UCL and Arms Companies

The request was partially successful.

Dear University College London,

This FOI request follows on from a previous request I made this year (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...) in which I requested information concerning UCL's financial links with a list of companies connected to the arms trade.

Since you did not recognise the category 'arms trade companies', your response included information only about the companies listed in my request. I am now requesting the same information for the following list of companies which were not on that list, including: Aeroflex Ltd, Airbus Defence, Airbus Group Ltd, Airbus OP Ltd, BAE Marin Ltd, BAE Surface Ships, BMT Defence Ltd, Boeing, General Electric Co, Halliburton Energy, Halliburton Man, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell Ctrl, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Qinetiq, Thales UK Ltd.

Please include all of the information you were able to provide from the last request, including:

1) The total amount, in pounds sterling, that the university has
received in research funding from the listed companies since 2018.

2) The total amount, in pounds sterling, that the university has
received in the form of industrial consultancy and industrial
research fees from the listed companies since 2018.

3) Confirm if any shares are held in the above companies
as part of a pension fund or endowment, either directly or
indirectly through an externally managed fund since 2018.

4) Please also include the financial amount of university fees being covered by the listed companies for graduate degrees and 'studentships'.

Yours faithfully,

N Gordon-P

Finance.FOI Requests, University College London

If you have submitted a Freedom of Information request please accept this
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References

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Dear University College London,

Dear University College London,

Since it has now been well over 6 weeks since I sent the request, I am sending this follow-up to confirm that the above FOI request regarding the university's links with arms companies is being processed.

Yours faithfully,

N Gordon-P

Finance.FOI Requests, University College London

Dear N Gordon-P,

We are processing your below FOI request and are aiming to respond to your request by Wednesday 18th August.

I apologise for the delay and any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards,

Mehwish Sultan
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser
University College London
Legal Services
E: [email address]; Data Protection: [email address]; FOI: [UCL request email].
Office phone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal extension: 57862); Mobile: +44 (0)7525285822

Working hours: Please note that my current working hours are Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm.

show quoted sections

Finance.FOI Requests, University College London

Dear N Gordon-P,

We are currently working on our response to your request. I will in touch as soon as it is ready.

I apologise for the continued delay.

Kind regards,

Mehwish Sultan
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser
University College London
Legal Services
E: [email address]; Data Protection: [email address]; FOI: [UCL request email].
Office phone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal extension: 57862); Mobile: +44 (0)7525285822

Working hours: Please note that my current working hours are Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm.

show quoted sections

Finance.FOI Requests, University College London

Dear N Gordon-P,

 

Apologies for the delay in responding to your request for information.

 

We have completed the compilation of information in response to your
request.

 

We can confirm that we do hold some information of the description
specified in your request and this information where it is held, is
provided below.

 

Your request and our response

 

This FOI request follows on from a previous request I made this year
([1]https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...)
in which I requested information concerning UCL's financial links with a
list of companies connected to the arms trade.

 

Since you did not recognise the category 'arms trade companies', your
response included information only about the companies listed in my
request. I am now requesting the same information for the following list
of companies which were not on that list, including:  Aeroflex Ltd, Airbus
Defence, Airbus Group Ltd, Airbus OP Ltd, BAE Marin Ltd, BAE Surface
Ships, BMT Defence Ltd, Boeing, General Electric Co, Halliburton Energy,
Halliburton Man, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell Ctrl, Leonardo, Lockheed
Martin, Qinetiq, Thales UK Ltd.

 

Please include all of the information you were able to provide from the
last request, including:

 

1) The total amount, in pounds sterling, that the university has received
in research funding from the listed companies since 2018.

 

The total value of the research awards received is as follows: £1,501,064.

 

2) The total amount, in pounds sterling, that the university has received
in the form of industrial consultancy and industrial research fees from
the listed companies since 2018.

 

The total consultancy income for the period up to May 2021 is as follows:
£853,602.93.

 

The total value of research fees received is as follows: £1,420,474.

 

3) Confirm if any shares are held in the above companies as part of a
pension fund or endowment, either directly or indirectly through an
externally managed fund since 2018.

 

UCL has not held any of the listed stocks, either directly or indirectly
since January 2018.

 

With regard to the pension fund, UCL does not hold this information. UCL
does not operate a pension fund but contributes to sector pension schemes.
The main two being SAUL and USS. Both of these are legally distinct from
UCL and have their own trustees.

 

4) Please also include the financial amount of university fees being
covered by the listed companies for graduate degrees and 'studentships'.

 

Of the total research awards mentioned in question 1 above, £659,400 was
awarded for research studentships of which £96,408 was towards student
fees.

 

Please note that any investments or research funding received by UCL has
to comply with UCL’s ethical investment and Research Funding Ethics
policies.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example by publishing or issuing copies to the public, will require the
permission of the copyright owner.

 

If you are unhappy with our response to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, please email
[2][email address]. Emails should include the words ‘Internal
Review’ in the subject and be marked For the Attention of the
Vice-President (Operations), alternatively you should write to:

 

Vice-President (Operations)

University College London

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT 

 

Please note, complaints and requests for internal review received more
than two months after the initial decision will not be handled.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner at the address given below.
You should do this within two months of our final decision.

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me using the details
provided in this letter and including the request reference number.

 

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act is available from
the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

SK9 5AF

 

01625 545700

[3]www.ico.org.uk

[4][email address]

 

Kind regards,

 

Mehwish Sultan

Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser

University College London

Legal Services

E: [5][email address]; Data Protection: [6][email address];
FOI: [7][UCL request email].

Office phone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal extension: 57862); Mobile: +44
(0)7525285822

 

Working hours: Please note that my current working hours are Monday to
Friday 8am – 4pm.

 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[email address]
7. mailto:[UCL request email]

Dear Finance.FOI Requests,

Thank you for your response to my FOI request.

Please could you clarify for me the distinction between the total given for money received in research fees ( £1,420,474) and the total given for money received for research awards (£1,501,064).

Additionally, in relation to university fees covered by these companies in the form of student fees: As has been provided for this FOI response in part 7 (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...) could you detail the amounts received in student fees from each company separately.

Please also clarify what other payments fall under the category 'university fees' covers outside of research studentships, which you have stated only covers a fragment of the total £659,400 given.

Yours sincerely,

N Gordon-P

Cleaver, Jennifer, University College London

Dear Mr Gordon-P,

 

Apologies for the delay in responding to your request for information.

 

We have completed the compilation of information in response to your
request.

 

We can confirm that we do hold some information of the description
specified in your request and this information, where it is held and is
not exempt, is provided below.

 

Your request

 

Please could you clarify for me the distinction between the total given
for money received in research fees (£1,420,474) and the total given for
money received for research awards (£1,501,064). What is the difference
between the two and what, exactly, did these sums of money go towards?

 

Our response

 

To clarify, ‘research fees’ is not a term that is used in UCL’s
administration of research awards. We have interpreted ‘research fees’ to
mean PhD student fees, which can be included as part of a research award.
In our initial response, we provided:

 

 1. The total awarded from the funders listed; and
 2. The amount of that total which went towards student fees.

As such, the £1,420,474 refers to funding from the companies listed and is
classed as industrial funding. On the other hand, the £1,501,064 includes
other award(s) from UK Government source(s).

 

We are unable to supply the requested information relating to what exactly
the above sums went towards. This is because, from our preliminary
assessment, we estimate that compliance with your request would exceed the
appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act
2000 (“FOIA”), which is currently set at £450 (equivalent to 18 hours
work) by virtue of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

Section 12(1) states that:

 

“Section 12(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request
for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with
the request would exceed the appropriate limit.”

 

The section 12(1) exemption applies because we estimate that, to determine
whether we hold the requested information and then to locate, retrieve and
extract it, would take longer than 18 hours to complete. This is largely
because it would require the locating and summarising of thousands of
finance transactions. Even if it took just 2 minutes to locate and
summarise one transaction, doing so for every relevant transaction would
take us well over the appropriate limit, at which point the University is
no longer obliged to process the request. In accordance with section 12(1)
of the FOIA, this email acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

We are sorry we cannot provide the requested information to you. The
University may be able to provide some information if your request were
refined in some way. For example, rather than providing exactly what each
sum went towards, we could provide the budgets allocated within the
research awards using broad categories such as consumables, travel and
subsistence, equipment, staff costs, overheads and, where applicable,
studentships and student fees. We would also be able to provide a response
to the third part of your request, relating to what other payments fall
under the category 'university fees’. Please let us know if you would like
for this information to be collected. If we can assist you any further in
refining your request please do not hesitate to let us know.

 

Your request

 

Additionally, in relation to university fees covered by these companies in
the form of student fees, please could you detail the amounts received in
student fees from each company separately (as has been done for this FOI
request:
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

 

Our response

 

We can confirm that we do not hold this information. The ‘research funding
received’ that we have quoted is based on the amounts awarded by a funder
for an entire project, and is not based on budgeted annual breakdowns (not
possible unless pro-rated) or actual annual income. 

 

Your request

 

Please also clarify what other payments fall under the category
'university fees' covers outside of research studentships, which you have
stated only covers a fragment of the total £659,400 given.

 

Our response

 

Please see our response above where we discuss the section 12(1)
exemption.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example by publishing or issuing copies to the public, will require the
permission of the copyright owner.

 

If you are unhappy with our response to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, please email
[2][email address]. Emails should include the words ‘Internal
Review’ in the subject and be marked For the Attention of the
Vice-President (Operations), alternatively you should write to:

 

Vice-President (Operations)

University College London

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

 

Please note, complaints and requests for internal review received more
than two months after the initial decision will not be handled.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner at the address given below.
You should do this within two months of our final decision.

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me using the details
provided in this letter and including the request reference number.

 

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act is available from
the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

SK9 5AF

 

01625 545700

[3]www.ico.org.uk

[4][email address]

 

Kind regards,

 

Jen Cleaver

Paralegal (Secondee)

Data Protection Office

University College London

 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
4. mailto:[email address]