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TPR meetings with Oxford and Cambridge Universities and their pension funds

FOI reference - FOI-3116
Date - 19 July 2019

Request

You have requested the following information:

"Through the FOIA, I would like to request all details you hold on meetings and correspondence between your staff and representatives of Oxford and Cambridge Universities and their pension funds for the last 3 years.

"This includes meetings with representatives of each University whether it involved representatives of each university together or separately, and/or as part of a larger meeting.
This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Records of dates and times of meetings, and those present at such meetings.  Such data to be provided, inter-alia, from sign-in or visitor registration logs, as well as other records and staff diaries; and any correspondence pertaining thereto.
  2. Records of the agenda or items for discussion; particularly, but not limited too, the different pension funds and schemes discussed in those discussions
  3. Minutes and notes of such meetings, and related correspondence"

On the 28 June 2018 we emailed you requesting clarification of your request. On the 21 June 2019 you responded by clarifying that your request:

"In response to this, I am requesting information

  1. Generally relating within the terms of the original request to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)
  2. Relating to any encounters with, or on behalf of a body called OXCAM, a joint body of the bursars of Oxford and Cambridge universities, whose minutes in the public domain suggest that such encounters have taken place
  3. Likewise to individual bursars and representatives of Oxford and Cambridge University;
  4. Likewise Mr Jonathan Seed, and his company XPS pensions in relation to the terms of the original request.

"If timescale is an issue, I would ask that information is provided for the last 5 years. If that is too long I would ask for the period 2016-2018 inclusive.”

To ensure there is no confusion we would like to make clear that we have interpreted the original request as well as the subsequent clarification as asking for:

All details TPR holds on meetings and correspondence between:

  • USS and TPR
  • Oxcam and TPR
  • Individual bursars and representatives of Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and TPR
  • Jonathan Seed and TPR
  • XPS Pensions and TPR

The information should be for the period of 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018 and include:

  • Minutes of meetings
  • Notes from meetings
  • Agendas and/or items for discussions at meetings
  • Dates and times of meetings
  • Any correspondence related to the meetings

Response

Under section 12 of the FoIA public authorities are not obliged to comply with a request for information where the cost of complying would exceed the appropriate limit in the Fees Regulations, which, for us, is set at £450. Staff costs are fixed at £25 per person per hour. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether we hold the information, locating, retrieving and extracting it.

I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, but in line with section 12 of the FoIA we are not able to provide the information to you because this would take us in excess of the applicable time limit to determine whether the appropriate material is held and to locate, retrieve and extract that information.

Advice & Assistance

You may wish to refine your request by being more specific about what piece(s) of information within the documents mentioned in your request above you are looking for. This may enable us to respond to your request within the cost limit – though we would recommend you consider other exemptions which certain information may engage (such as section 44 which relates to restricted information as defined in section 82 of the Pensions Act 2004).