FOI request detail

Blackhorse Lane bridges works - Tender Documents

Request ID: FOI-2483-1819
Date published: 29 January 2019

You asked

I would like the full tender document posted to me as soon as possible.

We answered

Our Ref: FOI-2483-1819

Thank you for your clarified request received on 11 January 2019 asking for the Invitation to Tender (ITT) pack that we sent out to prospective bidders of the Blackhorse Lane Bridge replacement the tender submission from the appointed Contractor.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. We do hold the information you require.

However, in accordance with the FOI Act we are refusing your request under section 14(1) of the FOI Act. After reviewing a sample of our records we consider that providing the requested information would place an unreasonable burden on us. 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 ICO guidance provides the following examples of a request which may fall under section 14(1) if it:

  • 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 all three of these examples apply in this instance. Additionally, Paragraph 71 of the guidance on section 14(1) ( )states the following:

71. However, we consider there to be a high threshold for refusing a request on such grounds. This means that an authority is most likely to have a viable case where:

· The requester has asked for a substantial volume of information AND

· The authority has real concerns about potentially exempt information, which it will be able to substantiate if asked to do so by the ICO AND

· Any potentially exempt information cannot easily be isolated because it is scattered throughout the requested material.

We have identified 26 items of documentation and additional items within those documents that are relevant to your request. Having gone through a quarter of the documents we hold, we identified 1599 pages of material, all of which would need to be manually reviewed. Of course, it is not unreasonable to conclude that if we were to consider the entirety of the documentation covered by your request, this would cover several thousand pages of material.

Therefore, we consider that it would be necessary to spend a significant amount of time considering exemptions which might be applicable to the information caught by the request. Reviewing this information and considering the merits of exemptions across this volume of pages would inevitably require the diversion of specialist resources at the very time their efforts are most required for the purposes of answering other FOI requests.

We consider the burden of retrieving, reviewing and redacting the information covered by your request would be disproportionate to the benefit of providing it. Therefore, we are refusing it under s14 of the FOI Act.

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

Yours sincerely

Melissa Nichols

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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