Business continuity planning advice / Death of Monarch or Heir Apparent
Request ID: FOI-0635-2223 Date published: 30 June 2022
We’re looking to establish a continuity plan for the eventual death of HM Queen Elizabeth.
Whilst there is some information alluded to by the Politico news piece of 2021, there isn’t any substantive information for organisations to plan against.
We are especially interested in:
• Impact on national rail, including London and possible stopping of services at Clapham Junction for example, e.g. not continuing to Waterloo / Victoria.
• Impact on Transport for London services.
• Impact of any exclusion zones and how authorised personnel will pass these? We have works in Victoria that would at least need to be made safe if they were to be shut down for example.
Our Ref: FOI-0635-2223
Thank you for your request received on 15 June 2022 asking for information about the business continuity plan regarding the death of the sovereign.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.
In accordance with the FOI Act we are not obliged to supply the information as it is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 37(1)(ad) of the Freedom of Information Act. Section 37 applies to information that falls within the categories “Communications with Her Majesty and the awarding of honours”. The full guidance on the use of the exemption can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website here:
In this instance the information is exempt as it constitutes “Communications with the Royal Household”.
The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned.
Further information about the sort of material that might be fit for release in this realm can be seen in paragraphs 49 to 53 of the guidance - but, as you can see, those factors are not relevant in this instance. The ICO guidance also lists a number of factors in favour of applying the exemption, with paragraphs 60 to 63 of particular relevance. This section includes the following
“61. The public interest in withholding the information is likely to be very strong where:
• the engagement has still to take place; and • the information contains details about the arrangements of the event, the disclosure of which would pose a security risk to the Royal Family.” Those factors apply in this instance. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, and taking the overall ICO guidance into account we believe the balance of public interest lies in withholding the information to help maintain the security of the event.
Notwithstanding the above, we can confirm that TfL will continue to operate our services to the greatest extent possible, but there may be temporary changes to some services dependent on the advice and requirements of the Police.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
Gemma Jacob Senior FOI Case Officer FOI Case Management Team General Counsel Transport for London