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FOI requests

Disclosure date: 2 November 2011

Reference: FOI2011/092

Request

1) How many people within your institution are primarily responsible for dealing with information compliance issues, specifically Freedom of Information requests? Please provide Job Titles and whether the staff are Part time or Full time. (Primarily responsible -  the Freedom of Information Officer, Governance or Compliance Managers/Officers, Records Managers, etc. Not those who hold information or gather information to respond to requests).

2) What is the annual salary of these staff (Please provide salary grades/scales. I do not want individual salaries, preventing the Section 40 exemption being applied).

3) How many Freedom of Information Requests have you received per academic year (September 1st to August 31st) for the following years – 2011, 2010.

4) How many Internal reviews have been carried out in the same period - (September 1st to August 31st) for the following years – 2011, 2010. How much time has been spent on each request (in hours)? How many staff have been involved, including numbers of staff who sit on internal review committees? Please provide job titles and salary grades/scales.

5) How many FOI requests have been referred to the Information Commissioners Office following an internal review for the same period - (September 1st to August 31st) for the following years – 2011, 2010. How many staff have been involved, including numbers of staff who sit on internal review committees? Please provide job titles and salary grades/scales.

6) How much has been spent on external legal fees (Solicitors, advocates, consultants, etc.) to deal with freedom of information requests, including internal reviews and cases referred to the Information Commissioners Office or Tribunals?

7) How many Freedom of Information requests have been referred to your Publication Scheme? i.e. directing the requestor to the Publication Scheme in order to respond to a request.

8) How many ‘hits’  or views has the Publication Scheme on your institution’s website received per academic year - (September 1st to August 31st) for the following years – 2011, 2010.

Response

1) One – the Information Compliance Manager, with some support from the Clerical Assistant in the Directorate Office. The Information Compliance Manager is full-time. However, he has several responsibilities, which include answering Freedom of Information requests.

2) The Information Compliance Manager post is at Grade 8, which covers the range £36,862 - £48,096. This post also attracts an additional London Allowance of £2,134.

3) 2010 - 2011: 97
    2011 - 2012: 26 (to date)

4) 2010 – 2011: 1
    2011 – 2012: 0 (to date)

The School does not keep reliable records of the number of hours spent on each request, so this information is not held. One member of staff reviewed the case in 2010 – 2011. This was the Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise). The Pro-Director is paid a spot salary within the range £80 - £85,000.

5) None.

6) Nothing.

7) The School only records this information where requests were handled formally as Freedom of Information requests. This is usually indicated by the use of the exemption at section 21 of the Act for “information accessible to the applicant by other means”. This exemption was cited in four cases in 2010 – 2011 and has not been used yet this year. These responses did not necessarily refer directly to the Publication Scheme, but to information published on the School’s website which could be found via the Scheme.

8) There were 1,401 pageviews of pages within the Publication Scheme section of the SOAS website during 2010 – 2011. Up to 30 November 2011, there had been 158 pageviews of these pages since 1 September 2011.