2014 and 2017 UUK USS Consultation requests

The request was refused by University of Reading.

Deepa Govindarajan Driver

Dear University of Reading,

Please provide a copy of the University’s response to the 2017 and 2014 UUK USS valuation consultations and any accompanying papers.

Yours faithfully,

Deepa Govindarajan Driver

IMPS, University of Reading

Dear Deepa,
This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for information below and to let you know it is being processed.
We'll get back to you as soon as we can, but in any case within 20 working days from 16/07/2019.
In the meantime, if you wish to add any further details or check on progress, please reply to this message, quoting the reference number IMPS#02523, so that we can track your input and respond promptly.
Yours sincerely,
Sinead Latham
Information Management & Policy Services (IMPS), University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH
t: +44 (0)118 378 8981 www.reading.ac.uk/foia

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IMPS, University of Reading

Dear Deepa,

We have completed the compilation of information in response to your request and now considered the Public Interest Test.

We can confirm that we do hold the information requested.

This information is being withheld under section 36(2)(c) The information requested has been assessed as that which ‘would otherwise prejudice, or would be likely otherwise to prejudice, the effective conduct of public affairs’. As is required under FOIA, the opinion of the Vice Chancellor, being a ‘qualified person’ (as defined by 36(5)(o)(iii) of the Act) has been sought, and it has been agreed that the exemption is valid. We are also required to conduct a Public Interest Test which has been completed and summarised below.

The University recognises that the 2017 valuation is now closed, however there is now active discussion to close off the 2018 valuation which was initiated in response to the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel that was established as part of the agreement which brought the UCU industrial action to a close. It’s conceivable that the positions we articulated in response to the 2014 and 2017 valuations could be used to contrast with more recent discussions (accepting that the circumstances and drivers have shifted materially), and that could prejudice our position (in relation to the USS discussions and potentially in respect of forthcoming UCU ballots for industrial action).

The University considers that disclosure of this information will prejudice the University’s ability to provide comment and views away from external interference or distraction and that it would be disruptive to its effective conduct of public affairs. The University requires a safe space to take advice, provide input to external parties, assess and comment on risks and contribute to decisions away from public scrutiny. It is felt that disclosure at this time is likely to divert attention away from the process and therefore be prejudicial to the University’s performance of its functions. The University has also considered the needs of those external parties to be afforded the same safe space in which to consider options, take advice and undertake external consultations and the impact of disclosure on their ability to ensure the effective conduct of public affairs. Therefore, disclosure would not be in the public interest, so on this occasion the balance tips in favour of withholding the information.

The University recognises that there is an inherent public interest in ensuring openness, transparency and accountability with regards to discussions and decisions concerning its employee pension schemes. The University also recognises that disclosure of information could serve to reassure the public that those matters are being complied with and takes into account that UUK may make information available at a later date and that the sensitivities of the documents may change in the future.

We are required to include details of our complaints procedures, including your rights to apply to the Information Commissioner. The procedure is detailed in our Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations policy on the web at www.reading.ac.uk/freedom-of-information...

If we are unable to resolve any complaint, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, the independent body who oversees the access to information regimes:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Email: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Sinead Latham

Information Compliance Officer

Information Management & Policy Services (IMPS), University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH
[University of Reading request email] t: +44 (0)118 378 8981 www.reading.ac.uk/foia

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