Cardiff University – Policy For Publication Of Minutes And Papers Of Committee Meetings
Author(s) (name, job title and Department):
Katy Dale (Governance Officer)
Alex Payne (Governance Advisor)
Version Number: Version 1
Document Status: Approved
Date Approved:12 March 2020
Approved By: Governance Committee
Effective Date:12 March 2020
Date of Next Review: March 2021
Superseded Version: TBC
Version Date Author/ Consulted Notes on Revisions
1. 12 March 2020
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1.1. To confirm how minutes and papers will be published in relation to Council, Senate and the sub-committee meetings of these Committees and the process for doing so.
2. Context and Scope
2.1. The University aims to operate with full transparency around its decision-making. To that end, this policy describes the mechanisms for making decisions and papers available to staff.
2.2. In addition, the University also recognises the need for confidentiality in relation to the University’s commercial and strategic planning, and the need for privacy in relation to staff and students. This policy, therefore, ensures that the privacy needs of these individuals are protected.
2.3.This policy has been created in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection legislation.
2.4. The policy applies to papers and minutes of Council, Senate, their committees and sub-committees, and the secretariat of these committees.
2.5. It is suggested this policy is reviewed every 2 years.
3. Relationship with existing policies
3.1. This policy has been created in line with the provisions of the University Ordinances and existing rules around publication of minutes. Ordinance 12.5 states “The Minutes, with the exception of any confidential Minutes or File Copies, shall be made available under the University’s Publication Scheme, after they have been confirmed”.
3.2. This policy does not supersede any requirements of the University’s Information Security Policy, Publication Scheme, or Information Classification and Handling Policy. All related policies shall be consistent with this policy.
3.3. This policy should be viewed alongside the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection legislation, and any associated guidance.
3.4. This policy has been created in line with the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure, 2011 and the associated Welsh Language Standards, which requires all information provided on the website be in Welsh and English.
4. Policy Statement
4.1. The policy statement is contained within the following pages.
5.1. The application of this policy has been agreed by the University Secretary and Governance Committee, on behalf of Council.
5.2. The Governance Team are responsible for implementation of the policy and the management of the information detailed within this policy.
5.3. Any requests for information covered under this should be directed to the Governance Services Team.
5.4. There may be instances where requests for information covered under this policy are required to be submitted as a Freedom of Information request and will therefore be subject to the application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and associated University policies. Point 1.19 provides further information regarding the handling of these requests.
6.1. The University is required to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This policy provides clarity on how this applies to Committees information. In disclosing personal data, the University must also comply with Data Protection legislation. Advice on Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation can be obtained from the Assurance Services team
7. Key definitions
7.1 Full minutes: the unredacted minutes
7.2 Governance Services Team: this refers to the full Governance Services Team and includes the Committee Support function. The contact for the Governance Services Team in relation to this policy is Committees@cardiff.ac.uk.
7.3 Minute Taker: the individual taking and writing up the minutes.
7.4 Paper author: the individual who has written the paper. In instances of multiple authors, this will be the individual who issues the paper to the Governance Services Team.
7.5 The Committees to which this policy applies are:
- Academic Promotions Committee (Standing Panel and Sub-Committees of University Committees, section A, 1.1)
- Academic Standards and Quality Committee (ordinance 10A, section 1.1)
- Audit and Risk Committee (Ordinance 10B, section 1.1)
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (Standing Panel and Sub-Committees of University Committees, section A, 1.1)
- Estates and Infrastructure Sub-Committee (Ordinance 10E, section 2.16)
- Finance and Resources Committee (Ordinance 10E, section 1.1)
- Governance Committee (Ordinance 10C, section 1.1)
- Health, Safety and Environment Committee (Standing Panel and Sub-Committees of University Committees, section 1.1)
- Honorary Fellowships and Degrees Committee (Standing Panel and Sub-Committees of University Committees)
- Investment and Banking Sub-Committee (Ordinance 10E, Annex A, section 1)
- Open Research Integrity and Ethics Committee (Standing Panel and Sub-Committees of University Committees, section 1.1)
- Professorial and Senior Salaries Committee (Ordinance 10D, section 1.a)
- Programme and Partner Standing Panel (Standing Panel and Sub-Committees of University Committees)
- Redundancy Committee (Statute XV, section 11(1))
- Remuneration Committee (Ordinance 10D, section 1)
The records for all other committees are maintained by their Secretary.
Policy For Publication Of Minutes And Papers Of Committee Meetings
1. Publication of Minutes
1.1. The minutes of Council, Senate and the Committees and Sub-Committees of these Committees will be published on the University website. These are:
- Academic Standards and Quality Committee
- Audit and Risk Committee
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
- Finance & Resources Committee
- Governance Committee
- Health, Safety and Environment Committee
- Open Research Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee
1.2. The minutes of the meetings of Court will also be published on the University website.
1.3. Minutes for the following Committees will not be uploaded due to the sensitive and personal nature of the items discussed:
- Academic Promotions
- Biological Standards Committee
- Genetic Modification and Biological Agents Safety Sub-Committee
- Honorary Fellowships and Degrees Committee
- Pension Fund
- Professorial and Senior Salaries Committee
- Redundancy Committee
- Remuneration Committee
1.4. Minutes for the following Committees will not be uploaded due to the commercial confidentiality of the items discussed:
- Estates and Infrastructure Sub-Committee
- Investment and Banking Sub-Committee
1.5. These will be published for the current academic year, along with the three preceding academic years. Minutes will be removed from the website once they fall outside of this timeframe.
1.6. Minutes will be published in both English and Welsh.
1.7. Subject to time required for translation, minutes will be uploaded within 10 days of being approved at the subsequent meeting.
Process for publication
1.8. Minutes of committee meetings should be written as a full record of the meeting and not written with a mind for them to be publishable. Following the meeting and where applicable, the minute taker will produce two sets of minutes; one a full set of the meeting, and one containing redactions where these are deemed necessary.
1.9. Sections of minutes referring to discussions on papers classified as Highly Confidential (C1) should be automatically redacted. The decision and title should remain in the publishable copy of the minutes, however.
1.10. Sections of minutes referring to papers classified as Confidential (C2) should be considered and redactions applied where considered necessary in line with point 1.11 and 1.13.
1.11. If the minute-taker has queries relating to application of redactions, these should be directed, in the first instance, to the Secretary of the Committee. If further consideration is required, these should be directed to the Chair.
1.12. If a minute requires redaction, this section should be removed from the minutes and [REDCATED] or [PART-REDACTED] entered in its place.
1.13. These minutes will be issued to the Chair and/or Secretary of the Committee for approval. The Chair and/or Secretary will be asked to sign off the full set of minutes for accuracy, and a redacted version for publication to the website (where relevant). Final approval of these minutes will be carried out by the Committee at its next meeting, following which they can be published.
1.14. Items that may require redaction may include:
- Names or information that might identify individuals where disclosure would cause a breach of Data Protection legislation
- Exploratory discussions on business case, project, or investment proposals.
- Commercially confidential items, items under Listing Rules and discussions relating to the expenditure of bond funds
Redacted items for discussions on Confidential (C2) or Non-Classified items may include (but are not limited to):
Information Classification Information to be redacted: Examples
Highly Confidential (C1)
- Highly sensitive personal data (e.g. medical records, serious disciplinary matters)
- Non-public data relating to business activity that has the potential to seriously affect commercial interests or corporate reputation
- Information facilitating protection of personal safety or key functions
- Security sensitive research
- Discussions on tribunals, grievances, complaints and redundancies where detail is provided
- Discussions on ongoing incidents, investigations, inspections and possible frauds where detail is provided
- References to breaches of ordinance
- References to discussions with Trade Unions where agreement has not been reached
- References to performance of individuals or companies employed by the University
- References to severance schemes or reduction of staff
- References to an individual’s salary or bonus payment
- References to donations made to the University that are not yet public knowledge or are anonymous
- References to salary increments
- References to an individual’s medical condition or history
- References to research that may be security sensitive
- References to Transforming Cardiff before proposals have been shared publicly
- Commercially sensitive information
- Discussions on expenditure of the bond fund
- Discussions on potential estates projects that are not yet formalised in a business case
- Personal data
- Data that can be used to identify an individual
- Non-public data relating to business activity that has the potential to affect financial interests or the University’s strategy
- Information protecting university assets
- Discussions on potential strategic partnerships that are not yet confirmed
- Discussions on changes or amendments to the current Estates Masterplan that are not yet public knowledge
- References to current budgets and financial forecasts provided before publication of the University’s annual accounts (including capital expenditure, operating expenditure, cash flow and revenue)
- Details of the university’s reserves
- References to HR data before it is made publicly available
- Information not falling into the above categories
- Information considered non-classified does not need to be redacted.
Conflicts of Interest
1.15. There may be occasions when minutes shared with Committee members need to be redacted for individual members due to there being conflicts of interest.
1.16. If a Committee member has a conflict of interest and is unable to see a section of minutes due to this conflict, the relevant section of the minutes should be removed from the minutes and [REDCATED] or [PART-REDACTED] entered in its place.
1.17. These redacted minutes should be shared with the Secretary and/or Chair to confirm the conflict of interest(s) has been properly managed. The Secretary will ensure that the individual(s) concerned only receives the version of the redacted minutes which specifically account for such conflicts of interest.
1.18. For Audit and Risk Committee minutes, redaction of minutes should be considered before these are shared with internal and external auditors. It may therefore be necessary to prepare additional and bespoke versions of the minutes specifically for the internal auditors and the external auditors. For example, redactions will be applied in relation to discussions on appointment of external auditors and remuneration for internal auditors.
Storage and Access
1.19. The Governance Services Team will store both versions of the minutes. The redacted minutes of the meeting will be stored with the letters “PC” added to the file title to indicate these are the publishable copy. The publishable copy of the minutes will be uploaded to the website.
1.20. Requests for access to full copies of minutes and minutes not published on the website should be issued to the Governance Services Team via the Committees email address for review (firstname.lastname@example.org). These will be reviewed with the Assurance Services Team to determine whether the request should be considered under Freedom of Information legislation or whether the information can be issued following authorisation by the Chair/Secretary of the Committee.
2.Publication of Meeting Papers
2.1. Papers of committee meetings will not be published on the internet or intranet. They will be stored by the Governance Services Team.
2.2. Papers of Committee meetings will be made available on request where possible. Requests to receive copies of committee meeting papers should be issued to the Governance Services Team for processing. The decision to issue a paper following a request will be subject to points 2.4-2.12 and in line with Freedom of Information legislation.
2.3. Paper authors will be asked to confirm the classification of the paper upon issue to Governance Services Team. Paper classifications are as detailed in the Information Classification and Handling Policy:
- Highly Confidential (C1)
- Confidential (C2)
2.4. Confirmation of the paper’s classification and requirements for onward sharing will be included on the cover sheet for the paper.
2.5. Papers for Committee meetings will saved by Governance Services Team. They will be saved with the paper number as the document title.
2.6. If a member of the Committee Support team feels a paper has been incorrectly classified, this will be raised to the Chair and/or Secretary at the Chair’s briefing meeting or via correspondence.
2.7. Papers that are classified as Highly Confidential (C1) will have “HC” added after the paper number.
2.8. Papers marked as Highly Confidential (C1) will not be released unless compelled to (e.g. due to a Freedom of Information Act 2000 requirement).
2.9. Papers that are classified as Confidential (C2) will have “C” added after the paper number.
2.10. For papers marked Confidential (C2), paper authors will be asked to confirm whether a paper can be shared if requested, or if there is a time period after which a paper can be shared. They will be asked to confirm this upon issue of the paper to Governance Services Team.
2.11. Papers classified as Non-Classified can be released.
2.12. Requests to access a paper marked as Confidential (C2), will be issued to the paper author for confirmation.
2.13. If a paper author indicates a paper cannot be shared outside of the committee, an “X” will be added to the file title to indicate it cannot be shared.