FOI request detail

Andy Byford Correspondence

Request ID: FOI-0546-2223
Date published: 30 June 2022

You asked

May I request all correspondence between mr Byford and the London Cycling Campaign in the last 12 months please? I know it seems a large timeframe but I wouldn't imagine there are reams of the stuff. Thanks

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-0546-2223 / FOI-0547-2223

Thank you for your requests received on 8 June 2022 asking for correspondence between TfL’s Commissioner, Andy Byford, and the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and TfL correspondence with Cadent Gas.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

Unfortunately, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.

We have estimated that it would cost over £450 to provide a response to your current request. This is because it is estimated that it would take in excess of 18 working hours to retrieve and compile the information you have requested.

When requests for email correspondence are received the FOI Case Management team are able to conduct company wide email searches using keywords, dates and email addresses. The more specific a requester can be as to what they are looking for, the more we can narrow the search and therefore stand a better chance of a more relevant or focused result. A search will then return an amount of ‘hits’ which potentially contain information relating to the search terms used. Each ‘hit’ is a single email, although that email will often consist of a chain of emails containing the search term at least once.

We have done an initial search for all emails held by TfL that were sent/received by TfL and Cadent Gas. This has returned almost 15,000 hits. Please note that not all of the results were specifically emails between us and them, for instance there were emails from other councils that were sent to both us and Cadent (and many others). We would need to manually review all of the emails identified in order to extract and collate the relevant emails. Similarly, we would need to carry out a similar exercise for correspondence between Andy Byford and the LCC.

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking.

By their nature, emails contain a significant amount of personal data such as phone numbers and email addresses and so, whilst this process of redaction does not feature as part of our considerations on whether the cost limit might apply, the burden created by non-specific requests for emails is significant and this should be borne in mind before submitting requests of this nature.

We therefore strongly recommend you outline, as clearly and concisely as possible the information you require. Rather than a blanket request for correspondence, if you have specific questions that you would like to ask this may be more helpful than a request for correspondence. Requests that lack a clear focus are more likely to lead to concerns about the processing time required to meet our obligations under the FOI Act.

If you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act allows you to request recorded information held by us. Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, we do not have to answer your question if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your request.

Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request.

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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