FOI request detail

operational performance reports

Request ID: FOI-1288-1718
Date published: 12 September 2017

You asked

I would like to request the operational performance reports from 01/01/17 to 01/03/17 inclusive. As this will likely be too large to send by email, I suggest you send them on a CD to:

We answered

TfL Ref: 1288-1718

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 29 August asking for all London Underground daily operational performance reports from 1.1.17 to 1.3.17 inclusive.

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, we are refusing your request under section 14(1) of the Act. After reviewing a sample of our records we consider that providing the requested information would be significantly burdensome with limited public interest in its disclosure.  Our principal duty is to provide an effective transport service for London and we consider that answering this request would represent a disproportionate effort. It would be a significant distraction from our work managing the TfL network, requiring re-allocation of already limited resources and placing an unacceptable burden on a small number of personnel. We do wish to clarify that whilst we consider that your request falls under section 14(1) of the FOI Act, this does not reflect a conclusion that it has been your intention to deliberately place an undue burden on our resources.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance provides the following examples of a request which may fall under section 14(1):

- Imposes a burden by obliging the authority to sift through a substantial volume of information to isolate and extract the relevant details;

- Encompasses information which is only of limited value because of the wide scope of the request;

- Creates a burden by requiring the authority to spend a considerable amount of time considering any exemptions and redactions.

Our view is that the second, and particularly the third of these examples apply in this instance. This is because we estimate that the 60 daily performance reports requested would contain approximately 366 pages that fall within the scope of your request. The reports are likely to contain material which is exempt from disclosure, and the use of “free text” in the reports makes this a more complex task. If we allow 3 minutes on average to review each page to identify and make redactions to information that could endanger the health and safety of individuals, or threaten the security of the network, and then have a second person review the redactions, this would constitute more than 18 hours work and this would therefore be a significant task.

Whilst we recognise the requested information will be of interest to some people, we do not consider that the wider public interest is served by the diversion of resources that would be necessary to answer this one request.

We consider the burden of reviewing and redacting the information would be disproportionate to the benefit of providing it. Therefore, due to the wide and unfocused scope of your request, we are refusing it under s.14 of the FOI Act. If you would like to re-submit a more focused, specific request perhaps for the daily operational performance reports for a specific day or week or if you clarified what aspect of operational performance you are interested in, e.g. train service frequencies, station closures, and so on then we will, of course, consider it.

We apologise that we are unable to assist you on this occasion.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Sara Thomas | FOI Case Officer

General Counsel | Transport for London

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

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