Statutory Bodies and Committees

Confidentiality and reserved business

Council guidance agreed in 2008 states:
‘Reserved area business (the pink section of the agenda) is confidential and may not be divulged to anyone else. Reserved area business is currently defined in the Statutes of the University as concerning decisions upon:

  1. the appointment, promotion and other matters affecting the personal affairs of individual members of the Staff of the University;
  2. on the admission, academic assessment and other matters affecting the personal affairs of individual students of the University; and
  3. on proposals for honorary degrees.

All reserved area business is also restricted under the Freedom of Information Act and is not routinely published by the University.
‘The remainder of business is separated into open/public information and information which is restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. The latter items of business are identified at the top of the agenda and are not routinely published by the University. Members are free to discuss public/open items with non-members but must be mindful of the sensitive nature of the business restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. If a member considers it necessary to discuss restricted items with non-members, it must be in a general way and in confidence. If not self-evident, the originators of restricted items will make clear any information which is particularly sensitive or must be regarded as confidential.
‘The minutes of open/public business are published on the website of the University after they have been confirmed by the Chair.’

Restricted Items:

The University has identified seven categories of information which it will not routinely publish under the Freedom of Information Act:

  • Information about living individuals (including, but not limited to, members of staff, students or research subjects) the processing of which is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998;
  • Information that might jeopardise the health and safety of staff, students or the public;
  • Information that might prejudice the University's commercial interests;
  • Information that would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the prosecution of offenders;
  • Information concerning legal Proceedings or investigations being carried out by the University that might lead to criminal or civil proceedings;
  • Information held under legal obligation of confidentiality;
  • Information that is published elsewhere or that is intended for publication at a later date (e.g. draft versions of documents, information subject to amendment or approval by the appropriate University body).


Guidance on the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Designation of Committee Business - open (NON-FOI restricted) and FOI restricted