Saturday, 14 February 2009

UCL Ethical Investment Review Committee (EIRC) not set up yet !

As part of the National Action Day Against The Arms Trade over 40 UCL students and alumni have submitted a letter requesting divestment from arms trader Cobham plc.

We also used the opportunity to ask Jason Clarke, Deputy Director of Academic Services, more detailed questions about the EIRC. Turns out: a month and a half after the adoption of the Ethical Investment Policy the membership of the Ethical Investment Review Committee (EIRC) has not been finalized and no meeting date has yet been allocated.

We are very concerned about this delay in setting up the EIRC and the potential lack of transparency of EIRC decisions. We will monitor the situation over the next month very closely. Please see below for the full answers by Jason Clarke to our questions:

Q: When is the next meeting of the EIRC ?

A: I am currently exploring possible dates for the EIRC's first meeting. I am afraid that I am not able to confirm a date at this stage, but expect the Committee to be convened within the next month or so.

Q: Who are the members of the EIRC ?

A: I am also currently confirming the membership of the EIRC.

Q: Would it be possible for observers to attend the EIRC meeting ?

A: It is not standard practice for observers to attend meetings of UCL standing committees, but I will raise this point with the EIRC.

Q: Will a record of the EIRC meeting be made publicly available ?

A: We intend to issue at an appropriate stage after each meeting of the EIRC the decisions made. It should be noted that there are some matters on which EIRC is authorised to make an independent decision and others on which it makes recommendations to the Investments Committee. We would not expect to publicise recommendations made by the EIRC until they had been considered by the Investments Committee and, where necessary, by UCL Council.


Click this link for the terms of reference of the EIRC

The terms of reference state that:

(ii) The Chair of the Ethical Investment Review Committee may, on behalf of the Committee, invite UCL officers or other non-members to attend a particular meeting of the Committee. Attendance of officers or other non-members at meetings of the Ethical Investment Review Committee shall be by such invitation only.

Thus we assume that it would be possible for the EIRC to invite observers to their meeting.