Modern Records Centre: file MSS.154/3/DH/16/1-17 1968-1970

William Thackeray made this Freedom of Information request to University of Warwick

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by University of Warwick.

William Thackeray

Dear University of Warwick (Modern Records Centre),

Please provide the following file:

MSS.154/3/DH/16/1-17 1968-1970

Contents: "Correspondents include Lady Medawar and Roy Jenkins, re a grant to the Family Planning Association (/2-5); Michael Stewart, Foreign Secretary, re Foreign Office circular on the Lenin Centenary (/10-14); and Sir John Foster Member of Parliament, re his report on scientology (/15-17)."

Please send the information to me in electronic format at this email address.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

infocompliance, Resource, University of Warwick

Thank you for your email which has been received by the University Legal
Compliance Officer.

The University undertakes to respond to Freedom of Information requests
within 20 working days and to Data Protection requests within 40 calendar
days.

If you are seeking general legal advice, please contact the University
Legal Adviser, [email address].

Thank you

Helen Wollerton
Administrative Officer (Legal Compliance)

infocompliance, Resource, University of Warwick

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Thackeray

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 8 August 2011.

I confirm that the University is relying on FoIA exemption S21 'information reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means' and suggests that you follow the standard procedure for obtaining the information you are seeking.

Please contact the Modern Records Centre - see http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/libra... with your request.

You will need to sign a copyright declaration form (copy attached) which states that this material is for private research only. The file contains some confidential Government letters and it is especially important that this information is not used for publication/use on the internet.

The cost of the copying will be c£5.

If you have any queries relating to this response, or are unhappy with the way in which the University has dealt with your request, please do not hesitate to contact me. Further information relating to Freedom of Information is available here http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/l...

Yours sincerely

Helen Wollerton
Administrative Officer (Legal Compliance)
Deputy Registrar's Office
University House
The University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 8UW
Tel: 024 761 50949
Email: [email address]
Web: www.warwick.ac.uk/go/governance/

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William Thackeray

Dear University of Warwick,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Warwick's handling of my FOI request 'Modern Records Centre: file MSS.154/3/DH/16/1-17 1968-1970'.

My reasons for requesting an internal review are:

- I do not agree to sign the attached legal document. The information is not therefore available to me by other means.

- I do not agree that the proposed fee is reasonable.

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

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

William Thackeray

Dear University of Warwick,

Also, I requested the information be provided electronically. Photocopies would not fulfill this request.

Many thanks for your time on this matter.

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

Gary Collins left an annotation ()

As an archivist I find this request very strange. Why use FOI as a means to access this information? This looks like a standard research enquiry that archives and record offices get all the time. It's perfectly reasonable for them to charge for copies they have to make and send to you, and to ask you to sign copyright forms. This is standard archival practice. Most archivists, curators or librarians will not supply copies of material until IPR and other forms are signed.

William Thackeray left an annotation ()

Hi Gary,

Why use FOI for this? A couple of reasons:

- means the fee they charge has to be 'reasonable',

- means I can challenge redactions with the information commissioner and (if necessary) the tribunal,

- means I don't have to sign any forms limiting what use I can make of the information.

Kind regards,
WT.

Gary Collins left an annotation ()

William,

I'm still puzzled. It looks as if you're using FOI for all the wrong reasons - purely to try and get around any copying charges and IPR restrictions. I don't know the nature of the material you're wanting, but if there are IPR restrictions on the use of the items, then they will apply to you, whether you like it or not. And if you're not willing to sign the relevant IPR forms then any guardian or custodian of records with IPR restrictions will quite rightly not make that material available because they and the IPR owners will need assurances that their rights are not infringed or abused (and you give them those assurances by signing forms).

William Thackeray left an annotation ()

Gary,

Thanks for your interest. I don't agree that those reasons are 'wrong' - morally or legally.

Where FOIA applies to information, the public authority has a legal obligation to supply it. They don't get the opportunity - in law - to set pre-conditions on the supply of the information. They may think that they do, but they are wrong.

I find it surprising that a library would attempt to be restrictive in supplying information, which surely is their function.

WhatDoTheyKnow.com's policy on copyright of disclosed information is here:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...
If you disagree with it, I suggest you take it up with them.

Kind regards,
William.

William Thackeray left an annotation ()

http://foiman.com/archives/147

may be of interest re the interaction between copyright law and FOIA.

Owen, Nicola, University of Warwick

Dear Mr Thackeray

Internal Review - Freedom of Information Request No 126 2010/11

I am responding to your email dated 11 August 2011, in which you request
an internal review into the way in which your Freedom of Information
request, dated 8 August 2011, was handled by the University of
Warwick.  As Deputy Registrar for the University, I confirm that I have
carried out the review in accordance with University guidelines and have
not been involved in processing your original request.

The documents reviewed were:

· Your original request dated 8 August 2011 seeking a copy of
document MSS.154/3/DH/16/1-17 1968-1970

· Contents: "Correspondents include Lady Medawar and Roy
Jenkins, re a grant to the Family Planning Association (/2-5); Michael
Stewart, Foreign Secretary, re Foreign Office circular on the Lenin
Centenary (/10-14); and Sir John Foster Member of Parliament, re his
report on scientology (/15-17)".

· The University response to your request dated 10 August 2011,
sent by the Administrative Officer (Legal Compliance), Helen Wollerton.

· Your request for an internal review dated 11 August 2011, in
which you stated that you did not agree to sign the copyright declaration
form and you did not agree that the proposed £5 fee was reasonable.

Outcome of review:

The University responded to your request on 10 August 2011 stating that
your request was declined and relying on Freedom of Information Act
exemption S21, which states `information reasonably accessible to the
applicant by other means'. 

You were advised to follow the standard procedure for obtaining the
information and provided with the contact details of the Modern Records
Centre, at the University of Warwick.  You were also advised that you
would need to sign a copyright declaration form, which states that the
material is for private research only and is not to be published or
uploaded to the worldwide web.  This form is standard University
procedure, as many of the documents bequeathed to the Modern Records
Centre carry the proviso that they can only be used for research
purposes.  Finally, you were advised that there was a £5 fee payable
to receive a copy of the document.

From my investigations, it is clear that the material is available by
other means, and therefore accessible to you,  and the University was
right to rely on FoIA exemption S21. 

The University believes that it was right to request you to complete the
copyright form, which is the standard form which everyone signs for all
copying, irrespective of whether the material is provided in hard copy or
electronically.    In addition, this form would need to be signed
whether the information is released to you or under Freedom of Information
legislation or through the Modern Records Centre procedures. 

The University considers that the £5 fee is reasonable and relates to
the administration of locating the document, providing access and a copy
for requesters.  Please note that you have not been denied access to
the material and are welcome to visit the Modern Records Centre and view
the file free of charge, as many people do.

I therefore see no reason to change the University response and for this
reason, your appeal is dismissed.

Yours sincerely

Nicola Owen

Deputy  Registrar

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William Thackeray left an annotation ()

Referred to ICO 25 August 2011.

"Exemption has been incorrectly applied. The public authority claims the information is accessible 'by other means', but it is not accessible on the same terms as via FOIA: it is not accessible electonically (which was my request) and the public authority insist that I sign a legal document of some kind as a prerequisite to accessing the information."