FOI request detail

tfl roundel symbol and licence

Request ID: FOI-2861-1920
Date published: 22 January 2020

You asked

To narrow down the scope of my request. Can you release all the email and letter communications between TfL and Camira Fabrics during the years from 2014 till 2016 please. Dear TfL FOI TfL Ref: FOI-2608-1920 Can you release email and letter communications between TfL and Camira Fabrics in regards to the Roundel Moquette created and used on passenger seats of various London Buses? Does Camira Fabrics pay a licence to use the TfL Roundel symbol on their products? References to the product:

We answered

TfL Ref: 2861-1920

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 31 December 2019 asking for information about email and letter communications between TfL and Camira Fabrics during the years from 2014 till 2016.

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, to provide some of the information you have requested would provide a significant burden to our resources and therefore we are not obliged to provide this information in accordance with section 14 of the FOI Act.

We have carried out a cross TfL email search for email and letter communications between TfL and Camira Fabrics during the years from 2014 till 2016. We stopped the search just under halfway through and at this stage the search had located 822 ‘hits’, i.e. email files potentially relevant to your request; it is not unreasonable to assume the total number of hits would exceed 1,500 if the search was allowed to complete.

We consider the burden of manually reviewing all the hits generated by the search which could include trails of emails and attachments as well as single emails and identifying and redacting any personal data in accordance with our statutory obligations under section 40 of the FOI Act would be disproportionate to the benefit of providing it. Therefore, due to the wide scope of your request and the resources required to answer in full, we are refusing your request under section 14 of the FOI Act.

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 states that one of the indicators of a request which may fall under section 14(1) is that it “appears to be part of a completely random approach, lacks any clear focus, or seems to have been solely designed for the purpose of ‘fishing’ for information without any idea of what might be revealed.”

The ICO guidance provides the following examples of a ‘fishing expedition’ 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. Searching through a significant volume of emails over the specified period of time to extract and collate the relevant emails would be a significant task. 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 then we will, of course, consider it.

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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