Fire Safety in Student Residences

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Queen Mary University of London,

I'm searching for the below documents under the Freedom of Information Act:

(A) The 2020 Fire Risk Assessments for Maurice Court and Feilden House

(B) The cladding specification details and any documents proving the fire spread classification and the combustibility or non-combustibility of external cladding on the below residences: Feilden House which is covered in wooden cladding, and Maurice court which is covered partially by some other type of cladding.

In 2017 you confirmed that new fire risk assessments would be done in 2020, and that you were undertaking cladding assessments and testing, so the above documents should be available:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Yours faithfully,

Jean Paul Lemal

Queen Mary, University of London FOI, Queen Mary University of London

We acknowledge receipt.

QM FOI Enquiries, Queen Mary University of London

4 Atodiad

FOI 2021/F138

 

Dear Jean Paul Lemal,

 

Thank you for your email of 16^th March.

 

I am pleased to provide the following responses.

 

 A. Please see attached FRAs. Some of the information in these has been
withheld under s.38 and s.31 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000. Under s.38 we believe disclosure of certain information in to
the public domain may endanger the physical health or safety of
individuals. With regards to the s.31 exemption, if information, for
example of detailed floorplans, were released to the world at large,
this could be useful to parties to show ingress/egress points of the
building and perhaps where items of value may be found. This would
then be likely to prejudice QMUL’s ability to prevent or detect crime.
We believe that s.31(1)(a) of the FOIA applies. Information could be
utilised in order to perpetrate acts against QMUL, say to break in,
possibly without detection.

 

These exemptions are subject to the public interest test. We recognise
that on the one hand there is always a public interest in the transparency
of an authority. This would be in favour of the public interest and
releasing. However, given that this disclosure would be to the world at
large, information which could raise the risk of endangerment to
individuals or property, would not be in the public interest. The
Information Commissioner also recognises that “There is a very strong
public interest in protecting the law enforcement capabilities of public
authorities”(1). We contend that some of the information you have
requested could allow individuals to commit crime and make it more
difficult to detect this and prosecute them as it may give them useful
knowledge to take advantage of any vulnerabilities and detailed knowledge
of the layout of the buildings. This would not be in the public interest.

 

On balance we believe that the public interest in withholding this
information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

 

 B. The external timber cladding to the buildings mentioned is Andira
([1]https://www.trada.co.uk/wood-species/and...), which is a durable
hardwood. Please find attached a report from building façade
inspections in 2017. Some personal data has been redacted in this.
This is because it relates to identifiable individuals and since they
have neither consented nor would reasonably expect this to be
disclosed in to the public domain, it would not be fair and thus
breach the first data protection principle. As such, we believe this
information is exempt under s.40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 by virtue of s.40(3A)(a). The Information Commissioner states,
“If disclosure would not be fair or transparent, you must not disclose
the information”(^2). This is an absolute exemption.

 

Please also note the copyright notice attached herewith.

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask QMUL to conduct a
review of this decision.  To do this, please contact the College 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 [2]www.ico.org.uk for details.

Yours sincerely

 

Paul Smallcombe

Records & Information Compliance Manager 

 

 1. [3]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
 2. [4]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.trada.co.uk/wood-species/and...
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...