The board of Glasgow School of Art has been urged to be more open after failing to publish minutes of meetings for eight months.
The board was previously criticised over a lack of transparency by a Holyrood committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the two fires at the iconic Charles Rennie Mackintosh building.
It has now failed to publish on its website any minutes or board meeting agendas since September. The Mackintosh building and the nearby O2 ABC concert venue were destroyed in June 2018 but an inquiry into the cause is still ongoing.
The last published board agenda included an update by director of development Alan Horn on the “Mackintosh project”, which was almost completely redacted. Its summary, recommendations and sections on resource implications and next steps were all concealed. The art school’s website says it “aims to publish the agenda and papers within eight weeks of the meeting”.
The Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance states that “agenda and minutes are expected to be published in a timely manner on the institution’s website”..
Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeill said: “Given we have had two fires at the art school, and still don’t have answers about the cause of the second, the board should be striving to show the public and residents near the art school that they are trying to be inclusive and transparent.”
Architect Gordon Gibb, a former director of professional studies at GSA, said: “Given the lack of transparency highlighted, the board should have bucked up its ideas.”
A report by MSPs in 2019 recommended the GSA “review how it disseminates information pertaining to the Mackintosh building to provide a clearer picture of its activities”.
Glasgow School of Art said: “Board minutes are published once they have been approved at the subsequent meeting. Therefore, those for the March 2021 meeting will be published following the meeting that takes place later this month. As regards the Mackintosh Paper and redactions, we would refer you to the clear explanation of our redaction policy which is in accordance with current legislation.
“The GSA is committed to open communication about the future of the Mackintosh building and have engaged extensively and will continue to engage with our diverse stakeholders.”
A spokesperson did not explain why the March meeting agenda and September minutes had not been published.
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