SMT Agendas, Papers and Minutes

Nadia O'Michaels made this Freedom of Information request to Goldsmiths, University of London

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 Goldsmiths, University of London,

Please send me a copy of the agenda, papers and minutes of all senior management team meetings between July 2015 and December 2016.

These meetings will be the Vice Chancellor (or equivalent - Warden in your case)'s regular management team meetings with his team (likely to include University Secretary and Deputy Vice-Chancellor).

If you need clarity about which meeting I am referencing, please get in touch.

Yours faithfully,

Nadia O'Michaels

Goldsmiths Information Access, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dear Nadia O'Michaels,

I am writing to formally acknowledge your Freedom of Information (FOI)
request received on 22 August 2017.

We will respond promptly but in any event by 20 September 2017, this being
20 working days following the receipt of your request and is in accordance
with the time limit set out in the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Ramsey
Information Governance Manager

Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross,
London, SE14 6AF

www.gold.ac.uk

Matthew Ramsey, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dear Nadia O'Michaels
 
I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request in
which you asked for a copy of the agenda, papers and minutes of all senior
management team meetings between July 2015 and December 2016.
 
We have looked into the practicalities of providing you with this
information and estimate that your request encompasses between 3,500 and
4,000 pages of documentation. Before we could disclose this information to
you we would need to review this information to ensure that we didn't
disclose any information that is exempt under the FOI Act. This includes
(but is not limited to):
 

* Personal data relating to an living individual; disclosure could
breach the individual's rights under the Data Protection Act
* Confidential information received from a third party; disclosure could
result in the University facing an actionable breach of confidence and
liability for compensation
* Information that would or would likely negatively impact on the health
and safety at the University
* Information that if disclosed could prejudice the commercial interests
of the University or third parties.

 
Under section 14(1) of the FOI act, we are exempt from answering a request
if we consider it to be vexatious. We consider your request to be so given
the overwhelming burden reviewing these documents would place on our
resources.
 
Under section 16(1) of the FOI Act, we have a duty to advise and assist
you. We advise that if you were to considerably narrow the scope of your
request, for example by limiting the timeframe or restricting it to
particular topics.
 
I hope this information satisfies your Freedom of Information request.
However, if you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask for it to
be reviewed by either contacting us by email:
[Goldsmiths, University of London request email]<[1]mailto:[Goldsmiths, University of London request email]> or by writing to:
 
Information Governance Manager
Room G9, DTH Building
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London, SE14 6AF
 
Please describe the original request, explain your grounds for
dissatisfaction, and include an address for correspondence.
 
If you are still not satisfied following the internal review, you have a
right to appeal to the Information Commissioner who can be contacted at
the following address.
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.ico.gov.uk<http://www.ico.gov.uk
 
With regards,
 
Matthew
 
Matthew Ramsey
Information Governance & Records Manager
Governance & Legal Services
 

Dear Mr Ramsey,

Thank you for the information and the reply. Calling the request vexatious is disingenuous given I was unaware of the number of papers and the information contained within them. I am happy to clarify the request, and I would rather you ask me to do this, before you start calling my actions something they were not.

In terms of clarifying, would you please send me the papers for all SMT meetings during October 2016?

Yours sincerely,

Nadia O'Michaels

Matthew Ramsey, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dear Nadia O'Michaels,

Thank you for refining your request.

We did not mean to cause any offence by using the term 'vexatious', it the term defined in section 14(1) of the FOI Act.

We will respond promptly but in any event by 9 October 2017, this being 20 workings days from receipt of your refined request.

With regards,

Matthew

Matthew Ramsey
Information Governance & Records Manager
Governance & Legal Services

Matthew Ramsey, Goldsmiths, University of London

1 Attachment

Dear Nadia O'Michaels,
 
I am writing in response to your Freedom of information request in which
you asked for all papers considered by Goldsmiths Senior Management Team
(SMT) in October 2016. Please find attached a document that comprises of a
number of papers considered by SMT during the month of questions. We have
redacted a number of sections because we consider they contain information
that is exempt from the disclosure under the following sections of the FOI
Act.
 
Section 40(2) – Personal information
 
We have redacted the names of some members of staff who have internal
facing roles. We consider they had a reasonable expectation of privacy and
disclosure of their identity would be unfair and a breach of the Data
Protection Act.
 
Section 41 - Information provided in confidence
 
We have removed all references to internal audit reports in the disclosed
minutes and agendas for the reasons set out below.
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests
 
The recruitment of students into higher education is highly competitive.
We have redacted some sections of the disclosed papers which we consider
would be of value to institutions with whom Goldsmiths competes to recruit
students because disclosure would be prejudicial to our commercial
interests.
 
Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption. This means we are required to
consider whether or not it is in the public interest to engage it. While
we recognise that there is a public interest in the transparency of how
bodies in receipt of public funds spend those funds, we consider this is
outweighed by the public interest in there being fair and effective
competition between higher education providers.
 
In addition we have withheld the following papers in full for the
following reasons.
 
ALL INTERNAL AUDIT REPORTS
 
Section 41 - Information provided in confidence. Internal Auditors are
appointed on the basis that any reports they prepare and provide to senior
management is done on a strictly in-confidence basis. Disclosure would
represent an actionable breach of that confidence resulting in damages
being awarded against the University.
 
LORING SPORTS GROUND - POTENTIAL FUTURE USE
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. This paper sets out a number of
options for use in the future of the University's sports ground.
Disclosure would undermine the University's negotiating position with
potential third parties and therefore prejudice the University's
commercial interest.
 
REPORT ON GOLDSMITHS’ PERFORMANCE IN THE TIMES AND SUNDAY TIMES GOOD
UNIVERSITY GUIDE 2017, PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2016
NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY: 2016 RESULTS
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. These reports provide analysis of
how the University performed in comparison to other higher education
institutions. Recruitment of students into higher education is highly
competitive. The disclosure of these reports would be of value to
institutions with whom Goldsmiths competes to recruit students and
therefore prejudicial our commercial interests.
 
NEW UNIVERSITY OF LONDON INTERNAL ACADEMY PROGRAMMES
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. This report sets out the business
case and market analysis for the establishment of a number of new
programmes and includes details of the University's cost base and reveals
it basis for planning. The disclosure of this report would be of value to
institutions with whom Goldsmiths competes to recruit students and
therefore prejudice our commercial interests.
 
DEPARTMENT OF DESIGN - MASTERS PORTFOLIO REDESIGN
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. This report sets out proposed
changes to the University's Design department's postgraduate offering and
includes details of the University's cost base and market analysis. The
disclosure of this report would be of value to institutions with whom
Goldsmiths competes to recruit students and therefore prejudicial to our
commercial interests.
 
2018 NON-REGULATED TUITION FEES SETTING/2017 AMENDMENTS
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. This paper contains market research
and competitor analysis of other higher education institutions. The
disclosure of this report would be of value to institutions with whom
Goldsmiths competes to recruit students and therefore prejudicial to our
commercial interests.
 
CHANGES TO STATUTES
 
Section 36(2)(b) - Prejudice to the conduct of public affairs. Information
is exempt from disclosure if in the opinion of a qualified person, its
disclosure; 
 
        (b) would, or would be likely to, inhibit—
 
(i) the free and frank provision of advice, or
(ii) the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation
 
This paper was prepared as a basis to provoke a free and frank discussion
by SMT on possible changes to the statutes, a core element of the
University's governance framework. To stimulate the discussion, a number
of options were proposed. If this paper were disclosed, it would have
chilling effect on advice given and the free and frank exchange of views
for the purposes of deliberation.
 
Section 36(2) is a qualified exemption. This means we are required to
consider whether or not it is in the public interest to engage it. While
we recognise that there is a public interest in the transparency of
decision made by bodies in receipt of public funds, we consider this is
outweighed by the public interest in bodies having well-informed and
effective decision making processes.
 
For the purposes of section 36(2), Goldsmiths Warden is the appointed
qualified person. He has reviewed the paper in question and we can confirm
that he is of the opinion that the exemption is engaged.
 
STACS BUSINESS CASE
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. This report sets out proposed
changes to the University's STACS department and includes details of the
University's cost base and market analysis. The disclosure of this report
would be of value to institutions with whom Goldsmiths competes to recruit
students and therefore prejudicial to our commercial interests.
 
REVEW OF SHORT COURSES
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. This report contains a performance
review of student recruitment to short courses in the prior year, in
particular the effectiveness of discount and pricing strategies. The
disclosure of this information would  be of value to institutions with
whom Goldsmiths competes to recruit students and therefore prejudicial to
our commercial interests.
 
UUK CONSULTATION ON THE USS PENSION SCHEME
 
Section 36 - Prejudice to the conduct of public affairs. This paper sets
out initial advice to SMT on possible responses to University UK’s
consultation on the USS pension scheme. These were just preliminary views
prepared on a free and frank basis. If the paper were disclosed, we
consider that would likely have a chilling effect on University officers
who provide advice to SMT which in turn would have a detrimental effect on
the quality of SMT decision making.
 
Section 36(2) is a qualified exemption. This means we are required to
consider whether or not it is in the public interest to engage it. While
we recognise that there is a public interest in the transparency of
decision made by bodies in receipt of public funds, we consider this is
outweighed by the public interest in bodies having well-informed and
effective decision making processes.
 
For the purposes of section 36(2), Goldsmiths Warden is the appointed
qualified person. He has reviewed the paper in question and we can confirm
that he is of the opinion that the exemption is engaged.
 
APPLICATIONS TO APPOINT FORMS
 
Section 43(2) - Commercial interests. These forms set out the business
case for the creation of new posts and in doing so, detail elements of the
University's strategy to compete with other higher education providers.
The disclosure of this information would  be of value to institutions with
whom Goldsmiths competes to recruit students and therefore prejudicial to
our commercial interests.
 
I hope this information satisfies your Freedom of Information request.
However, if you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask for it to
be reviewed by either contacting us by email:
[Goldsmiths, University of London request email]<[1]mailto:[Goldsmiths, University of London request email]> or by writing to:
 
Information Governance Manager
Room G9, DTH Building
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London, SE14 6AF
 
Please describe the original request, explain your grounds for
dissatisfaction, and include an address for correspondence.
 
If you are still not satisfied following the internal review, you have a
right to appeal to the Information Commissioner who can be contacted at
the following address.
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.ico.gov.uk<http://www.ico.gov.uk
 
With regards,
 
Matthew
 
Matthew Ramsey
Information Governance & Records Manager
Governance & Legal Services