New definition document for university publication schemes

The Information Commissioner has published a revised Definition Document which provides guidance on the information which HEIs should routinely make available via their publications schemes, in accordance with the FOIA. 

Points of interest regarding information to be disclosed are as follows:

·         HEIs should maximise use and re-use of any information made available under a publication scheme and should adopt an open licence for re-use, such as that provided for under the Open Government Licence. The ICO acknowledges that the open licence will only apply to certain categories of information e.g. publicly-funded research.

·         Salaries for senior staff should be disclosed in bands of £10,000, rather than £5,000 as hitherto encouraged by the ICO.  Senior staff are those earning above £100,000 and those on the Senior Management Team. For more junior staff, levels of pay should be identified by salary range.

·         Details of allowances and expenses that can be claimed by staff – this category should include the total of the allowances and expenses paid to individual senior staff members by reference to categories which as a minimum must include travel, subsistence and entertainment.

·         The “pay multiple” – the ratio between the highest paid salary and the median average salary of the whole HEIs workforce should be revealed.

·         High level information regarding research funding from both public sector and commercial sources.

·         The threshold for details of contracts to be disclosed is £25,000.

·         Only meetings of “key” decisions made by the HEI need be published.

·         Compliance with the HEI's single equality duty.

The document will come into effect in July 2013.

Geraldine Swanton
Senior Associate Solicitor
Education Team
For and on behalf of SGH Martineau LLP
DD: 0800 763 1455
F: 0800 763 1001
International DD: +44 870 763 1385


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