Request ID: FOI-2100-2021
Date published: 26 January 2021
I would like to request a copy of the London iBus Announcements in either a disk or though email if possible.
TfL Ref 2100-2021
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 18 January 2020 asking for our iBus announcements.
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 do hold the information you require
However, we are refusing your request under section 14(1) of the FOI Act. We consider that providing the requested information would place an unreasonable burden on us at this time. As you will be aware, it is essential for London, and in particular for all critical workers, that we continue to provide a safe transport network that enables them to make the journeys they need to and our staff are working hard to support them and protect all Londoners. We consider that answering this request would represent a disproportionate effort and would require the redirection of limited specialist resources and the attention of staff away from their core functions who could be supporting other essential activity.
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 place an undue burden on our resources.
On the specific application of section 14(1) we have been steered by the ICO guidance on the use of that exemption that can be found on its website here: https://ico.org.uk/media/1198/dealing-with-vexatious-requests.pdf
To be clear, it is the current context in which the request has been made that is central to our decision to apply the exemption set out in section 14(1) in response to your request. In particular, we consider the following elements of s14 apply in this instance:
- The request is likely to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress in the current circumstances
- Lacks sufficient purpose or value in the current circumstances
- Overly burdensome in the current circumstances
We have responded to several hundred requests for audio recordings over many years. However, due to alternative working arrangements aligned with the Government’s measures to tackle the coronavirus, the FOI Case Management Team do not currently have access to the necessary hardware required to create CDs of audio announcements in response to FOI requests and so we are unable to process these requests remotely. Processing your request would require individuals to attend office premises, contrary to current government advice, in order to access the relevant equipment to compile the information requested and issue the response. We consider this to be a disproportionate burden on our staff and we can not justify the use of our resources in this way at present for a request that we do not consider to carry any wider public interest.
Additionally, whilst we have also explored alternative technological solutions, such as sending announcements electronically, it is an unavoidable consequence that processing requests of this nature would require critical employees to be diverted from their operational responsibilities and, in the current circumstances, we consider that our priority must remain on providing and maintaining an effective transport system to essential workers across the capital and that our limited resources are utilised as effectively as possible to ensure that happens. Therefore we are refusing your request under s14 of the FOI Act.
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.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London
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