Friday, 28 April 2017

BPCollege Freedom of Information response 14 Mar 2017 to request made 20 Dec 2016

(This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until recently Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about some aspects of the running of the otherwise excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).

Below is the response I eventually received from the College to a request I made on 20 December 2016 - I was informed that the delay in their reply was due to my request (and several follow up ones requesting an acknowledgement of receipt) having gone into their spam folder. The attachment to 1. is shown as the second schedule (not the first, although that was also - incorrectly-  headed as Autumn schedule) in this previous post

Note that paragraph 3 says that schools are told of events (i.e. concerts) for which permission letters, rather than about those extra rehearsals which take place on weekdays.  

Note also the unusual request by the College not to publish the Freedom of Information response. (I did reply to Mr Roberts giving my reasons and challenging the claim that publication might infringe copyright, quoting the Information Commissioner's Office's own documentation which makes clear that providing copyright is acknowledged, and no commercial use of made without permission, copyright is no bar to publication of FoIA responses).  

The attachment referred to in 5. below is here (note that this appears to be the original advert issued for the post of WYO/CWYM Director from 2008 and the job description does not seem to have been changed since then).  I did consider redacting the salary information, but a) this was a public advert from 2008, b) it is 9 years old, and c) there is no bar under FoIA to publishing it, and d) my comment is that (as I have mentioned previously to the College in comments about sustainability/best practice is to avoid the need for large sudden increases in course fees by making small regular increments to keep pace with inflation/market rates), like other rates paid to CWYM staff, it seems low compared to the quality of the work done. (I reiterate what I have said many times before, i have no criticisms of the quality of the output from the Centre, my concerns are to do with its current management style and the degree of cooperation/communication with schools and other musical ensembles in the area).  

Start of Freedom of Information request response

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Secret WYO rehearsal schedules which both the WYO Director and the College repeatedly tried to stop publication of

(This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until recently Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about some aspects of the running of the otherwise excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM. Please see https://musicmattersandculture.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/welcome-disclosure-of-interests-terms.html for important background and disclosure of interests).

Almost six months after I first asked for the autumn schedule, and delays in obtaining it under Freedom of Information, followed by repeated attempts by the Bournemouth and Poole College (the College) to avoid the information being published (by false claims that it would infringe copyright to do so) I am now able to publish the Wessex Youth Orchestra (WYO)'s rehearsal schedule for Autumn 2016, and also for Spring 2017.

I pointed out several times to the College that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has made clear that copyright is no bar to publication of responses received under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and that copyright is not infringed by publishing the information providing the copyright is acknowledged. (See paragraph 18 of https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1150/intellectual_property_rights_and_disclosures_under_the_foia.pdf).   The College did not reply for several weeks and when I asked a third time for clarification came back with "we acknowledge the regulations" which evaded the question.

When an organisation repeatedly claims that a list (of rehearsal dates and times, and instructions to children/parents about confidentiality and how many rehearsals must be attended) is COPYRIGHT and publishing it would breach that copyright, then one is entering PrivateEye territory. Such a claim stretches credulity and smacks of a desperate attempt to avoid publication of the said schedules.