UEA- General ledger summary provided, invoices refused

Despite having to sign an agreement with the UK Information Commissioners to obey the Freedom of Information legislation, the University of East Anglia is doing whatever it can to resist and avoid compliance. Previously it refused to provide information on the terms of its contract with Muir Russell, saying that it was a “public appointment”. In response, Andrew Montford asked for invoices and general ledger expenditures as follows:

1. A detailed lists of amounts expended – i.e. at invoice level – for the two inquiries. For each amount processed through the ledgers, I would like the following fields
– invoicer/payee name
– date
– amount
– contents of narrative field
– authorised by

2. Please provide copies of invoices (or equivalent documentation) used to process the above payments.

The university refused to provide copies of the invoices on the basis that they had already spent 18 hours to summarize the general ledger expenditures:

We have calculated that it has taken almost 18 hours of work to provide the response to question 1 alone. This time was required to download information from the ledger, format into excel and to define the appropriate fields. The information had to be cross-checked to identify and extract all expenditure relevant to the request. The name of the person authorising payment had to be separately located and retrieved manually. A manual search of credit card records was conducted to identify relevant expenditures, and finally, a manual search was required to provide confirmation of taxi journeys against the monthly account statements – a further hour.

The additional work required to actually provide copies of the invoices would place the time required well over the appropriate limit.

In the past, I have, from time to time, transferred data from accounting software to Excel for data analysis. Even simple accounting packages provide for direct extraction from a general ledger into Excel on many choices of field. When a project like the Muir Russell is set up, an item in the Chart of Accounts is created and each invoice is tagged when it is accounted for. Then you just push a button and you get your extracted data. It would take about one minute.

Adopting an annoying tactic all too typical, instead of providing the actual digital in a searchable form or with subtotals, the University provided a pdf. In this case, it would take more time to appeal this tactic than to transcribe the data. I’ve started the process by transcribing the Professional Fees Excel here. (Update- Andrew Montford did this including the travel and I’ve included his transcription of travel and hospitality in an updated version. Montford is also familiar with GLs and, like me, is incredulous that even the UEA could pretend to have spent 18 hours on this meager offer.)

Professional fees totalled GBP297,443, with the largest invoices going to:

Luther Pendragon – GBP 57,279
Geoffrey Boulton – GBP 52,503
Muir Russell GBP 40,881
Jim Norton GBP 43,473
RSE Scotland GBP 37,537
Olswang LLP GBP 21,991
David Walker GBP 15,000
Norfolk Police GBP 10,469

Given a choice of getting copies of the invoices or having the University do a manual search of the authorizing officer, I’m sure that Montford would have chosen the invoices. Or given a choice between getting copies of invoices and cross-checking taxi rides. Even though the University is supposed to assist in making a request as feasible as possible, they did not give Montford the choice. Instead it seems to me that they intentionally tried to run the clock on trivia in order to avoid the delivery of copies of invoices.

Even from this information, the UEA’s claim that Muir Russell was a “public appointment” looks increasingly fantastic. If a public appointment had really taken place, then there would be invoices from the Muir Russell Review Group to the University of East Anglia, instead of, as seems to be the case here, invoices directly from Geoffrey Boulton, Luther Pendragon etc to the UEA.

Other questions arise. The UEA paid the Norfolk Police Authority over 10,000 GBP – what was that for?

Geoffrey Boulton was the largest invoicer, even larger than Muir Russell. No real surprise to see this documentation of Boulton’s influence. As CA readers know, Boulton worked at the University of East Anglia for 18 years and has been actively campaigning on climate. Boulton, as Montford recently observed, is closely involved with the UK government – see Montford on the Center for Science and Technology. The size of Norton’s invoices is a surprise.

The largest vendor was Luther Pendragon. Given that the entire project was a public relations exercise, I guess that it is no surprise that the largest expenditures were on public relations. But the amount of expenditure on public relations is really quite startling.

By contrast, the Oxburgh inquiry cost very little. The panelists did not charge for their time. The largest expenditures were business class travel to the UK for Graumlich and Emanuel. Nor were they charged much for local travel in the UK.

Despite the efforts by the UEA to avoid showing the invoices from Muir Russell and others, I think that they will come out. And will show that the UEA’s attempt to claim Muir Russell as a “public appointment” was just another subterfuge to avoid compliance with an earlier FOI request.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/68934/response/178811/attach/4/Appendix%20A%20Data%20file.zip

http://www.climateaudit.info/correspondence/foi/uea/muir%20russell/Muir%20Russell%20Review%20expenses%20FINAL%20(2).pdf

http://www.climateaudit.info/correspondence/foi/uea/muir%20russell/muir%20russell%20expenses.xls

87 Comments

  1. Jeremy
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    $57,000 pounds for a few months whitewashing work is good money. For those prices I’m guessing they were keeping the customer happy by consulting with them daily and doing a bunch of special yardwork and cleanup thrown in there too. Or, there could be some extra laundering on the side.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

      I wonder if they including maintenance of the moat.

    • JohnH
      Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

      1.6 $ to the £ so £57K=$91K

      Even more than you thought ;)

      • Jeremy
        Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

        Yeah, I fail. I knew it was GBP, but on habit threw $ out in front. I thought I had deleted it, but obviously it was earlier in the morning than I realized.

  2. Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    The takeaway message here is: because it takes too long, we’re not going to comply. Meaning, because they’re inefficient, and it’s difficult to hit the print button and run a copy machine, they don’t need to comply.

  3. golf charley
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Is there a competition between UEA UVa and Penn State to see how much money from students tuition fees can be wasted?

    How many pounds per word of completed report does this equate to?

    I am sure that undergraduates of UEA will be impressed with their future earnings potential as climatologists

  4. Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Gosh,

    Maybe somebody could FOIA the invoices for one of these individuals.

    and Nick stokes wonders why we divided the requests for confidentiality agreements into 50 different requests

  5. Ian L. McQueen
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Regarding:
    “Adopting an annoying tactic all too typical, instead of providing the actual digital in a searchable form or with subtotals, the University provided a pdf, and not a pdf that could be copied so that the information could be extracted, but a non-searchable pdf.”

    I once encountered a PDF that had been made non-copiable. I got around the problem, in a very roundabout way, by doing a screencapture of the PDF (mine was short) using ScreenHunter, then using a free OCR program to “read” the words into a manipulable form. I could then copy individual sentences, etc.

    IanM

    • tty
      Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

      It’s not that simple.
      This was done by professionals. They didn’t just set the PDF to “No copying”. That is fairly easy to get around.
      They printed the original documents out on paper, then re-scanned them as a bit-map PDF, setting the resolution so low (<144 dpi) that no ordinary OCR program can handle it.

      As far as I can see there is no way to get around this except transcribing by hand, which was undoubtedly the intention.

      • Jim
        Posted Jun 7, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

        Well, us Deniers are a robust group. This sounds like a good “crowd sourcing” task. In the future if you have a lot of manual transcribing to do, just send us all the file(s) and assign a section to transcribe to a Word or Excel document. We’ll get it done in a jiffy.

  6. matthu
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Well done, guys.

    I feel a FOI request for copies of 8 invoices plus 8 purchase orders is already being contemplated and should provide most of the remaining information sought and take less than 18 hours …?

  7. David Holland
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    You can add Peter Clarke’s fees of £11,280 paid to the University of Edinburgh via its subsidiary, Edinburgh Research and Innovations Ltd. This begs the question as to whether the Sir Muir Russell Review Group really existed. What this lot shows is that the Reviews were always controlled through the UEA VC’s office with the support of the government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Royal Societies.

  8. KnR
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    Given the rubbish produce its the scale of payments that are amazing , how much would the hourly rate be for these people?
    But its smoke and mirrors at play again , unless they really do have useless system in place they should be able to pull these figures down with little effort.

  9. Tom Gray
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Could this be presented as a question in Parliament?

  10. slowjoe
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    From a presentational POV, I’d sort the list by the sums paid. Currently Russell and Norton are out-of-order.

    I would imagine that the Norfolk police bill is related to the access to the original climategate server by Peter Somner of the LSE. For some reason, he was forced to work in a clean-room environment, rather than supplied with a clone of the disks. Of course, I could be wrong.

  11. slowjoe
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    How do you identify if the processes for a public appointment were followed correctly?

    Do we know if VAT were charged on top of the sums listed?

  12. Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    From the final report of the Russell Review:

    The Review found an ethos of minimal compliance (and at times non-compliance) by the CRU with both the letter and the spirit of the FoIA and EIR. We believe that this must change and that leadership is required from the University‘s most senior staff in driving through a positive transformation of attitudes.

  13. Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    The RSE Scotland (GBP 37,537 up on the deal) is the ‘Royal’ Society of Edinburgh, and its General Secretary is Professor Geoffrey Boulton. I wonder what he spent this additional UEA largesse on?

  14. matthu
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    From http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/government-citizens-and-rights/government-1/public-appointments/public-appointments-explained.htm

    A public appointment is an appointment to the board of a public body. These are bodies set up by government ministers, but are not part of a government department. They provide independent advice or deliver some aspect of public service.
    Public bodies operate independently of ministers, although ministers remain ultimately responsible for them.
    Some appointments are paid and expenses like travel are usually reimbursed.
    The way that the best candidate is chosen depends on the post. However, in general:
    • all appointments are made on merit, based on your talents and skills
    • an independent assessor will be involved throughout to make sure the process is fair, open and transparent
    • the criteria for the post (the skills and qualities necessary) will be made clear to you – either in the original advertisement or in an information pack (on request)
    • you will be asked to complete an application form to show how your skills and qualities suit the post you are applying for
    • your application will be assessed – this may involve a formal ‘sift’ and then an interview, or just an informal interview
    • the minister will make the final selection from those recommended by the interview panel
    • the successful candidate will be sent a letter of appointment and all other applicants informed

    So, the UEA would argue that the review group was appointed by a government minister and UEA were simply reimbursing expenses. Without a contract.

    You would imagine for the sums involved that there would be some purchase order which would document this understanding?

    What was Brian Summers using to justify authorising those larghe sums of money?

  15. matthu
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Also
    the successful candidate will be sent a letter of appointment and all other applicants informed

    So – was there a letter of appointment?

  16. matthu
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    Regarding my previous post:
    the successful candidate will be sent a letter of appointment and all other applicants informed

    So – was there a letter of appointment?

    I guess not. This only happens “in general”.
    This would not have been a general public appointment – most probably it was a post hoc appointment!

    If there was a purchase order I would guess there would need to be a contract. If there was no purchase order, then did UEA fail in its authorisation process?

  17. Redbone
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    I am not sure that I am understanding this correctly. First the UEA appears to conduct its affairs in such an unethical way that it is deemed appropriate to investigate the UEA to determine whether or not official sanctions are warranted. Then, the UK pays tens of thousands of pounds to friends of the UEA, who report that the UEA is indeed an ethical outfit. It would seem that this is a form of reward for being unethical? Is that how academia works? Are any ethics even remotely considered by academia these days? As a casual observer, I would say no.

    • TAC
      Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

      That is my reading, too.

  18. Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    When I submitted an FoI request to Queen’s University Belfast, for QUB’s tree-ring data, I was told that making a copy of the data would take over 100 hours. They tried to make this look good by claiming that they also considered photocopying the data, and that that would take an estimated 1800 hours.

    I formally complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Someone from the ICO then visited QUB, and copied a portion of the (electronic) data himself. Based on that partial copying, he reckoned that copying all the data would take well under 3 hours.

    Details are at

    http://www.informath.org/apprise/a3900.htm

    QUB still refused to make the data available. The ICO then issued its formal decision that the data had to be disclosed.

  19. Graeme
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    if you were going to do a project for £50k, would you not insist on some form of contract? Even if it was your best friend asking you to do the work? Some form of scoping document. Given that this is a public appointment, there must be an official statement in the form of a letter of appointment, which ought to state the remuneration.

  20. Graeme
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    the treasurer/CFO of UEA would be trteading on very thin ice if he/she approved payment of this sort of money without some formal documentation. I sent a letter to my MP about this but he just brushed it aside. Given the attitude of MPs towards claiming expenses, I can understand his reluctance to dig too deeply.

  21. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    The handing out of individual checks (as appears) would seem to rule out MR being a consulting entity or a public appointment, since they would have had to “appoint” Luther Pendragon which is not possible since they are a company and not a person. This looks like totally informal payments straight from UEA with no contract and no purchase order, which would violate their purchasing rules.

  22. Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Other questions arise. The UEA paid the Norfolk Police Authority over 10,000 GBP – what was that for?

    To investigate the leak? I seem to recall they were interviewing FOI submitters in the US to try to determine if any of them were hacking into the CEA server. Was this by phone or did they fly out?

    I would think they would investigate serious crime on their own dime (shilling?), but perhaps this was of such a low priority for them that they would ordinarily just take a report and warn UEA to lock the door next time. Unless UEA paid them to investigate further?

    • TerryS
      Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

      You dont pay the police in the UK to conduct an investigation. Its paid for from the public purse.

      Up to and including Feb this year Norfolk Police had spent a grand total of £80,905.11 on the investigation (see this post at Bishop Hill).

      Unless they have a good excuse for the payment I could imagine any decent defence lawyer (should there be a prosecution) portraying this payment as an incentive for the police to come to a specific conclusion.

      • biddyb
        Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

        Odd, isn’t it? I was looking for that Bishop Hill post as I was wondering what the police’s costs were for Feb 2011 – the same month as the payment from UEA/Muir Russell – it was £5k.

        There was also a payment of £5434.38 to Digital Forensics Services – doesn’t seem to be an actual company, just a generic label. What was that for?

        Olswang were the largest legal firm receiving a payment, but Brodies is another legal firm (Scottish) who received a chunk of cash.

        Marsh UK received £7300 in two payments. They seem to be insurance brokers and risk advisers. What was that for?

        All very odd.

      • Posted Jun 3, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

        Re: TerryS (Jun 1 15:50), FOIA the police. It can be done.

        Did they submit an invoice to be paid?

      • steveta_uk
        Posted Jun 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

        … but you might have to pay to prevent an investigation – normally off the books, tho.

      • Atomic Hairdryer
        Posted Jun 6, 2011 at 2:20 AM | Permalink

        Re TerryS

        You may not pay the police to conduct an investigation, but there are a range of charges for police services. Norfolk lists their charging policy here:

        http://www.norfolk.police.uk/aboutus/yourrighttoinformation/freedomofinformation/publicationscheme/idoc.ashx?docid=8585e9d8-4637-4e19-a8d2-c69638fa8346&version=-1

        Big ticket items might be things like event policing, so if for example the UEA wanted some uniforms around during a press conference to show how seriously they were taking the matter then Norfolk Police would rightly charge them. The ACPO has a wider range of chargeable consultancy services but invoices would normally be paid to ACPO Ltd and then become FOI exempt.

        The response does seem to highlight how seriously the UEA is following the letter and spirit of their undertaking to the ICO. Not. It also demonstrates how bad their internal policies and procedures are.

        Standard practice for pretty much all consultancy I’ve done is to have a project and cost code for each job. All invoices and expenses get submitted with those codes and paperwork scanned and linked to the ledger item. Simple to track expenditure and respond to queries like this one. Sadly, the UEA seems to have systemic failings regarding it’s data policy and still follows a policy of obstruction rather than transparency.

    • GrantB
      Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

      They merely emailed me. I sent a rather tongue-in-cheek response and have heard nothing further.

  23. Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    A feel a Mosher’s Maxim coming on here:

    McIntyre: “Despite the efforts by the UEA to avoid showing the invoices from Muir Russell and others, I think that they will come out. And will show that the UEA’s attempt to claim Muir Russell as a “public appointment” was just another subterfuge to avoid compliance with an earlier FOI request.

    Given that the entire project was a public relations exercise, ”

    “Mosher: Now, if Steve McIntyre were Nurse, we would ask steve.
    1. before you made this hearsay claim did you ask to see a copy of the FOIA request. that would be a bombshell! Did you ask this person to get you a copy?”

    McIntyre you have reasonable proof of these statements.

    • KnR
      Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

      I take you can work out the difference between an ‘public relations exercise’ and a ‘public appointment’, or did the fact that they both contained the word public confuse you?

      • Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

        Re: KnR (Jun 1 17:21), I think ford is asking us to do more FOIA. Right Ford?

        • Earle Williams
          Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

          steven mosher,

          Mike must be incapable of submitting a FOIA request on his own.

    • Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

      Re: thefordprefect (Jun 1 14:38), ford. Yet again you fail to get the point.

      Nurse said he was told X.
      steve is predicting what will happen.

      When you find Steve saying something like this your comment will apply

      SteveMc: ” Mosher told me his FOIA was denied”
      Ford: ” Did you ask him for the evidence of that?”

      • Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

        Mosher I take the mosher maxim to refer to “hearsay claim”s.

        Many here are making such claims – do you not agree? As far as I can tell McIntyre claims it’s a “public relations exercise” and the response is ” just another subterfuge to avoid compliance with an earlier FOI request”

        I am requesting that he show evidence of these claims

        • Paul Penrose
          Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

          But Ford, he has shown evidence that the Muir Russell Commission has net met the definition of a Public Appointment. They did however spend a large amount of taxpayer money on a Public Relations company. So I would say his conclusions are reasonable. Unless you can show otherwise.

        • Adam Gallon
          Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

          Ford, if it’s not a PR excercise, why are Luther Pendragon (Whom I googled, only being aware of King Arthur’s dad of that name)

          http://www.luther.co.uk/

          “Luther Pendragon is one of the UK’s leading independent communications consultancies”
          “We take an integrated, issues-led approach to communications. This means that we consider all of the important and influential audiences that can shape an organisation’s reputation and develop communications strategies based on issues which matter to our clients.”

        • Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (Jun 1 19:21), Ford. we are all witness to the inquiry. They published a report. We’ve all seen the transcripts of the tough questioning. and now they’ve opened their books with out even being asked to. It’s clear on its face that steve is being sarcastic.

  24. John R. Walker
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    If each of the contributors had been given a bought ledger account number and all assigned to a nominal code (cost centre) for the Inquiry then extracting this financial data from any kind of half-competent accounting program should have taken about 5 minutes without recourse to Excel. That’s the great thing about computerised accounting – it takes just as long to enter your data as a manual system but it takes next to no time to run reports on it afterwards.

    As for the supplier invoices – how many can there be?

    • Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

      Is it possible that Jones, Briffa, and coworkers, fresh from their scientific, integrity, statistics, and general climatological triumphs, turned their hands to the development of an accounting system? (They are, after all, the cream of the British intelligentsia, with much disposable free time on their hands, courtesy of a grateful nation). I would speculate that the resulting ‘quality controlled and value added’ book keeping system would be capable of causing death in any accountant called Harry at over a thousand paces. (And, no doubt, Enron would have valued its capabilities).

  25. Keith W.
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    Who knows, maybe UEA stills uses bound paper ledger books?

    • curious
      Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

      IIRR, I don’t think they have the space for manual records.

  26. EdeF
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Luther Pendragon – GBP 57,279

    Good work if you can find it.

    • DaveS
      Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

      You’d have thought that for that amount of money they might have actually given some decent PR advice.

  27. matthu
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

    There appear to be a variety of UEA forms at least one of which should have been filled out in each case e.g.

    UEA 1A
    UEA 1C
    UEA4/UEA5
    UEA 6
    UEA 11
    UEA 20

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/06/01/more-non-compliance-by-the-university-of-east-anglia/#comments

    4) Payments to Others
    a) for work done

    Payments to others for work done for the University, should normally be made through the payroll using form UEA4/UEA5, “Occasional Work/Self Employed Work”.

    This form, appropriately completed and authorised, should be sent to the Finance Division Payroll Office, who will process monthly payroll payments in accordance with the deadline timetable set out in the Payroll Calendar. If the forms are submitted beyond the deadline date for a current month, payments will not be made until the following month.

    Payments for work done must never be made through Petty Cash, nor, included on Expense Claim forms.

    If the work is a genuine one-off, i.e. it is the only payment to be made in the tax year (April to March), it is all to be completed within a one week period, and the payment does not exceed £25, the payment may be made through the Finance Division Cashiers Office. In these cases you must, before initiating the payment, obtain a signed declaration from the individual using form UEA 1A, “Cash Payment to Student or Casual Worker”.

    Where such a cash payment is required, as well as completing form UEA 1A it will be necessary to complete the relevant section of “Instruction to Pay Student or Casual Worker by Cash for Expenses or Work Done” form (Form UEA 11). The individual should take both forms to the Finance Division Cashiers Office, who will not make a payment unless both forms appropriately completed are received together. The individual will be required to produce acceptable proof of ID before payment can be made (acceptable proof consists of a new style licence, including photograph, or a passport). When dealing with a survey/focus group/ market research questionnaire involving many individuals, where the expectation is that monies will be handed over on completion of the session, Form UEA 1C needs to be completed and signed as a receipt – this is an Inland Revenue requirement.

    Monies to make these payments will have been collected by using Form UEA 20.

    For payments within this category countersignature of Form UEA 20 by a member of Finance Division staff with delegated authority from the Director of Finance is required. The completed Form UEA 1C must be returned to the Finance Division Cashiers Office within 21 days of payment being made.

    Apart from these exceptions no payments for work done will be paid in cash without the Director of Finance’s specific approval

    b) for expenses
    Disbursements made from personal resources are to be reclaimed using a Non-Staff
    Expenses Claim form (UEA 6).

    The only exception to the above is where there is a combined pay and expenses payment (e.g .for external examiners or visiting speakers).In these circumstances the UEA4/5 form should be used for both pay and expenses.

    For all properly completed and authorised forms received in the Finance Division by 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday of each week the reimbursement will normally be sent by cheque to individuals’ addresses by the Friday of the same week unless there are intervening public or UEA specific holidays, when it will take slightly longer.

    There may be a small number of other instances where cash payments to persons other than staff or students might be justified. These include payments to short-term visitors from overseas who do not have UK bank accounts. In these circumstances a “Cash Payment Request” form (UEA20) is to be used.

  28. matthu
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    And in case this is relevant:

    5) Cash Payment Request Form (UEA 20)
    This form is the only form (other than the specific ones introduced elsewhere in this procedure) accepted by the Finance Division Cashiers Office as appropriate authorisation for payment. Any other form of request submitted will be rejected. It should be noted that the “Cash Payment Request” form (UEA20) must be the one used to action cash payments not allowed from Petty Cash or where the Spending Unit (including those in the Registry) do not have a Petty Cash Float.

    The Finance Division Cashiers Office will not make payment unless there is sufficient detail shown to explain the transaction(s) and where appropriate the form is accompanied by receipts etc., supporting the transaction(s).

    The Finance Division Cashiers Office will not make payment unless the person collecting the monies suitably identifies themselves by Campus Card, Passport, or a full new style UK Driving Licence, and signs for receipt.

    Generally the recipient for the payment is named on the form and the Finance Division Cashiers Office will pay only to this person. Where the form specifies that a person other than the named recipient will pick up the cash, payment will be made to that person once they have provided suitable identification and signed for receipt.

    It should be noted that both the individual collecting the cash and the intended recipient must be someone other than the individual authorising the payment, or payment will be refused.

    Where someone other than the recipient collects the cash they must obtain a receipt from the final recipient for the monies and such receipt should be passed to the Finance Division Cashiers Office within 21 days for retention with the Cash Payment Request Form.

    Payments of £300 or greater require countersignature by a member of Finance Division staff with delegated authority from the Director of Finance.

  29. mpaul
    Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    This is some progress. We now know that the university made direct payments to the members of the panel. Regarding the claim of a public appointment — if there is no writing of any kind (no minutes of meetings, no letters of appointment, etc.) then there is no public appointment. These guys were contractors unless they can prove otherwise.

    But the obstructionist trick that they are employing is that the public appointment writing, should it exist, would not be held by UEA. And UEA is offering no help to ascertain where the appointment document might reside. So the question is: who is on the hook to provide the public appointment document? Perhaps the ICO could provide some advice.

  30. matthu
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    The link in my comment 281340 above Posted Jun 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM should actually be

    http://www.cce-review.org/evidence/31%20March%20Bell%20response%20on%20CRU%20finances.pdf

  31. Peter Whale
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 3:24 AM | Permalink

    I am just amazed at the stupidity of these so called academics. Do they not realize that their obfuscation and lies will show the world their lack of integrity. The one good point to come out of the whole climategate affair is that every utterance is now scrutinized and evaluated. Without total openness climate science has reached a point where whatever is left of its credibility can only descend into ridicule. UEA had Monty Python poke fun at it,climategate points to
    utter stupidity at its hierarchy and pity for its students.

  32. Alexander K
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    I am serially apalled by each new revelation about UEA that appears on Climateaudit. I worked for a university many moons ago and everything my department did was transparent to even casual enquirers. It was more than our collective jobs were worth to be otherwise.
    The implications of muddle, obfuscation and waste of taxpayer funds is not merely alarming, it is almos beyond description. And no doubt the elderly and smoke-blowing Ford Prefect will pop up to insist that the UEA is the very model of what a modern British institution should be. I can hear the D’Oley Carte company warming up in the wings with a brand new comic opera.

  33. Alexander K
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 7:22 AM | Permalink

    Sorry about the D’oyly typo!

  34. matthu
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    I actually think UEA are seriously trying to provoke us to launch a concerted joint action along the lines of the FOI requests for data licences (which we won’t do).

    The intention would be to provide e.g. parliament with reason to modify the FOIA in order to protect e.g. universities from “vexatious” requests (only they won’t phrase it like that).

    • oneuniverse
      Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

      As pointed out by commenter AJC, the guidance from the ICO for respondents to FOI requests should also be borne in mind :

      “To help you identify a vexatious request, we recommend that you
      consider the following questions, taking into account the context
      and history of the request

      – Can the request fairly be seen as obsessive?
      – Is the request harassing the authority or causing distress to
      staff?
      – Would complying with the request impose a significant burden in
      terms of expense and distraction?
      – Is the request designed to cause disruption or annoyance?
      – Does the request lack any serious purpose or value?

      To judge a request vexatious, you should usually be able to make
      relatively strong arguments under more than one of these headings.”

      • Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

        Re: oneuniverse (Jun 2 08:36), I imagine that if a USA Today journalist asked for information that it would be turned over.

        • oneuniverse
          Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

          If USA Today were asking for the same information as Montford, as part of a critical investigation..? I don’t know – the USA Today can make a much bigger noise if it’s refused, so UEA might comply.. What seems to be certain, as Steve Mc notes, is that UEA did nothing to assist Andrew Montford with his request.

          re: your divide and conquer approach to overcoming the man-hours limit
          The same guidelines advise : “If you receive lots of requests for information on a particular subject or similar theme, you should consider voluntarily publishing the information as part of your publication scheme. This may reduce the number of unwanted or repeated requests you receive.”

        • Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

          Re: oneuniverse (Jun 2 11:27), Personally I think David holland has the issue well under control. I think another FOIA barrage would be ill advised. Who knows, however, maybe some journo somewhere will get a clue. Maybe the relative of some member in parliament with a commmon name will get a clue.
          maybe some congressman will have a staffer do it. It could come from anywhere. just musing of course.

    • David Anderson
      Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

      Nurse quote,
      “Freedom of Information is good if it’s being used to generate information that’s being kept secret, but it really isn’t good if it’s going to disrupt science and scientists, and perhaps even worse, intimidate them, and I think there’s a real risk and possibility of that”.

      • Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

        Re: David Anderson (Jun 2 08:52),

        Luther Pendragon – GBP 57,279
        Geoffrey Boulton – GBP 52,503
        Muir Russell GBP 40,881
        Jim Norton GBP 43,473
        RSE Scotland GBP 37,537
        Olswang LLP GBP 21,991
        David Walker GBP 15,000
        Norfolk Police GBP 10,469

        Seen any good paleo papers by Luther Pendragon?

        • David Anderson
          Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

          Did not, actually just looked them it up on google expecting to find an individual called Luther Pendragon. They’ve got a comprehensive client list which does include “Climate Change E-Mail Review” and “Climate Strategies”, no mention of UEA though. It does say their current clients are listed, as if it’s complete. A special request perhaps?

        • TerryS
          Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

          From Luther Pendragon’s web site:

          Issues & Crisis

          For Luther Pendragon effective issues management does not merely involve identification and monitoring; it includes the creation of a proactive strategy to ensure that those issues are managed so as to alleviate any threats they may pose and capitalise on any opportunities they may present.

          We use our experience and knowledge to help clients plan and prepare for the unexpected. Our crisis management communications programme typically involves drafting clear policies and procedures and undertaking a testing exercise. If clients come to us without a plan and mid-crisis, our consultants are well rehearsed in managing a possibly frenzied and confused position into a controlled and managed situation.

          Issues and crisis management is central to an organisation’s value, reputation, brand and communications package. It is also critical to its relationship with external stakeholders and the outside world. Luther not only understands how to manage issues and crises, we have a proven track record in delivering valuable results.

          I guess hiring them in conjuction with the Russell review makes more sense.

      • matthu
        Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

        So one should read into Nurse’s statement that (in this case at least) FOI is good.

  35. Latimer Alder
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    This has the oily fingerprints of the [snip] Trevor Davies all over it.

    The management of UEA really haven’t got much of a [snip] between them, and their capacity for strategic thinking is zero. Even when planning a whitewash they do not see the weak points in their [snip].

    I bet it never occurred to them that somebody might ask to see their accounts for them, nor to wonder whether the inquiries were legally constituted in the way they wanted us to believe.

    It is not their [snip] that astounds me…just that they are so bloody [snip] at it. Surely only Davies is [snip] enough to be in charge of yet another [snip]?

  36. KnR
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    The awful way these reviews where run before , during and after should shame even the AGW support that have any moral outlook at all. Is It Arrogance or ignorance take you pick .

  37. Michael Jennings
    Posted Jun 2, 2011 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    I was actually contacted via phone call by the Norfolk Police and we had a rather mundane conversation that lasted 5 minutes or so.

  38. EdeF
    Posted Jun 3, 2011 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    UEA, can you please provide the HOURLY RATES? We would like to know if
    people were charging 20 GBP or 2000 GBP per hour.

  39. P. Solar
    Posted Jun 3, 2011 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    “Other questions arise. The UEA paid the Norfolk Police Authority over 10,000 GBP – what was that for?”

    Armed officers to protect the panelists on the way to the bank!

  40. Robert Thomson
    Posted Jun 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    It is interesting that David Eyton of BP does not feature as a recipient of any expenses payments. Given that Boulton et al have been paid significant amounts for their work and Eyton nothing – then it seems that BP have subsidised UEA again.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jun 4, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

      It’s also interesting that BP provided an organized report writer to bail out the foundering Muir Russell inquiry. David Walker, a retired BP engineer, came on in late March to rescue the Muir Russell inquiry, which, at that point, doesn’t seem to have got anything done except charging money.

  41. J Bowers
    Posted Jun 5, 2011 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

    I have to say I care as much about how much Muir Russell was paid as you do about S Fred Singer getting $143,000 for his part in preparing the NIPCC Report. Seems to me that Muir Russell’s good value for money.

  42. mike ozanne
    Posted Jun 5, 2011 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Well I build datawarehouses and olap systems for a living, nostly out of accounting systems, 2 and a bit man days to pull a small subset of journal line detail, haha hahaha hahahahahahahahahahaha…. (continues until tedious..)

    You wouldn’t want to trust anything else they did with a computer…..

  43. kuhnkat
    Posted Jun 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    J Bowers,

    was the money Singer got from NIPCC out of our tax money??

    • J Bowers
      Posted Jun 8, 2011 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

      Tax deductible charitable donations. So the answer is “probably”.

  44. Kate
    Posted Jun 6, 2011 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    Just had to share this.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=an-epidemic-of-false-claims

  45. jrkrideau
    Posted Jun 7, 2011 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    @Kate

    That is interesting. I had not realised that Ioannidis had moved to Stanford. Of course the information isn’t particularly new. Ioannidis has had several provective articles in the academic press and well worth reading. I think he’s in PLOS

  46. jrkrideau
    Posted Jun 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    “Please provide copies of invoices (or equivalent documentation) used to process the above payments.”

    Am I misreading this? It’s not a request for a computer printout; it’s a request for copies of the actual invoices.

    Depending on the accounting scheme I could easily see some poor clerk scurrying from pillar to post with questions like:

    Where would I find the taxi chits from Billing Code 1234 (Muir Enquiry).

    Anwser: Try the Cost Code 456 folders. Chits are filed by date, so you just need to know the dates on the chits. Anything from last year is in archives. We’ll need to recall them. Shouldn’t take more than 2-3 days.

    And so on.

  47. JohnM
    Posted Jul 12, 2011 at 4:59 AM | Permalink

    The UEA FOI people are simply l**** c*** ks.

    I’ve given up because it is all too wearying and I can’t stand communicating with that po-faced Palmer.

    They think they are being original, but we’ve had may years of experience with that nonsense here in Queensland.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Energy and Environment News on Jun 2, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    [...] UEA—General Ledger Summary Provided, Invoices Refused Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, 1 June 2011 [...]

  2. [...] time (see CA here plus Bishop Hill) , the University provided the general ledger information but refused to provide [...]

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