Reply to the Information Commissioner

On 10th March 2010 Doug Paulley sent the following reply to the Information Commissioner.

Dear Gemma Garvey,

Thank you very much for your email and for investigating this issue.

I am satisfied with the more detailed information that has been provided in relation to Point 8 (at least in terms of information provision, even if I don't agree with their procedure!)

However I still have an issue with the response to Point 10. They initially refused on the health and safety exemption, which I think in itself was not valid, then subsequently refused to provide the information as it is apparently not held in summary form.

I would be very surprised if the University genuinely does not know the type and number of each type of animal used and killed within, say, a year. This information can be easily provided through the ordering/invoicing system. Take the opening stock, add the acquisitions and deduct the closing stock. It's not rocket science for them to be able to work it out.

Within the last couple of weeks, in response to Paragraph 16 they have finally released two sets of minutes from the Animal Ethics Advisory Group, which I have attached. They have redacted significant amounts of information, which I think makes a mockery of the minutes.

Initially they refused to provide the information I requested, as it would take so long to redact exempt information from it. I think that's a questionable argument as that's not time taken in actually providing the data but in redacting it.

They then said they would provide copies of minutes though they would redact details of license applications.

However when they actually provided them (over a year after my original request) they redacted more than that:

"Material which is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act has been redacted. This is material which includes individual's names which is exempt under Section 40 - personal information, and the release of information about Licence Applications which could endanger the health or safety of individuals, which is exempt under Section 38."

I contend that both the exemptions they claim are false for the reasons I have given previously. Given that I have only just received their response to this aspect, and that the reason for redactions relates to the reasons for refusal under Paragraphs 2 and 4, I should be grateful if you could add this to your enquiry.

So, to summarise, the remaining issues I have relate to paragraphs 2, 4, 10 and 16 (and 8 is satisfied).

Thank you ever so

Doug Paulley