FOI request detail

FOI request - Inspections

Request ID: FOI-0868-2021
Date published: 23 September 2020

You asked

Dear Transport for London, Under the Freedom of Information Act, please could I request the following information: 1. What inspections activities does Transport for London perform? 2. How many inspections (of each type if possible) were performed in 2019/20? 3. How many inspectors do you employ, and what was the annual cost of these inspectors in 2019/20? 4. Do you use third parties to perform these inspections? If so, who did you use, and what was the annual spend in 2019/20? 5. What information management system, if any, do you use to manage the inspections, and what was the annual spend on this in 2019/20 For avoidance of doubt, by ‘inspections’ I mean ‘activities that are carried out to ensure the inspected entity meets legislative requirements for their role or function or condition, delivers on their duty of care for individuals or the public and/or adheres to any rules set by government on use of government funds’. Please could the answers to the questions be emailed back to this address.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-0868-2021/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 20 August 2020 asking for information about inspections.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.

I can confirm that 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 requests 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. In this instance, we estimate that the time required to answer your request would exceed 18 hours which, at £25 per hour (the rate stipulated by the Regulations), exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’.

You have asked for information on inspections carried out on roads and rail (which for TfL would include London Underground, London Overground, the Docklands Light Railway, TfL Rail and Crossrail). Inspections of both the road and rail network are regularly carried out, but the information requested for each (number of inspections, inspectors, cost etc) is extremely broad and would require us to contact many different areas of the business. For example, each London Underground line has specific inspection regimes and would require answering on an individual basis. TfL is also responsible for approximately 580km of roads in London (known as the Transport for London Road Network). All of which are inspected, but vary according to their type and use. Whilst we could provide information on a specific road, answering your request for all of our roads would be a considerable task. I attach an excerpt from a document which shows the frequency and type of inspections carried out on roads which you may find useful.

Answering your current request would easily exceed the cost limit as it is too broad in nature. Therefore, to help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider refining your requests to concentrate on matters which are important to you.

The impact of current circumstances on TfL’s resources means we are not able to answer FOI requests readily and we ask that you please do not make a request to us at present.

Answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. In any event, please note that our response time will be affected by the current situation.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London


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