FOI request detail

Hammersmith Bridge Correspondence

Request ID: FOI-0993-2021
Date published: 01 October 2020

You asked

Under FOI rules please release email correspondence between TFL and Hammersmith and Fulham council with the following three words found in the email titles: “Hammersmith • Bridge • Safety” Please do a simple search of emails between TFL and H&F using these three words This request is for the past two years.

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-0992-2021 / FOI-0993-2021 / FOI-0994-2021

Thank you for your requests received on 3 and 4 September 2020 asking for correspondence about Hammersmith Bridge.

Your requests have been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy.

However, in accordance with 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. Under Regulation 5(2) of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limits and Fees) Regulations 2004, we are permitted to aggregate requests where they relate to any extent to the same or similar information and this aggregation applies to any requests that are received within a sixty working day period, including individuals considered to be acting in concert.

We consider that the aggregate cost of complying with all the three FOI requests referred to above would exceed the cost limit. Therefore we are refusing the above requests.

When requests for email correspondence are received the FOI Case Management team use a search tool called Discovery Accelerator (DA) for any correspondence held before March 2020. This tool allows us to conduct company wide email searches using keywords, dates and email addresses. We have carried out a search based on the criteria provided and have identified approximately 100 emails that could be relevant to your request which would require a manual review.

From March 2020 all of our email accounts were moved to Office 365 and therefore are not retrievable using DA. Using the new eDiscovery search tool, we are unable to conduct speculative searches to/from any external email suffix (for instance ) and processing this request would require us to conduct a wide search of all emails held containing the specified keywords (which would include all internal and external emails) and then review these results to then manually locate, extract and collate any that were sent to/from this email suffix and meet the requirements of each request. This process of searching and reviewing for relevant material would exceed the cost limit detailed 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. You may find it more beneficial to ask specific and direct questions rather than speculative email searches as these can lead to concerns about processing time. Alternatively, you may wish to focus your request to a specific period of time or individuals to whom the correspondence may relate which will enable a more targeted search.

Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request.

If you are considering submitting a further FOI request please think carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by the current situation.

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

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