FOI request detail

IDAG presentation on the 20th of January

Request ID: FOI-0705-2324
Date published: 13 June 2023

You asked

On page 21 of the “Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) form Document No F1457” a presentation to IDAG on the 20th of January is mentioned. Please provide the minutes and materials of the presentation and clarify what is meant by “the safer type of battery” and “the unsafe type of battery”.

We answered

TfL Refs: FOI-0494-2324 / FOI-0510-2324 / FOI-0622-2324 / FOI-0623-2324 / FOI-0690-2324 / FOI-0705-2324 / FOI-0706-2324
Thank you for your requests of 18th May, 22nd May, 26th May, 3rd June and 6th June 2023, all shown below this response.
Your requests have been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. 
Please note, the Freedom of Information Act covers the provision of recorded information only. Given your interest in the matters raised appear largely to be about your experiences travelling on TfL services with a mobility aid, you may it find it more helpful to raise you concerns directly with our Accessibility Team.  Please see the following page of our website for details of how to do this - along with advice about accessible travel on TfL services: - as you can see, you can contact the team directly at [email protected] or you can speak to a customer services adviser about accessibility on any TfL service on 0343 222 1234.
In relation to your current FOI requests, you have submitted seven separate requests in a period of less than three weeks (18th May to 6th June 2023). This is further to four other requests received in the period 14th February - 1st May 2023, all of which were responded to (FOI-3089-2223, FOI-3550-2223, FOI-0247-2324 and FOI-0303-2324). Given this, your open requests are being refused under section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act, which provides an exemption to the disclosure of information where answering requests will impose a disproportionate burden on the responding authority.
In reaching this conclusion we have drawn on guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that can be found on its website here:

As you can see, this guidance includes the following advice to public authorities:

“Section 14(1) is designed to protect public authorities by allowing you to refuse any requests which have the potential to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress.”;

“It is common for a potentially vexatious request to be the latest in a series of requests submitted by an individual. The greater the number of requests received, the more likely it is that the latest request is vexatious. This is because the collective burden of dealing with the previous requests, combined with the burden imposed by the latest request, may mean a tipping point has been reached, rendering the latest request vexatious.”

When you are dealing with a series of requests and developing pattern of behaviour, you may arrive at a tipping point. This is when you decide that, whilst it was appropriate to deal with a requester’s previous requests, the continuation of that behaviour has made the latest request vexatious.”

With all of this in mind, when considering each of your requests in isolation it is unlikely that we would find that any of them would meet the criteria outlined under the guidance. However, the guidance also makes it clear that public authorities should take into account the context and history in which requests are made. In determining that the exemption applies we have taken into account the number of requests you have made over a very short period, and the clear pattern of repeated requests on the same subject that has emerged. This leads us to conclude that the frequency of your requests is creating an aggregated and unjustified burden. The cumulative effect of these requests is that it ultimately creates a disruption to our colleagues across the organisation whose principal function is the running of transport services or the support services required to make that happen. Providing input to respond to FOI requests requires the re-allocation and diversion of their resources and places a burden on a small number of personnel. All of this leads us to believe that answering your latest requests, further to those already answered, is not a justified and proportionate use of our time. This is especially the case given we have a dedicated Accessibility team, as referenced above, who exist to assist passengers who require advice and assistance on accessible trave on our services, and with which there is no indication you have been in contact with already.

Please be assured that our application of the section 14 exemption does not reflect a conclusion that it has been your deliberate intention to place an undue burden on TfL, and we will consider any future request for information on its merits and in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act and the expectations of the ICO. However, in making any future request I would ask that you consider carefully what information is of most importance to you, and whether submitting an FOI request is the most appropriate way of addressing your interest.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.
Yours sincerely,
David Wells
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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