FOI request detail

Meetings on Operator Fees

Request ID: FOI-2516-1819
Date published: 17 January 2019

You asked

According to the attached link TfL held a meeting to discuss private hire operator fees with key stakeholders. Under FOI we are requesting copies of all minutes and notes arising from this meeting as well as any subsequent correspondence with TfL regarding this meeting.

We answered

Our Ref:          FOI-2514-1819 / FOI-2516-1819

Thank you for your requests received on 16 and 20 December 2018 asking for information about taxi and private hire representative meetings and operator fee meetings.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and TfL’s information access policy. I can confirm TfL holds some of the information you require.

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 cost over £450 to provide a response to your current requests. This is because it is estimated that it would take over 18 working hours to retrieve and compile the information you have requested. We are therefore applying an aggregate cost limit to these requests.

This information you have requested is not stored centrally, much of it is included in emails held by various people across the organisation. We hold regular meetings with taxi and private hire representatives, including quarterly taxi operational meetings and quarterly private hire trade meetings. Arranging these meetings includes several tasks involves contacting all attendees – both internal and external, obtaining and preparing the information to be presented at these meetings, creating a presentation for the meetings and ensuring any necessary approvals have been sought – sometimes from external bodies such as the Metropolitan Police Service, ensuring any actions from previous meetings have been completed, and agreeing the agenda with the taxi and private hire representatives.

Typically one meeting would generate over a hundred e-mails in the tasks described above alone. While some meetings do not have presentations they require briefings to be put together and approved which involves many people across the organisation and would again generate a large amount of correspondence and accompanying documents. Your request covers several meetings, so the task of collating this information would need to be repeated across the organisation for each meeting.

While we appreciate there is a high level of interest in how we are regulating the private hire trade, there is a small team available to respond to these requests and the burden placed on them has to be balanced with their substantive roles. Please note that we also publish a lot of the information we generate for these meetings on our website:

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 Transport for London. 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 TfL.

Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, TfL does 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 feel free to contact me.

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

[email protected]

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