Council Meeting Minutes and Agenda

Response to this request is delayed. By law, University of Liverpool should normally have responded promptly and by (details)

Dear University of Liverpool,

According to the schedule there are two sets of University Council Meeting minutes that have not yet been posted onto your website for the dates of 9 February 2021, and 13 April 2021.

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/governance/c...

Please can I have copies or links to:

(1) The University Council Meeting minutes for 9 February 2021
(2) The University Council Meeting minutes for 13 April 2021
(3) The written agenda for the University Council Meeting for 13 April 2021

Part (1) ought to be easy as the information should already have been prepared to put onto your webpage.

For part (2), I would like to know the precise FOI exemption you rely on when not complying with my request promptly. (I don't believe it has been decided whether or not the policy of delaying publication of these minutes till after the following meeting is consistent with the FOI Act.)

Part (3) is optional only if Part (2) is complied with.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Todd

 

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request under the Freedom of
Information Act. Your reference number is FOI/2021/167.

 

Due to the ongoing disruption caused by the current Covid-19 pandemic, we
may take a little longer than normal to respond to certain enquiries. We
ask that you bear with us; we will keep you updated as best as we can.

 

The University will aim to respond within 20 working days of receipt – 19
May at the latest.  If we ask you to clarify your request, the deadline
will be re-calculated once we have received clarification. 

 

If you have any queries about this email, your request, or the way in
which your enquiry is being handled, please do not hesitate to get in
touch.

 

Kind regards, Kirsty

 

Kirsty Rothwell
Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

 

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foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd

 

I am writing in response to your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act (our reference FOI/2021/167). 

 

Please find attached the University's response.

 

Kind regards, Kirsty

 

Kirsty Rothwell (she/her)
Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

 

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Dear University of Liverpool,

Thank you for your response on 19 May 2021 to my 20 April 2021 FOI request for the University Council Meeting minutes of 9 February and 13 April of this year.

It appears that the University has chosen to invoke the Section 22 (Information intended for future publication) exemption in refusing to release the requested in accordance with Section 10 (Time for compliance with request) on the basis that the "University publishes Council minutes after they have been approved by the Committee at its next meeting".

The University then went on to state that the 13 April meeting was "not a normal business meeting" so that the previous 9 February meeting minutes "were not approved".

I have established from prior FOI requests, and the way that businesses generally operate, the following facts:

(1) The decisions recorded in the minutes of each meeting go into force immediately after they have been agreed.

(2) The meeting minutes do not get amended or corrected at the subsequent meeting.

(3) There has not been a recorded business motion in the Committee to adopt this irregular policy of delaying publication of the minutes until the arbitrary event of a subsequent meeting. This goes against the accepted practices of other public committees, for example, those of the City Council.

Please pass this request on to the person who deals with FOI complaints for an internal review.

Please pay special attention to Section 22(c) of the Act which states that information is exempt "if it is reasonable in all circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure."

One such circumstance would be if this was a committee that met on an annual basis, in which case this argument would delay publication by 365 days. Such annual committees perform functions such as to appoint Officers and approve accounts. Clearly it would be nonsense to refuse to disclose such immediate decisions for a whole year based on some arcane formality that the minutes had not been approved at a subsequent annual meeting.

Therefore, if a whole year would be unreasonable, why do you think this "approved minutes" argument allows for a delay of three months when the Act stipulates a time limit of one month?

If this exemption is upheld, I intend to pass this complaint onto the ICO because this argument for delaying disclosure has to be challenged.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Todd

 

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review
of our response to your recent FOI enquiry.

The University will aim to respond within 20 working days – 23 June at the
latest. If for any reason we are unable to meet this deadline, we will
keep you fully informed of the reasons for this as soon as practical.

If you have any queries about this email or your request or if at any
stage you are unhappy with the way in which your request is being handled
please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards, Kirsty

Kirsty Rothwell (she/her)
Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

 

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