Nomination of honorary doctorate

K Stuart made this Freedom of Information request to Open University

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

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Open University.

Dear Open University,

I would like to know who nominated Julie Baily for a honorary doctorate and date of nomination.

Yours faithfully,

K Stuart

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Mr Stuart

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Request.

Your request is receiving our attention and you will hear from us again within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Assistant
Equality, Diversity and Information Rights, Academic Policy and Governance
The Open University, Level 5, Charles Pinfold Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: +44 (0) 1908 653994

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

1 Atodiad

Dear K Stuart

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request where you requested to know who nominated Julie Baily for a honorary doctorate and the date of nomination.

We are withholding this information under the Freedom of Information Act Section 40(2)- protecting personal data. I can confirm it was a member of staff within the Academic Services of the University. The names of staff in these roles are not in the public domain and they have requested that their name is not released. Releasing their details would breach principle 1 of the Data Protection Act, processing personal data fairly and lawfully, as it would not be fair to release personal contact details that those individuals reasonably expect would not be released.

I can inform you that the date of nomination was in 2015.

Please find attached our guidelines for making a nomination.

I hope this provides you with the information you need, but if you require anything further (other than that exempted) please contact us again. In addition as there is an exemption applied in this response, you have the right to appeal this. If you wish to do so please email [email address] with ‘Freedom of Information appeal’ in the subject line. You should explain why you believe the University has not observed the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Freedom of Information Appeals are considered by the University Secretary or his delegate.

Regards
Mel

Miss Mel Augusto | Information Rights Assistant
Equality, Diversity and Information Rights, Academic Policy and Governance
The Open University, Level 5, Charles Pinfold Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: +44 (0) 1908 653994

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Open University,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Open University's handling of my FOI request 'Nomination of honorary doctorate

Staff details are available via internet and I am not looking for the persons contact details, just a name. I think it’s in the public’s interest to know nominees to ensure openness and transparency.

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

Yours faithfully,

K Stuart

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear K Stuart

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email which we will treat as a Freedom of Information Review.

Your request is receiving our attention and you will hear from us again by the legal deadline which is on or before 01 January 2018.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Assistant
Equality, Diversity and Information Rights, Academic Policy and Governance
The Open University, Level 5, Charles Pinfold Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: +44 (0) 1908 653994

Freedom of Information Publication Scheme

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

3 Atodiad

Dear K Stuart,

 

I am writing to you in my capacity as the University Secretary’s delegate
for Information Rights Reviews and Complaints.  Following your request for
a review sent by email on 1 December 2017, I have undertaken a review of
the refusal to your Freedom of Information request for the name of the
proposer of the Honorary Doctorate for Ms Julie Bailey. The Open
University exempted your application on 8 November under section 40(2) the
Freedom of Information Act (a breach of the Data Protection Act).

 

On the first consideration of your request, the Open University held that
releasing the personal data of the proposer would breach principle 1 of
Data Protection Act: it would be unfair to release this information. In
reviewing compliance I considered the relevant criteria set out in the ICO
guidance in assessing fairness, as set out below:

• Likely consequences on the third party.  The information you seek is not
sensitive and personal but there is a likelihood of potential detrimental
consequences for the data subject proposer if their name was released in
to the public arena. The nominee is a well-publicised “whistle blower” for
a scandal at Stafford Hospital in 2014, who according to media reports was
subject to abuse. There is therefore a risk that the person who nominated
this individual for an award will be drawn into potential abuse or media
coverage.

• Public domain.  The information sought is not in the public domain.

• Reasonable expectation of third party. The proposer reasonably expected
the information not to be released; it was submitted with the
understanding that the proposer’s details would not be released, in line
with normal practice. The honours nomination process is confidential and
access is restricted to those who have a legitimate need to see the
nomination. The nomination form requires the proposer to mark it highly
confidential and it is only shared with the staff members with appropriate
authority including the members of the Honorary Degree Committee. The
University Senate for example, who finally mandate the nomination, do not
see the proposer’s details.  Furthermore, the nominee has subsequently
confirmed that they do not want their name released and I have taken this
into consideration, in line with ICO guidance.

• Legitimate interest in the public or the requester having access to the
information. Given that The Open University has already informed you that
a staff member made the nomination we feel we have made transparent the
nature if not the detail of the nomination. Giving further information
would in my view be disproportionate to the potential risk to the data
subject.

 

S.40 (2) is an absolute exemption so the public interest test was not
applied.

 

In conclusion, my decision in respect of the requested review is that the
University should maintain the refusal of your application of 8 November
under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act.  I would also like
to clarify our earlier response to the other part of your question (when
the nomination was submitted): the nomination was submitted on 25th August
2015. In our original response of 27 November 2017 we stated that it was
nominated in 2015, but following our obligation under section 16 of the
Freedom of Information Act, clarifying the specific date may be of help
and assistance.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this review, you are entitled
to raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.  Details
of how to do this can be found at [1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
Application.

 

Yours sincerely

Tony O’Shea-Poon

 

Tony O’Shea-Poon | Director

Academic Policy & Governance

The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

[2]Academic Policy & Governance

Providing expert, professional services

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Freedom-of-Information,

Thank you for your response, as suggested I will now take it up with the ICO

Yours sincerely,

K Stuart