Appeal to the Open University Secretary

On 18th March 2009 Doug Paulley sent the following appeal to the Open University Secretary.

Dear Sir / Madam,

With regard to the attached Freedom of Information Request and the below quoted response.

Whilst I appreciate that the University has genuine concerns about the potential for animal rights extremists, I am not one, and I do wonder if perhaps the University could be more forthcoming than it has so far been. I cannot see how information such as the number of animals used / where the animals come from can be commercially sensitive or could pose a "threat".

The reason I have applied under the Freedom of Information Act is because the University has failed to respond to OUSA's policy which requests to be provided with a report on animal usage each year. In addition, whilst OUSA had representatives on the Animal Ethics Committee, that representation stopped following the change to the Animal Ethics Advisory Group.

The response below indicates that appeals on the withholding of information under Freedom of Information Act exemptions must go to yourself. I wonder if, in the light of the above, you could reconsider whether every exemption is necessary.

Also, specifically, I asked:
":- information as to whether students participate in the A.E.A.G.; if so how they are selected and what experience they have of the area; if not, why not"

and got the response:

"17. Students do not participate in the AEAG. The membership of University committees and groups is determined by the University’s governance structure and student representation on this group is not a requirement."

I still think it could be of benefit to the University to have student representation on this group, as it is an issue that many students are passionate about. It's previously been done with the Animal Ethics Committee. I don't think the above answer is a proper response to my question. I'd be very grateful if you could request a more in-depth response.

Thank you