TfL Ref: FOI-0667-1718
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 13 June 2017 asking for information about correspondence.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.
However, 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 considerably exceed the appropriate limit to provide a response to this request. We conducted a search of the email accounts of employees likely to hold information relevant to your request using the keyword “Uber” across the specified time period and this search produced several thousand hits.
A ‘hit’ refers to an email found within our IT system that potentially fits within the scope of your request. Many of the hits are likely to be duplicates, due to emails being repeated within email chains, as well as emails being forwarded internally for discussion during this time period. Therefore the actual number of emails covered by your request will be a sub-set of these hits. However, locating those that are relevant would require us to manually review all of them to determine whether the email, or email chain, is relevant to your request and then we would need to extract and compile all of those that meet your request.
Because of the large number of email hits caught by the search, the task of identifying the relevant emails, then extracting and collating them would be a substantial one, requiring more time than we are obliged to devote to these activities under 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 these activities would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450.
This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described and the appropriate limit is thus reached after 18 hours of work. Section 12(4)(a) of the Act allows public authorities to aggregate the costs of complying with two or more requests that relate to any extent to the same or similar information.
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. For example, you may wish to limit your request to specific individuals, specifically for external emails, emails featuring a more specific keyword(s) and/or over a narrowed period of time.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London