The UK Government Nominated Experts to the IPCC

The request was refused by University of Edinburgh.

Dear University of Edinburgh,

In your response of 22 August to my request for information, on the Second IPCC AR5 WGI Lead Authors' Meeting - your ref T/3/7/309, you say:

"The UK government nominated experts to serve on the working groups. Two members of University of Edinburgh staff were selected to serve on WGI. Both individuals serve on the working group as UK government nominated experts, not as University of Edinburgh employees. I have however enquired whether either individual holds any information concerning LA2 in their capacity as a member of University staff. They do not."

With the greatest respect, you are wrong. The UK government through its "focal point for the IPCC" simply invited applicants to fill in forms which were sent to the "IPCC Bureau". Your employees volunteered to work for an international "working group" selected not by any government but by their fellow scientists who make up the IPCC Bureau and Technical Support Units of the working groups.

In reply to a 2007 FOIA request the British Government was at great pains to emphasise that it exercised no control of the scientists that undertake the IPCC assessments.

I believe, in law, the individuals remain in your employment.

To establish or disprove what I state please supply the following information:

[1] Copies of the letters of appointment of your employees to the IPCC assessment process together with any emails to which they were attached.
[2] The server address used by each individual for their communications with the working group.
[3] Any information that you hold that you think is evidence that that the individuals intermittently cease to be employees while they undertake work for on the IPCC assessment.

Yours faithfully,

David Holland

AAPS Records Management, University of Edinburgh

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland,

Thank you for your two emails of 24 August 2011, seeking a review of the University's handling of your freedom of information request of 24 July 2011, and making further freedom of information requests.

Please see the attached letter in response to these requests.

Yours sincerely,

Anne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Anne Grzybowski (née Thompson)
Deputy Records Manager
Records Management Section
University of Edinburgh
Old College
Edinburgh
EH8 9YL

http://www.ed.ac.uk/records-management
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

--
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

Dear University of Edinburgh,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Edinburgh's handling of my FOI request 'The UK Government Nominated Experts to the IPCC'.

Dear Ms Grzybowski,

I refer to your reply of 21 September 2011 and am grateful to you for correcting your earlier claim that individuals are nominated by the government of the United Kingdom. However, I must point out two further errors in your letter. First you say that the “IPCC lists WGI authors and editors by country rather than institution.”

In its Official Reports, the IPCC has, so far, always listed all participants by country and institution. For instance in the Third Assessment Report, your Professor Keith Smith was listed as one of 53 Expert Reviewers from the UK. Against each name is their institution. The vast majority are Universities or the Met office. One individual, J. Lovelock, is listed as “retired”. No one is listed as “privateer” or with any other term that suggests they worked in a personal capacity. On the Fourth Assessment Report your Dr. David Stevenson is listed as a contributor with his name and your institution.

The IPCC Working Group One may in some of its documents just give the country of participants, but in the application form at the DECC website, which participants had to complete in order to be considered by the working group, it asks for the institution name, department and address. Are you suggesting that participants from your university put down their home address?

Your second error is on copyright. IPCC Authors, are only asked to sign over the their copyright to the IPCC on the final Report as published by the IPCC. Until they sign it over, copyright remains with the originator or originators. The IPCC does not claim copyright on any drafts which it has neither created nor formally accepted

Your efforts to argue that your university does not possess the information I have requested is specious. In law, possession does not require ownership regardless of what the Oxford dictionary might say. “This stuff is not mine” does not usually work for guns, knives or other prohibited items. The fact is that that the university has legal control over its premises and facilities such as its computer systems. It is in legal possession of the information they contain.

In the email document to Gabi Hegerl that you have disclosed it states:

"This is an advance notice and a formal letter of invitation providing more details will follow in about one week's time."

As the date of that email was 26 May 2011 and my request was 24 August 2011, I presume that you had received the formal letter at the time of my request. I believe you should have also disclosed it.

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

Yours sincerely,

David Holland

AAPS Records Management, University of Edinburgh

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland

Thank you for your email of 26 September 2011 requesting a review of the University's handling of your request for information about UK Government nominated experts to the IPCC.

Please see the attached letter in response to this request.

Yours sincerely

Anne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Anne Grzybowski (née Thompson)
Deputy Records Manager
Records Management Section
University of Edinburgh

http://www.ed.ac.uk/records-management
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

--
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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