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Staff and payment details

Max Long made this Freedom of Information request to Queens' College, Cambridge Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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Dear Queens' College, Cambridge,

This is a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Could you please provide the following pieces of information:

College pay spine
Staff headcount (aggregated) for the past year
Staff headcount (disaggregated by grade) for the past year
The number of fixed-term contracts, open-ended and permanent contracts for the past year. If the College operates a grade system, please provide a breakdown by grade.
The number of individuals providing piecework for the College in the past year
Undergraduate supervisors headcount for the past year (aggregated)
Supervisors headcount for the past year disaggregated by staff category (UTO, postdoc, CTO, graduate students)
Pay rates for piecework (DoSing, supervisions, admission interviews)
Pay awards made to staff in the past 3 years
A template of a DoS letter of appointment
A template of a contract for a College Tutor
A template of a contract for a College Junior Research Fellow. If contracts are not issued for this post, please provide a template letter of appointment or terms and conditions.
A template of contract for a College Teaching Officer

Please provide an index of related documents.

If you are to invoke Section 43 to withhold information in relation to any of these questions please note you must provide details of the exact FOIA exemption, details of who would be prejudiced by this information, and a public interest test justifying a conclusion with arguments for and against the release of the information.

If you are to invoke Section 12 to withhold information in relation to any of these questions please provide details of how locating, retrieving and extracting this information would exceed the appropriate limit of £450 as set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Please also be aware of your duty under section 16 (1) of the Act to advise and assist me in narrowing my request to bring it within the appropriate limit.

Thank you very much for your assistance with this request. If you would like any clarification on the information I have asked for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In its guidance the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) says that the requirement to respond 'promptly' and the requirement to respond no later than 20 working days are to be considered as separate obligations. Public bodies should be able to justify why it took them as long as 20 days to respond to requests in cases where they do not act more promptly than that "long stop" deadline. I look forward to receiving your response in the next 20 working days. If you are unable to provide a response in the next 20 working days please provide an updated timeline by the deadline 03/04/23.

Yours faithfully,

Max Long

bursec@queens.cam.ac.uk, Queens' College, Cambridge

[Subject only] RE: Freedom of Information request - Staff and payment details

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Dear Jonathan,

Many thanks for your detailed reply to this request, which is much appreciated. I should have clarified in the initial request that by 'staff' I was referring to all staff, not only academic staff. Would be possible to have the overall staff headcount data?

Although I respect your decision to invoke Section 43 on the question of contract templates, I would be grateful if you would reconsider. Other public authorities have provided employment contract templates in the past (see, for instance, https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c... and https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...). I would also note that other colleges in Cambridge have supplied contract templates in reponse to similar FOI requests in the past.

Yours sincerely,

Max

bursec@queens.cam.ac.uk, Queens' College, Cambridge

Dear Mr Long

I am afraid your request was less than clear which is why you were provided with the information for the academic staff only.

The headcount for non-academic staff (aggregated) for the past year = 156.

I am unable to provide you with any further data, as to do so will exceed 18 hours and so I apply Section 12 of the Act.

With regards to providing contract templates, I maintain the decision to invoke Section 43. The information is commercially sensitive and would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).

If you feel that we have not dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act properly, the College's procedures indicate that you may complain to the President who may be contacted at Queens' College, Cambridge, CB3 9ET, email: [email address].

You also have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether your request has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. The Information Commissioner will usually expect complainants to have exhausted an organisation's internal complaints procedures before accepting a complaint.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

----------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Spence, MA (Oxon), MA
Senior Bursar

Queens' College
CAMBRIDGE
CB3 9ET
Tel: 01223 335605
Email: [email address]

Charity Registration No. 1137495

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Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for your response. If you wish to invoke section 43, I would like to see evidence for why you believe releasing this information either a) would or b) would be likely to prejudice the college's commercial interests. Section 43 is also subject to a public interest test, which I have not seen any evidence of.

Yours sincerely,

Max

bursec@queens.cam.ac.uk, Queens' College, Cambridge

Dear Mr Long

I stand by my decision to invoke Section 43 (2) as we are in competition with the other thirty Cambridge Colleges, which is a relatively narrow market, where there is self-evidently active and real competition.
The example contracts circulated in your earlier email I am afraid cannot be thought to be of an analogous circumstance.

If you feel that we have not dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act properly, the College's procedures indicate that you may complain to the President who may be contacted at Queens' College, Cambridge, CB3 9ET, email: [email address].

You also have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether your request has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. The Information Commissioner will usually expect complainants to have exhausted an organisation's internal complaints procedures before accepting a complaint.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

----------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Spence, DL, MA (Oxon), MA
Senior Bursar

Queens' College
CAMBRIDGE
CB3 9ET
Tel: 01223 335605
Email: [email address]

Charity Registration No. 1137495

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Dear Jonathan,

According to the ICO's guidelines, it is not enough to assert that competition is "self-evident and real". Ordinarily you would need to apply a prejudice test and a public interest test in order to invoke Section 43. I have not seen evidence of either.

The burden of proof to claim that prejudice "would occur" is high, as set out in the ICO’s March 2012 decision concerning the University of Manchester, where it stated that “in order for section 43(2) to be engaged, the likelihood of the prejudice claimed must be more than merely hypothetical; the risk of it occurring must be real and significant.”

I will contact the President to request an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Max

Dear Queens' College, Cambridge,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Queens' College, Cambridge's handling of my FOI request 'Staff and payment details'.

The College has refused part of my request by invoking section 43(2). The ordinary procedure is to provide a prejudice test and a public interest test. The College has provided neither in this case.

In previous rulings, the ICO has recognised that universities operate in a climate of competition, including international competition, and that this can be considered a commercial interest. But it has also stated that in any prejudice review a satisfactory “causal link” has to be established in order to withhold information. The burden of proof for a claim this like this is very high, as set out in the ICO’s March 2012 decision concerning the University of Manchester, where the Commissioner stated that “in order for to be engaged, the likelihood of the prejudice claimed must be more than merely hypothetical; the risk of it occurring must be real and significant.”

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

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Max Long

Queens Senior Bursar, Queens' College, Cambridge

Dear Mr Long

I write to confirm Queens' College has undertaken an internal review of the handling of your FOI request and conducted a Public Interest Case.

The review has concluded that the reasons for non-disclosure outweigh the interests of providing the requested information to the general public.

Yours sincerely

----------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Spence, DL MA (Oxon), MA
Senior Bursar

Queens' College
CAMBRIDGE
CB3 9ET
Tel: 01223 335605
Email: [email address]

Charity Registration No. 1137495

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Dear Jonathan,

Many thanks for your response. Before I escalate this request to the Information Commissioner, it would be helpful if you could explain the reasons for this decision, and any arguments for and against disclosure which were considered in the internal review?

Yours sincerely,

Max

Queens Senior Bursar, Queens' College, Cambridge

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Long

The College undertook an internal review and conducted a Public Interest Test. The results of which I attach.

Yours sincerely

----------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Spence, DL, MA (Oxon), MA
Senior Bursar

Queens' College
CAMBRIDGE
CB3 9ET
Tel: 01223 335605
Email: [email address]

Charity Registration No. 1137495

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Max Long please sign in and let everyone know.