FOI request detail

Uber's Operating Model

Request ID: FOI-0989-2122
Date published: 10 September 2021

You asked

I am writing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request information about Uber's changes to its operating model. I would like to request all correspondence between TfL and Uber concerning changes made to Uber's operating model since January 2018.

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-0989-2122

Thank you for your request received on 16 August 2021 asking for information about any changes to Uber’s operating model since 2018.

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.

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

Any changes to their operating model, including minor wording changes, would have had to be reported to us as the licensing authority. This correspondence is not easily identifiable as the changes under discussion may not have referenced the term ‘operational model’ and so we would have to check all of our correspondence with Uber to determine whether it was relevant to your request. Reviewing such a significant volume of material to identify any information that fits within the scope of your request and then extract and collate this information would considerably exceed the cost limit described above.

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. 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. You might consider limiting your request to a smaller time period or by providing us with a list of keywords/search terms that we could search against.

Please be aware, that any revised request for information regarding Uber’s operating model may be withheld as it will likely be subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under the FOI Act. Namely, section 31(1)(g), which relates to information where disclosure would be likely to prejudice the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the purposes listed in subsection 31(2) of the FOI Act, specifically, ‘(2)(c)the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise’, section 43(2) of the FOI Act which exempts information where disclosure would be likely to prejudice commercial interests, and section 41 of the FOI Act on the grounds that any such information was provided to us in confidence.

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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