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Information Services Committee Disciplinary Procedure

Preamble

(1) Regulation 5(i) of the regulations for the Information Services Committee (http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/so/2013/chapter01-section9.html#heading2-27) states that it is the Committee's duty:

"to be responsible for the regulation and security of the use of information technology facilities within the University, and of such computing facilities in College institutions as may be designated for this purpose from time to time by the appropriate College authorities concerned, and for this purpose to make, or amend, and publish rules, subject to approval by the competent authority, and to impose on a person infringing one or more of those rules either or both of the following penalties:
(i)  the suspension of authorization to use resources for such a period as the Committee shall determine;
(ii) a fine not exceeding £175."

(2) The Rules made by the Information Services Committee (ISC) should be referred to alongside this document. The following paragraphs set out in detail the procedure, agreed by the ISC and approved by the Council, to be followed in the implementation of Rule 10. As in the Rules themselves, the term authorized officer means the Director of the University University Information Services (UIS) in the case of the services under the supervision of the ISC, or the Head of the relevant Department or the Chairman of the relevant Faculty Board or the relevant College officer in other cases.

Summary proceedings

(3) The ISC recognise that the majority of suspected infringements of the Rules will initially come to the attention of the authorized officer and relevant staff. The ISC have agreed that it shall be the duty of the authorized officer to investigate such events, and to form a preliminary opinion of how each might be dealt with. Many events are likely to be of such a nature that it is both reasonable and efficient that they be dealt with summarily by the authorized officer acting under the authority of the ISC.

(4) The ISC have therefore delegated to each authorized officer authority to investigate suspected breaches of the Rules and, if it is judged that the case can best be dealt with summarily, to impose on any person either or both the suspension of authorization to use resources for such a period as the authorized officer may determine or a fine up to the maximum amount permitted by Ordinance subject always to the following:

  1. the person shall be informed of the disciplinary procedure;
  2. the person may decline to accept that the matter should be dealt with through the summary procedure, in which case the procedure outlined below shall be followed;
  3. the person concerned may decline to accept the authorized officer's decision as to the sentence, in which case the procedure outlined below shall be followed;
  4. the authorized officer shall report any such cases to the ISC.

Initiation of proceedings

(5) The ISC shall appoint annually one of their members to be Panel Convenor (Dr Matthias Dörrzapf [to 31.07.15]).

(6) In reporting a suspected breach of the Rules, the authorized officer shall normally proceed as follows. A written statement of the matter shall be prepared and submitted to the Panel Convenor. At the same time the person or persons cited as being in breach of the Rules shall be given a copy of the statement together with a copy of this document, and the authorized officer shall also provide such additional information and advice as may be considered appropriate or may reasonably be requested.

(7) The authorized officer may also (a) discuss the matter with the University Advocate with a view to possible action under the General Regulations for Discipline, and/or (b) discuss the matter with the Registrary with a view to possible action under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

(8) On receipt of the authorized officer's statement, the Panel Convenor shall form an Investigatory Panel consisting of three members of the ISC, including himself or herself as chairman unless this would give rise to a conflict of interests. The Panel shall not include the Chairman of the ISC, nor the authorized officer, nor any member of the staff of the authorized officer's institution. If the Panel Convenor is unable to act through absence, the Chairman of the ISC shall appoint an acting Panel Convenor. The Investigatory Panel may co-opt a legally-qualified assessor.

Procedure of the Panel

(9) The Panel will meet as soon as practicable to consider the authorized officer's statement, and may receive:

  1. any written or oral evidence that the person or persons cited may elect to present (a person in statu pupillari may be accompanied by his or her College Tutor);
  2. such additional information from the authorized officer or from any other person as the Panel may decide to request.

(10) The Panel shall assess the information presented and determine whether or not in their view a breach of the Rules has occurred; if they do so determine they shall consider, within the limits laid down by Ordinances, what sentence, if any, to recommend to the ISC.

(11) The Panel's determination and recommendation shall be notified by the Panel Convenor to the person or persons cited, who may, within seven days, submit a written statement to the ISC.

Review by the Information Services Committee

(12) The ISC shall consider the conclusions of the Panel as reported by the Panel Convenor together with any written statement submitted by the person or persons cited. If the ISC decide that the latter presents sufficient cause to warrant reconsideration, they shall proceed as specified in paragraph 13 below. Otherwise, the ISC may either ratify the decision of the Panel and impose the sentence recommended by the Panel or some lesser sentence, or may dismiss the matter.

(13) In any reconsideration of the matter, the ISC, acting in place of the Investigatory Panel, shall follow the procedure in paragraph 9 above, and may invite a legally qualified assessor to be in attendance. Members of the Investigatory Panel shall not participate in the hearing, and neither the authorized officer nor any member of the staff of the authorized officer's institution shall have a vote in the final decision.

Appeal against the Information Services Committee's decision

(14) A person cited by a University authorized officer and under the jurisdiction of the University Tribunal may appeal to the Council against any sentence imposed by the ISC, under the procedure laid down in Ordinances. The appellant must deliver to the Registrary (at the University Registry, The Old Schools, Cambridge) written notice of appeal within twenty-eight days after notice of the decision of the ISC. The Council may quash the finding or vary the sentence within the limits of the power of the ISC. The decision of the Council is final.

(15) A member of the University cited by a University authorized officer and under the jurisdiction of the Court of Discipline may appeal to the Summary Court against any sentence imposed by the ISC, under regulation 17 for the Summary Court. The appellant must deliver to the Clerk of the Summary Court (at the University Registry, The Old Schools, Cambridge) written notice of appeal within twenty-eight days after notice of the decision of the ISC. The Summary Court may quash the finding or vary the sentence within the limits of the power of the ISC. The decision of the Summary Court is final.

(16) A person cited by a College authorized officer and under the College's jurisdiction may appeal to the College authorities according to the disciplinary procedures laid down for that particular College.

Last updated: June 2014