Guidance to IPCC Lead Authors

David Holland made this Freedom of Information request to University of Oxford

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, University of Oxford should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: David Holland

Dear University of Oxford,

Your Dr David Frame of the Smith School of Enterprise and the
Environment has been appointed a Lead Author (LA) for Chapter 1 of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group
One (WGI) for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The First meeting
of WGI LAs was held at Kunming (China) between 8 and 11 November
2010.

1. Please give me copies of any agreements entered into by the
University with the IPCC itself or Working Group One or any other
party limiting the disclosure of information regarding the
assessment of climate change by the IPCC or WGI.

2. Please give me copies of any correspondence received by Dr Frame
from the IPCC, Working Group One or any source purporting to impose
restrictions upon the disclosure of any information relating to the
IPCC AR5.

3. Please send me copies of any other correspondence to or from Dr
Frame not covered in 1 or 2 above which is in relation to the IPCC
AR5.

4. Please let me know what plans the University has to comply with
EIR r.4 in relation to the IPCC AR5.

Yours faithfully,

David Holland

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford

Dear Mr Holland,

I write to acknowledge your request for information about Chapter 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group One for the Fifth Assessment Report.

We will issue a substantive reply as soon as practicable, and, in any event, no later than 30 December, which is the 20th working day following the date of receipt.

Yours sincerely

FOI Oxford

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford


Attachment Holland Reply IPCC.docx
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Attachment WG1 GuidanceNote Confidentiality.pdf
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Attachment WG1 GuidanceNote MediaPublicCommunication.pdf
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Attachment WG1 MediaStrategy.pdf
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Dear Mr Holland,

I attach an interim reply to your request.

Yours sincerely

FOI Oxford

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD

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From: David Holland

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your interim response of 22 December 2010 to my
request.

I must however strongly dispute the general point you make at the
outset, that Dr Frame’s IPCC work does not form part of his
official duties for the University. A “Google” search of the
University website for “IPCC” returns 815 pages, the first of which
is a document that states:

“Oxford University scientists have played a key role in writing and
reviewing past and current IPCC reports with over ten academics
authoring chapters in the latest revision and many more involved in
the reviewing process.”

The overwhelming majority of participants in the IPCC process are
researchers or professors at the world’s universities and to
suggest that it is not an official policy and function of Oxford
University to support the work of their employees in the name of
the University does not bear any examination. The fact of the
matter is that Dr Frame will be paid by the University from public
funds while doing his IPCC work and attending overseas meetings.
His travel and subsistence expenses via DECC will also be paid from
public funds.

From your answer to Q1, I understand you to be saying that the
University has not entered into any confidentiality agreements yet
in answer to Q2 you have disclosed a document that I understand to
have been sent to Dr Frame at his University email address that
purports to impose very strict confidentiality conditions of
information being received by the University upon what the
Information Commissioner has repeatedly ruled to be environmental
information.

I would draw your attention to clause 46 of the regulation 16 Code
of Practice and ask if the University has made all actual and
potential participants in the IPCC process aware of the limitations
this places upon them in accepting any confidentiality conditions?
I am assuming that Dr Frame had not to date consented in writing to
the AR5 WGI confidentiality terms or you would have disclosed a
copy of it to me. For the avoidance of doubt can you enquire of Dr
Frame if he has made any undertakings of confidentiality in writing
or otherwise at the recent Lead Authors' meeting or at any other
time?

I am perplexed by your answer to Q4, in which you say “The
University .. .. .. does not have any obligations under EIR 4
relating specifically to AR5, given that it is not a party to that
process”. The last Assessment Report of the IPCC lists all the
individuals that were “a party to that assessment by their name and
affiliation which, in 8 cases, was “University of Oxford”. However,
the basis of my question was that I am expecting some of important
“environmental information” on the scientific assessment of climate
to be “held” by the University and EIR regulation 4 requires that
you proactively disseminate it.

You say “The University publishes a substantial amount of
environmental information on its website”, and indeed it does.
However EIR regulation 4 requires rather more:

“Subject to paragraph (3), a public authority shall in respect of
environmental information that it holds - (a) progressively make
the information available to the public by electronic means which
are easily accessible; and (b) take reasonable steps to organize
the information relevant to its functions with a view to the active
and systematic dissemination to the public of the information.”

In addition to certain statutory items paragraph (3) referred to
above requires that you proactively publish:

“facts and analyses of facts which the public authority considers
relevant and important in framing major environmental policy
proposals.”

Please can you confirm whether of not the “facts and analyses of
facts” the University’s employees will be discussing, assessing and
reporting on in the IPCC AR5 process are considered by the
University to be “relevant and important in framing major
environmental policy proposals”?

If as I presume they must so consider, where can I find an
organised and systematic publication scheme at your website? Where,
for instance, do you publish the names and roles of University
participants? Where on your website do you show the documents you
have just disclosed or a web link to them?

Yours faithfully

David Holland

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford


Attachment Holland Reply IPCC No.2.docx
72K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Holland,

I attach a reply to part 3 of your request.

I apologise for missing the deadline.

Yours sincerely

FOI Oxford

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD

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From: David Holland

Dear UAS Foi,

Could I trouble you to send me your reply as a Word 97 or pdf
format file?

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford


Attachment Holland Reply IPCC No.2.pdf
382K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Holland,

I attach a Pdf version of the reply.

Yours sincerely

FOI Oxford

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD

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From: David Holland

Dear University of Oxford,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of University of
Oxford's handling of my FOI request 'Guidance to IPCC Lead
Authors'.

The second of the “Principles Governing IPCC Work”, as agreed by
the British government and all other members of the IPCC, states
unambiguously that its assessments are to be undertaken on a
“comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis”. There is no
provision for confidentiality anywhere in the rules of the IPCC.

Since confidentiality is entirely against the IPCC rules you have
no basis for any claim to confidentiality or any refusal to
disclose. The assessment being undertaken by public employees is an
environmental decision making process in which the Aarhus
Convention grants the public rights to information and
participation. Clearly public debate is an essential part of
participation.

The DCA code of practice also cautions public authorities against
from agreeing to accept terms including confidentiality. The effort
to prevent disclosure is nothing to do with the IPCC and comes only
from the scientists in “working groups” who should have agreed to
work to IPCC Principles. These “working groups” are ad hoc
temporary groups of public employees rather than permanent
international organisations such as the IPCC itself

It is amply demonstrated in the leaked Climategate emails that the
scientists in these “working groups” routinely distribute
information widely to individuals that are not accredited to the
IPCC assessment process provided only that they are considered as
their friends and supporters within the scientific community. Their
sole objective is to prevent public debate and controversy and is
in direct opposition to the Aarhus Convention.

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

Yours faithfully,

David Holland

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford

Dear Mr Holland,

I write to acknowledge your request for an internal review of the response to your freedom of information request relating to the Guidance to IPCC Lead Authors, which was sent to you on 10 January.

The Registrar will carry out the internal review. He aims to complete it no later than 11 February, which is the 20th working day following the date of receipt of your request.

Yours sincerely

FOI Oxford

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford

Dear Mr Holland,

Further to my e-mail below, I am afraid that the University will not be able to complete the internal review by 11 February.

We have received a large number of freedom of information requests since the start of the year, and the Registrar is new in post.

We now aim to complete the internal review by 10 March.

I apologise for the delay.

Yours sincerely

FOI Oxford

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford


Attachment Reply IR Final.docx
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Dear Mr Holland,

With apologies for the delay, I attach a reply to your request for an internal review.

Yours sincerely

Max Todd

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
Council Secretariat
01865 (2)80299

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From: David Holland

Dear Mr Todd

Thank you for reply. I have no wish to be a nuisance but could I
trouble you to provide me with a reply either in pdf or doc form.
While I can get docx translated, like many others I am reluctant to
invest in an upgrade just to read docx files.

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

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From: David Holland

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your interim response of 16 March 2011. I shall
indeed be referring the matter to the Information Commissioner’s
Office in due course.

As you may know under the ICO’s Freedom of Information Good
Practice Guidance No. 5, I am at some peril if I do not treat your
letter of 16 March 2011 as your final position and complain within
two months. However, you are indicating that there may be further
disclosures and a further opportunity to request a further review.
Accordingly I will have to at least make an interim complaint or
seek advice from the ICO.

In the meantime I would appreciate it if you clarify precisely who
you are referring to when you write “consulting, where necessary,
with the IPCC”. You have referred me to the IPCC website,
www.ipcc.ch, so for the avoidance of doubt can you confirm that
your consultations will be through the Secretary of the IPCC, Dr
Renate Christ, whose contact details are shown at the website?

Can you also confirm that you have read the “Principles Governing
IPCC Work” easily accessible at the IPCC website and agree that
they include the following?

“The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective,
open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and
socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific
basis of risk of human-induced climate change”

“Major decisions of the IPCC will be taken by the Panel in plenary
meetings.”

“Conclusions drawn by IPCC Working Groups and any Task Forces are
not official IPCC views until they have been accepted by the Panel
in a plenary meeting.”

There appears to be a conflict between the Principles repeatedly
confirmed by the governments that set up, pay for and control the
IPCC and the scientists who work for the ad hoc working groups.
Since 1993 the worlds governments have said the assessment process
in which Professor Stocker and Dr Frame are engaged.

I would ask when you approach the IPCC that you specifically ask if
the Panel in Plenary session have ever authorised Professor
Stocker’s instructions in relation to confidentiality.

A number of questions arise from your response but since they are
technically new FOIA requests I will ask them separately.

Yours faithfully

David Holland

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford


Attachment Reply IR Final.pdf
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Dear Mr Holland,

Attached. (I should have remembered from last time.)

Yours sincerely

Max Todd

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
Council Secretariat
01865 (2)80299

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Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

The message immediately above dated 16th March was indeed sent on that date, but the WhatDoTheyKnow site didn't automatically associate it with this request for some reason I'm not sure of, as the email was correctly addressed.

Ganesh - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford

Dear Mr Holland,

Thank you for your two new requests.

I aim to reply to them no later than 15 April. However, I intend to give priority to the e-mails that Dr Frame has recently forwarded to me, since these relate to your original request.

Yours sincerely

Max Todd

University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
Council Secretariat
01865 (2)80299

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Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

The email above also arrived on the date shown but was only manually associated with the thread just now. The WhatDoTheyKnow developers have now tracked down the problem with automatic delivery to the request thread to a bug in the software, which they hope to fix as soon as possible. In the meantime we'll try to make sure that messages hit by the bug are manually moved as quickly as possible.

Ganesh - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford


Attachment Holland Reply IPCC No.3.Annex C docx.pdf
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Attachment Holland Reply No.3 Annex A.pdf
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Attachment Holland Reply IPCC No.3 Annex B.pdf
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Dear Mr Holland,

I attach a reply relating to the additional material referred to in
Professor McKendrick's letter of 16 March.

I apologise again for the delay in completing our response to your
request.

On a technical point, you said in your e-mail of 16 March that you were
'reluctant to invest in an upgrade just to read docx files'.

You may wish to download the free software available here:

[1]http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/de...

Yours sincerely

Max Todd
Council Secretariat
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
01865 (2)80299

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford


Attachment Holland Reply IPCC No.3.pdf
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Attachment Holland Reply IPCC No.3.Annex C docx.pdf
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Attachment Holland Reply No.3 Annex A.pdf
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Attachment Holland Reply IPCC No.3 Annex B.pdf
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Dear Mr Holland,

I attach the reply that was missing from my e-mail of 20 April.

Apologies.

Yours sincerely

Max Todd
Council Secretariat
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
01865 (2)80299

_____________________________________________
From: UAS Foi
Sent: 20 April 2011 13:11
To: David Holland; UAS Foi
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Guidance to IPCC Lead
Authors

Dear Mr Holland,

I attach a reply relating to the additional material referred to in
Professor McKendrick's letter of 16 March.

I apologise again for the delay in completing our response to your
request.

On a technical point, you said in your e-mail of 16 March that you were
'reluctant to invest in an upgrade just to read docx files'.

You may wish to download the free software available here:

[1]http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/de...

Yours sincerely

Max Todd
Council Secretariat
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
01865 (2)80299

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From: David Holland

Dear Mr Todd,

First of all thank you for your earlier response pointing to the
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. I should also mention that on
26 April I complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office. I
had indicated to Prof McKendrick that I would soon have to, or risk
falling foul of FOIA section 50(2)(b).

I am grateful to you for the Reply No. 3 itself as I had wondered
what Annex C was about and why you had put it in twice. I thought
these were requests Oxford had made and did not think to check my
own files.

While I do not suggest that you or Prof McKendrick are any part of
it I think there is an expensive cat and mouse game afoot. While
the routine information in Annex A (even with its unjustifiable
redactions) is interesting and useful, you have not disclosed the
fundamentally important AR4 WGI timetable with its reference to the
zero, first and second drafts and the deadlines instructions for
the inclusion of “in press” scientific literature in the drafts.

Only a less detailed timetable is published at the AR5 WGI website
but I know from the Internet that the detailed one has been
distributed. this was a controversial issue in AR4 and Prof.
Stocker knows it will be in AR5. It is the real test as to whether
WGI intend the AR5 assessment to be “open and transparent” as the
Panel of the IPCC have decreed.

Yours sincerely

David Holland

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From: UAS Foi
University of Oxford

Dear Mr Holland,

I refer to your request for an internal review.

I am afraid we will need more time to complete the review.

We now aim to send you a substantive response by 27 July.

Yours sincerely

Max Todd
Council Secretariat
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD

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From: David Holland

Dear Mr Todd,

Thank you for your letter of 28 June via Whatdotheyknow.

As you know I have submitted a complaint to the ICO based upon your
interim response of 16 March 2011.

However, as you are still considering my request I would mention to
you the Decision Notice FER0282488 issued on 23 June 2011. This was
in relation to a complaint by a Professor of Brasenose College
against UEA and unless appealed establishes the ICO view on r.12(5)
in relation to climate assessment.

I also think your use of r.12(4)(d) is totally unsupportable. I am
not aware of having asked for information that is still in the
course of completion, unfinished or incomplete. I have only asked
for information in documents that have been distributed as finished
documents to many people worldwide.

The fact that the IPCC process, to which they relate, will not be
complete until September 2013 can not be seriously proposed as a
reason not to disclose all the finished documents at the end of
each discrete step in the AR5 assessment process, which began in
2007.

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

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