Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

London Met Stands Firm on Minutes Embargo

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

London Met Stands Firm on Minutes Embargo

Article excerpt

London Metropolitan University has continued with its policy of withholding governing council minutes from the public for a year after meetings are held despite a warning from the Information Commissioner's Office that this is likely to be in breach of its guidelines.

After an 11-month battle by Times Higher Education to obtain council minutes under the Freedom of Information Act, the commissioner wrote in December that London Met's policy of withholding the minutes for 12 months after each meeting was "unlikely" to be in line with the ICO's guidance.

Minutes should be published "reasonably soon after the meeting has been held", the commissioner's letter noted.

"The commissioner considers it unlikely that publishing minutes 12 months after the date of a meeting could be deemed reasonably soon," it added.

It urged the university to consider whether the delay could be reduced "to reflect the spirit of the legislation and the commissioner's guidance".

After this decision, THE made another FoI request for the university's unreleased minutes.

But the university has again refused this request, citing an exemption to the act if an institution has a "settled intention" to publish them at a date in the future. …

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