FOI request detail

Grievances on the Piccadilly line Train side.

Request ID: FOI-1828-1920
Date published: 11 October 2019

You asked

I would like to put in a freedom of information request for details of formal/informal grievances on the Piccadilly line Train side. In particular I would like information of the amount of grievances put in against Train operation Managers and Train Managers in the last 5 years by Train Operators/ Instructor Operators. The amount of grievances that have been upheld or found in favour or no case to answer in relation to the said Managers.

We answered

TfL Ref: 1828-1920

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 17 September 2019 asking for information about formal/informal grievances on the Piccadilly Line (Train side).

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require.  You asked for information of the number of grievances put in against Train Operation Managers and Train Managers in the last 5 years by Train Operators/ Instructor Operators; the number of grievances that have been upheld or found in favour or no case to answer in relation to the said Managers.

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 significantly exceed the cost limit to provide a response to your current request. This is because for informal grievances, we do not record these centrally. Records may be kept at local level in some instances however in order to determine whether this is the case and then if so, to identify how many of these there may be, we would have to look at each individual staff members’ personnel files for the positions you have asked about which would be an enormous task.   With regard to formal grievances, we confirm we hold some data where employees have lodged a formal grievance, however we do not record centrally who the grievance is against, and it is has not always been mandatory to record outcomes on a centralised system, so determining whether the case was upheld would require reading the notes on the individual staff members files that have been identified as relevant to this request in the above personnel file exercise.   Please note that even if we were able to locate and extract the information on the number of formal grievances, we would be unable to divulge any further information as this would potentially enable the individuals to be identified, thereby breaching our obligations under section 40(2) of the FOI Act. This is because disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the legislation, specifically the first principle which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions which would make the processing ‘fair’.

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 should identify the information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can, specifying the types of document that you are looking for. You might also consider limiting your request to a particular period of time, geographical area or specific departments of the organisation.

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

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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