Disclosure date: 15 October 2013
1.) I would like to know on how many occasions since 1st January 2012 a member of staff has been suspected of or found to be breaching the university's financial regulations (please give me separate figures for each).
2.) For each instance, I would like to know which section of the financial regulations was breached or suspected of being breached and when.
3.) In addition, I would like to know the position of the member of staff and their name, as well as a detailed description of what exactly they did that led to them being suspected of or found to be breaching the regulations.
4.) In each instance, if a member of staff was found to have breached the regulations, I would like to know what action was taken by the university.
During the period in question a member of staff was observed to have submitted irregular expense claims, potentially breaching section 17 of the financial regulations. Further investigations were pursued under the School's disciplinary procedures.
SOAS considers further information to be exempt from disclosure under sections 40(2) and 40(3) of the Freedom of Information Act. Under section 40(2), information is exempt from disclosure if it is personal data belonging to someone other than the applicant and if one of the conditions at section 40(3) is satisfied. The relevant condition at section 40(3) is that disclosure would contravene any of the data protection principles. The relevant principle is the first data protection principle set out at Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998. This requires personal data to be processed fairly and lawfully. In order to be processed lawfully, processing (in this case the disclosure of information) must satisfy one of the conditions at schedule 2 or schedule 3 of the Act. In this case, the disclosure would allow the identification of an individual who it has been alleged has committed an offence. This is sensitive personal data as set out at section 2(g) of the Data Protection Act. This means that the disclosure would need to satisfy a condition in schedule 3 of the Data Protection Act. There is no relevant condition. It is not therefore necessary to consider whether disclosure would be fair, however this is unlikely as the individual concerned would not expect this information to be disclosed as disciplinary proceedings are confidential. Therefore, the information concerned is exempt from disclosure. Section 40 is an absolute exemption so there is no requirement to carry out a public interest test.