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Grace and favour homes

Disclosure date: 26 March 2012

Reference: FOI2012/020 Disclosure - SOAS

Request

1. Are any of the university’s senior staff (including the Vice-Chancellor, principal, or equivalent) provided with a ‘grace-and-favour’ home, i.e. a place of residence which is made available or paid for by the university for the senior staff member’s use free of charge or at a discounted rate?

2. Please list the names and positions of all senior staff provided with such a residence, and if the member of staff contributes towards the cost, the amount of that contribution.

3. Please give the address, or as precise a location as possible, for each residence.

4. For each such residence, please give any valuations the university has on record for the property. This could include the purchase price, the book value, or an open market valuation. 

5. Please tell me the amount of money which has been spent by the university on the upkeep of each such property in each of the years 2008-9, 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 (year to date).

6. Please tell me the amount of money which has been spent by the university on the refurbishment of each such property in each of the years 2008-9, 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 (year to date).

7. For each property, please provide any descriptive information the university may have on record, such as the number of bedrooms, the total floor area, the age of the property or photographs.

Response

1. Yes.

2. The Director, Professor Paul Webley, is provided with a residence. He pays council tax and energy bills, but otherwise does not contribute to the cost of the accommodation.

3. London WC1.

The School considers the specific address to be personal information, and therefore is refusing to provide this under section 40(2) of the Act. Disclosure would breach the first Data Protection Principle as the Director would not reasonably expect such information to be made public given that it relates to his personal life. It would therefore be unfair to disclose this information. Section 40 is an absolute exemption, so there is no need to conduct a public interest test in respect of this decision.

4. The School does not hold this information as it rents the property.

5. The School does not hold this information as it rents the property.

6. No money has been spent by the School on refurbishment of the property.

7. The property is a 2-3 bedroom (one room is a very small box room) flat dating to the mid-nineteenth century.