Meetings with the Canada School of Public Service

Mark made this Freedom of Information request to National School of Government

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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Since its inception in June 2005, the National School of Government has had meetings with the Canada School of Public Service. For each meeting, I would like to know:

a) When and where each meeting was held,

b) The duration of the meeting,

c) Who (name and position) from both the National School of Government and the Canada School of Public Service were in attendance,

d) agenda & minutes from each of the meetings.

Yours faithfully,

Mark

Christopher Mallett,

Dear Mark

Thank you for your request for information relating to meetings between the National School of Government and the Canada School of Public Service.

I am dealing with this enquiry under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will ensure you receive a response as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Christopher Mallett
Librarian
National School of Government
Sunningdale Park
Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 0QE
tel: +44 (0)1344 634286
fax: +44 (0)1344 634118
email: [email address]

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Christopher Mallett,

Dear Mark

Thank you for your request for information relating to meetings held between the National School of Government and the Canada School of Public Service.

Following a search of information held by the National School of Government, please find below dates and other requested details relating to such meetings.

I should note that I have provided information relating to formal meetings held between the National School of Government (NSG) and the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS). I have not included details of individual staff who have visited CSPS in Ottawa or those from CSPS who have visited Sunningdale Park to speak, for instance, on courses, assess the working practices of either organisation, etc.

I have supplied the names and positions of NSG staff who attended these meetings. However, I have omitted the names of CSPS staff.

NSG is of the view that information identifying members of CSPS staff who participated in meetings between the two organisations constitutes personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998.

The personal data of a third party (someone other than the applicant) is exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 where its disclosure contravenes one or more of the data protection principles, as detailed at section 40(3)(a)(i) of the Act.

NSG is persuaded that disclosing the names of identifiable individuals from CSPS would represent a breach of the data protection principle which relates to the processing of data fairly.

In addition, NSG has decided to withhold minutes and agendas relating to these meetings under the exemption set out at section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This relates to a public authority's commercial interests.

As section 43 is a qualified exemption, we have sought to determine where the public interest lies with respect to supplying the specified information.

NSG recognises that there are compelling arguments which favour disclosure. Provision of the requested information would permit close scrutiny of government actions and highlight the purpose and content of exchanges between NSG and CSPS. Equally, it would ensure transparency and accountability in relation to the conduct of NSG's commercial activities.

However, after careful consideration, we have concluded that releasing agendas and minutes relating to meetings NSG has had with other organisations could well serve to inhibit the scope and candour of such discussions, making it less likely that they would provide NSG with commercially sensitive information.

The meetings detailed below centred on commercial collaboration between NSG and CSPS. As such, disclosure could well prejudice NSG's commercial relations with CSPS, undermining the ability of the organisation to fulfil its role and responsibilities.

Nonetheless, I have provided a brief outline of the content of specified meetings.

1. 8 to 9 June 2006

(a) Meetings took place on 8 and 9 June 2006 at CSPS, 373 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

(b) The meeting on 9 June 2006 took place between 07:15 and 09:00. No information is held in recorded form detailing the duration of the meeting on 8 June 2006.

(c) David Spencer (Principal) and Michael Pearce (Head of Corporate Governance and Secretariat) attended on behalf of NSG.

(d) No agenda is traceable for this meeting. The minutes are being withheld under the exemption set out at section 43(2) of the FOI Act 2000.

The purpose of the meeting was to engage in discussions in areas for future collaboration between the two organisations and to identify milestone dates for the commencement and completion of activities among the organisations.

2. 10 to 13 July 2006

(a) Meetings took place from 10 to 13 July 2006 between NSG and CSPS at NSG, Sunningdale Park, Ascot, Berkshire, United Kingdom.

(b) No information is held detailing the duration of the meetings.

(c) According to the minutes of the meeting held on 8 and 9 June 2006, members of NSG staff who subsequently attended meetings with CSPS included Eleanor Goodison (Head of Professional Programmes), Ken Ingram (Head of E-Learning and Development Network) and Andrew Chak (Head of Operations Review Project).

(d) An agenda was prepared for this meeting. This is being withheld under the exemption set out at section 43(2) of the FOI Act 2000. No minutes are traceable.

The meetings' objectives were:

* To begin collaborating between the organisations by exchanging best practices and lessons learned on each organisation's leadership programmes; client relationship management systems; and e-learning.

* To identify milestone dates for the commencement and completion of activities among the organisations.

3. 1 to 3 August 2007

(a) Meetings were held between 1 to 3 August 2007 with staff from CSPS in Ottawa, Ontario.

(b) According to the agenda, the meetings on 1 and 2 August 2007 lasted from 09:00 to 17:00. The meeting on 3 August 2007 lasted from 09:00 to 16:00.

(c) Two members of NSG staff attended: Fiona Manklow (Portfolio Leader, Strategic Leadership) and Robin Ryde (Head of the Centre for Strategic Leadership).

(d) An agenda was prepared for the meeting and a record of agreements and action items was subsequently produced. Both are being withheld under the exemption set out at section 43(2) of the FOI Act 2000.

This was a working group meeting for the Leadership Across Borders training programme seeking agreement on a range of points including programme fees, evaluation, governance, anticipated learnings and instructional strategy.

4. 13 September 2008

(a) A meeting was held on 13 September 2008 with staff from the CSPS in Ottawa, Ontario.

(b) The meeting lasted from 09:00 to 13:00.

(c) It was attended by Fiona Manklow (Programme Director) and Robin Ryde (Deputy Principal) on behalf of NSG.

(d) No agenda is traceable. No minutes were produced.

The meeting comprised a review of the Leadership Across Borders programme.

5. According to the agenda for the meeting held on 1 to 3 August 2007, a preliminary project board meeting relating to the Leadership Across Boarders programme was held on 16 July 2007 in Canada. However, no further information is available.

If you have any questions relating to this email, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision you should write to:

Christopher Clark
Head of Communications and Marketing
National School of Government
Sunningdale Park
Larch Avenue
Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 0QE
tel. 01344 634145
email: [email address]

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner's Office cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the National School of Government.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Christopher Mallett
Librarian
National School of Government
Sunningdale Park
Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 0QE
tel: +44 (0)1344 634286
fax: +44 (0)1344 634118
email: [email address]

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