From which government, NGO or Private companies do universities receive funding’ for research?

The request was partially successful.

Dear Institute of Education, University of London,

I am writing you for a Request of information, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) on the following topics: “From which government authorities, NGO or Private companies do universities receive funding’ for research?”, a research based on information of public interest, for journalism purposes.

Can you provide information to the following questions?
1) What is the total amount that the university received in funds for research, industrial consultancy fees and/or funded researches from government, NGO or private companies in the last four financial years, from 2014 till 2017? The information should be broken down by organization or company name, year per year (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), in a CSV format, if possible.

2) A portfolio statement for the funds the university has investments in. If you do not have a copy of it, can you provide a list of funds and corresponding management companies? Details should be broken down year by year, for the last financial years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), provided in a CSV format, if possible.

3) Can you provide details of research projects (such as executive summary and details of reports’ publication, university department and researchers’ names) of projects whose funds exceed £50,000, in the same period of time (2014-2017)?

Yours faithfully,

Santino Pani

Finance.FOI Requests, Institute of Education, University of London

Thank you for your message.
If you have submitted a Freedom of Information request please accept this
email as acknowledgement that your request has been received. You should
expect a response from us within 20 working days.
Data Protection & FOI
Legal Services
UCL

Finance.FOI Requests, Institute of Education, University of London

Dear Mr Pani,

 

Apologies for the delay in responding to your request.

 

We have completed the compilation of information in response to your
request.

 

We can confirm that we do hold the information of the description
specified in your request.

 

From our preliminary assessment, we estimate that compliance with your
request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the
Freedom of information Act 2000, which is currently set at £450
(equivalent to 18 hours work) by virtue of the Freedom of Information and
Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

Section 12(1) states that:

 

“Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request
for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with
the request would exceed the appropriate limit.”

 

The section 12(1) exemption applies because we estimate that to determine
whether we hold the requested information and then to locate, retrieve and
extract it, would take longer than 18 hours to complete. This is largely
because of the wide range of information you have specified; the broad
temporal scope of the request, i.e. 4 years’ worth of data broken down by
various categories; and the way the information is held here at UCL, which
means that it is only accessible via multiple databases and electronic
sources. All these factors contribute towards making your request a
complex one to meet.

 

Specifically, the information you have requested relating to the executive
summaries, details of reports’ publication, university department and
researchers’ names would take us well over the appropriate limit to
compile, at which point the University is no longer obliged to process the
request. So in accordance with section 12(1) the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (the Act) this e-mail acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

We could however provide some information, such as data falling within the
scope of questions 1 and 2 of your request. Please note that the data we
are able to provide for question 1 will be broken down into categories
which include funding from the government, public corporations and
industry and commerce and further categorised by the Higher Education
Statistics Agency (HESA) categories. This information will only refer to
UCL’s sponsored research data and will not include consultancy activity.
Let me know if we can assist you further with this.

 

In relation to question 3 of your request, there is some relevant
information available on the University’s Institutional Research
Information System (IRIS) website ([1]http://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/). The
IRIS website is a discovery tool, where you can interrogate the website to
learn more about UCL’s research. It can be searched by theme or
researcher, and provides summarised research overviews and lists of
publications. It does not hold funding information, although specific
publications will acknowledge funding source.

 

If you are unhappy with our response to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, please email
[email address]. Emails should include the words ‘Internal Review’
in the subject and be marked For the Attention of the Vice Provost
Operations, alternatively you should write to:

 

Vice Provost Operations

University College London

1-19 Torrington Place

London WC1E 7HB

 

Please note, complaints and requests for internal review received more
than two months after the initial decision will not be handled.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner at the address given
below.  You should do this within two months of our final decision.

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me using the details
provided in this letter and including the request reference number.

 

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act is available from
the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

SK9 5AF

 

01625 545700

www.ico.org.uk

[email address]

 

Kind regards,

 

Mehwish Sultan

Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser

University College London

Legal Services, Finance and Business Affairs

Internal address: 6th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7HB

E: [2][email address] Data Protection: [3][email address]
FOI: [4][IOE request email].

Telephone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal 57862)

 

References

Visible links
1. http://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[IOE request email]

Dear Vice Provost Operations,
University College London

You are claiming that the time for research and retrieve those information I requested would exceed the time limit, but you are not providing any evidence of that.
The art 37 of the FOIA 2000 suggests that it is useful for a public authority to provide a ‘cogent evidence’ on how a research has been conducted, and how the research timing has been calculated.
The FOIA, at mentioned article, suggests to provide the following details of search strategy:

“whether it has carried out any searches for the requested information;
- whether it has based its estimate on a random or representative sampling exercise;

- which departments or members of staff have been contacted;

- the search terms used when querying electronic records;

This to avoid that authority to incur in further costs if a requestor asks for a formal complaint to the ICO. I have also the right to ask for an internal review, before contacting the ICO, and it would you cost more than the time you are spending on such refusal.
Can you now provide this cogent evidence on how you conducted this request?
Otherwise I’ll ask to pass this request to your reviewer team.
Further, you responded 10 days after the legal deadline, which would had been on the 3rd of March, and you didn’t give any explanation of that. Please respond on time. Thanks

Yours sincerely,

Santino Pani

Finance.FOI Requests, Institute of Education, University of London

Dear Mr Pani,

Thank you for your below e-mail.

In carrying out a preliminary assessment of your request, we contacted our Finance and Business Affairs team as well as Research Services.

We believe that for question 3, the scope of the request is extensive. 2097 awards would require manual interrogation, this is because the project description / abstract is not held within UCL’s finance systems. This aspect alone would take in excess of 18 hours, even if this was achievable within 10 minutes for each record (we believe this to be a conservative estimate), this would take 20,970 minutes i.e. 350 hours to do.

With respect to the associated publications, whilst funding sources are acknowledged in publications, UCL’s systems do not have the functionality to report on publications by funding source.

As stated previously, we could however provide some information, such as data falling within the scope of questions 1 and 2 of your original request. Please note that the data we are able to provide for question 1 will be broken down into categories which include funding from the government, public corporations and industry and commerce and further categorised by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) categories. This information will only refer to UCL’s sponsored research data and will not include consultancy activity.

Apologies for the delay in responding to your initial request; we were analysing the records that we have which, took longer than expected.

Kind regards,

Mehwish Sultan
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser
University College London
Legal Services, Finance and Business Affairs
Internal address: 6th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7HB
E: [email address] Data Protection: [email address] FOI: [IOE request email].
Telephone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal 57862)

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Sultan,
For the questions 1 and 2, it’s fine, you can answer as you proposed, to divide them into categories. However, I need to know the names of funding organizations or companies, otherwise I could get the general details from your financial reports, and this is not the purpose of this research.
So please don’t go to answer that I could get from financial reports, as I checked them already, and I need some more specific details.

Regarding to question 3, if you don’t have the reports, what I just need is to know the names of projects, and eventually a link of them. I don’t believe you don’t have such data, and as you are claiming you would take 350 hours to collect them, by law you have to provide evidence on how you took this conclusion. You should also provide evidence of what you claim, that your university doesn’t have this functionality. I wrote to a university, and I suppose you have an electronic database.
You also stated that you took 10 minutes to collect the file. Can I have this file you mentioned, so as it is (without sorting or manipulating it in any way)?
Further, now you are now you are 18 days overdue, and I could be patient if you had responded at least partially, providing the data you have. But till now you didn’t provide any information.
Now I don’t expect to have any other clarification for you, but just the information I requested.
My next action would be to ask for an internal review.
I need to inform you that who made this request is a journalist, and this research has the purpose to show how universities respond to FOI requests of certain topics. So please give me these information I asked. I am sure you don’t have anything to hide, so please show your willingness of co-operation.

Thank you,

Santino Pani

Finance.FOI Requests, Institute of Education, University of London

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Pani,

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying to your below
e-mail.

 

We can confirm that we do hold the information of the description
specified in your request and subsequent e-mail where you narrowed the
scope of your request and this information is given below.

 

Q1) What is the total amount that the university received in funds for
research, industrial consultancy fees and/or funded researches from
government, NGO or private companies in the last four financial years,
from 2014 till 2017? The information should be broken down by organization
or company name, year per year (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), in a CSV format,
if possible.

 

A1) Please see below for the above information broken down by HESA
categories which, is the information we are able to provide you within the
allowed time limit:

Sum of HESA 4 Sum of HESA 5 Sum of HESA 8 Sum of HESA
UK Cent Govt UK Industry, EU Industry, 11 Non EU
bodies/local commerce & Sum of HESA 6 Commerce & Industry, Total
auth.health & public EU Govt Bodies Public Commerce &
hosp corporations Corporations Public
authorities Corporations
54,150,075.36 14,404,980.11 42,769,122.84 3,941,072.37 6,836,288.17 122,101,538.85
61,148,028.96 16,103,664.50 45,530,787.92 919,167.95 6,065,575.29 129,767,224.62
60,988,062.29 15,929,321.88 47,764,033.00 5,454,928.09 7,504,156.79 137,640,502.05
59,511,971.36 16,143,520.16 48,980,587.33 4,330,395.13 9,490,571.58 138,457,045.56
235,798,137.97 62,581,486.65 185,044,531.09 14,645,563.54 29,896,591.83 527,966,311.08

 

Q2) A portfolio statement for the funds the university has investments in.
If you do not have a copy of it, can you provide a list of funds and
corresponding management companies? Details should be broken down year by
year, for the last financial years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), provided in a
CSV format, if possible.

 

A2) Please see attached portfolio statements for 2014 to 2017.

 

Q3) Can you provide details of research projects (such as executive
summary and details of reports’ publication, university department and
researchers’ names) of projects whose funds exceed £50,000, in the same
period of time (2014-2017)?

 

A3) Please see attached for HESA categories 4 and 6 broken down by project
description which, is the information we are able to provide you within
the allowed time limit.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example by publishing or issuing copies to the public, will require the
permission of the copyright owner.

 

If you are unhappy with our response to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, please email
[1][email address]. Emails should include the words ‘Internal
Review’ in the subject and be marked For the Attention of the Vice Provost
Operations, alternatively you should write to:

 

Vice Provost Operations

University College London

1-19 Torrington Place

London WC1E 7HB

 

Please note, complaints and requests for internal review received more
than two months after the initial decision will not be handled.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner at the address given below.
You should do this within two months of our final decision.

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me using the details
provided in this letter and including the request reference number.

 

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act is available from
the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

SK9 5AF

 

01625 545700

[2]www.ico.org.uk

[3][email address]

 

Kind regards,

 

Mehwish Sultan

Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser

University College London

Legal Services, Finance and Business Affairs

Internal address: 6th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7HB

E: [email address] Data Protection: [email address] FOI:
[IOE request email].

Telephone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal 57862)

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]

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