is the only way the public and other stakeholders can ascertain the current membership of Tate Board appointed Councils and Committees - if it is kept updated.

The information provided in the annual Report also mixes listings for corporate supporters and significant donors with governance positions (in passing Tate may wish to consider separating governance and giving as they are different classes of information) i.e. it is not easy to identify and access decision-making and advisory people from listings of companies and people that give money to Tate but that are not part of Tate decision-making processes.

Unless Tate is going to regularly update the format summary of the membership of Tate’s Councils and Committees to keep it current and that there is no barrier to doing so, it is difficult to see how information provided can be in keeping with:

i. Tate's Vision to 2015 'to be more Open'
ii. Tate's Ethics Policy "duty to the public to be transparent and accountable"
iii. The Openness Principle of the Principles of Public Life which Tate Board and staff, 'like others who serve the public', 'should follow' (the Nolan Committee)
("Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should [..] restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands."]

As such, whilst my Q1 has been answered, I am not satisfied with the response to the rest my request for information and hence am asking for an internal review of the response provided.

I am looking to receive a full and accurate response and to be reassured that Tate will provide information to the public that is correct and timely:

- that Tate does not in future provide information that includes Tate Trustees listed that are retired or other non-Trustee members that are no longer involved in varied Council and Committees;
- that new Trustees and co-opted non-Trustees on Councils and Committees are listed promptly after appointment;
- that the current membership of each Council and Committee is made known to the public at any point in time in an accessible way on a routine basis.

A full history of my Freedom of Information Request and all correspondence is available online at this web address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Glen Tarman

Tara Feshitan, Tate (Gallery)

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Tarman,
 
I attach a letter from the FOI Appeals Committee.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Tara Feshitan
Lawyer
+44(0) 20 7887 3942
 
 

Please note that any information sent, received or held by Tate may be
disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Dear Monisha Shah,
cc. Tara Feshitan

Thank you for the communication on my request for an Internal Review (FOI Case Reference 431).

I am pleased to receive the undertaking that from now on information published online about Tate's councils and committees will be kept fully updated and routinely checked for accuracy.

I hope that Tate will in future discontinue the practice in the annual Report of i. listing people without the specific council and/or committee they sit on being clear, and, ii. mixing listings
for corporate supporters and significant donors with governance positions. Tate should separate governance and giving as they are different classes of information under information legislation and regulation. In such a key document the public should be able to easily identify and access information on decision-making (and advisory people to such processes) from listings of companies and people that give money to Tate but that are not part of Tate decision-making processes.

Yours sincerely,

Glen Tarman