Dear Department for Transport,

Please can you provide information pertaining to the recent award of a four year 'Direct Award' contract to Southeastern for operating the South Eastern rail franchise, between 2014 and 2018. In particular, I am interested in:

- What criteria was used to select Southeastern; and
- To what extent passenger satisfaction results were taken into account; and
- The level of competition for this franchise

The recent award is documented at http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/abo...

Yours faithfully,

Sam Crawford

Department for Transport

Dear Sam Crawford,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0011688.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

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Dear Department for Transport,

Thanks for the prompt reply. If it is not too late, I would also like to request detailed information relating to the "rigorous satisfaction and performance targets, with financial penalties if they are not met" which are discussed in the various press releases from the DfT about this contract. This quote is sourced from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/r...

It appears that the full contract with Southeastern has not been published (yet).

Yours faithfully,

Sam Crawford

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear Sam Crawford,

Thank you for your latest email which I have forwarded to our case handler to consider as part of your original request.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock

Ivan Pocock | FOI Advice Team | Information & Security Division | General Counsel’s Office | Department for Transport
Zone D/04, Ashdown House, Sedlescombe Road North, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7GA

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Alex Peacock left an annotation ()

How about requesting a copy of the renewed franchise agreement too (if available)?

For example, I am referring to a document along the lines of the 2005 SE Franchise Agreement (as seen here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy... )

Sam Crawford left an annotation ()

Phil Rogers has already requested this via another FOI - see https://twitter.com/philmonkey/status/51...

I've spoken to the DfT separately and they said they were still redacting the contract, which was why it's not been published yet. My idea here was to request more specific information to hopefully avoid unnecessary delays.

Alex Peacock left an annotation ()

Ah, I see. I wasn't aware of that so thanks for letting me know the franchise agreement is also in the pipeline for future release to the public.

Makes you wonder how long it takes DafT's lawyers to go through and redact a single contract though!

Jeaur Rahman,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Crawford,

 

Please see attached reply to your Freedom of Information request. 

 

 

      

Jeaur
Rahman                                                                                           

Franchising Correspondence Manager | Rail Executive | Department for
Transport | 4^th Floor - Great Minster House | 33 Horseferry Road | London
| SW1P 4DR | 020 7944 2641 | [1][email address]

Leading a world-class railway that creates opportunity for people and
businesses

 

 

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Secretary, Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association left an annotation ()

It's not clear from the DFT reply how much is going to be redacted when the FA is published - and when the "rigorous
satisfaction and performance targets, with financial penalties if
they are not met" which were in DFT's own press release - will be redacted.

It may also be an improper use of the "intended for future publication" provision to merely give more time for redaction.

Secretary, Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association left an annotation ()

The "public interest" pros in the DFT reply are just bolier-plate. They do not, for instance, reflect the public interest created by DFT's own statement that the targets were "tough". There is a *strong* public interest in publishing data to support statements by the DFT itself.

Moreover if the targets were really set by DFT then they are the property of DFT and not SER; unless DFT say that they simply set the targets SER told them to set!

Dear FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT,

Thank you for your recent reply regarding the Southeastern franchising agreement.

However, I am dissatisfied with the response provided regarding performance targets. I would like to request an internal review regarding this request. My reasons are as follows:

1) I did not request the complete franchise agreement, yet the response appears to be basing its rejection on the premise that I did. I limited my query to requesting information about the performance targets. I do not need, nor am I requesting, the entire franchise agreement. The key points/metrics which Southeastern must satisfy and the penalties for failing to do so is all I want.

2) I fail to understand how the request, when limited in scope to the performance targets only, could require a response that contains commercially sensitive information and therefore requires redacting.

3) The public interest in revealing this limited data vastly outweighs concerns about coordinating publication of the franchise agreement. As the minister noted in her letter to customers [0], Southeastern have provided a poor service to customers, and therefore customers (like myself) would very much like to know what new standards that Southeastern are being held to. The minister has attempted to appease customers by promising tough new performance targets, but there is no evidence to back this up. I'm sure I don't need to provide evidence of the poor service, but just in case, please see [1], [2], [3], [4] below, which are taken from four separate surveys in recent years. Moreover, the sheer fact that passengers are resorting to making FOI requests (I know of at least one other person who has requested similar information independently of me) regarding performance figures should tell you just how strong the public interest is in this matter!

Lastly, I would like to add that the transport minister welcomed questions about the new franchise agreement [0], yet has so far failed to acknowledge or respond to any of the questions put to her via social media.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Crawford

[0] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
[1] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/...
[2] http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/so...
[3] http://data.passengerfocus.org.uk/train/...
[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-174...

Ivan Pocock, Department for Transport

Dear Sam Crawford,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review of our decision letter dated 6th October 2014. A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock

Ivan Pocock | FOI Advice Team | Information & Security Division | General Counsel’s Office | Department for Transport
Zone D/04, Ashdown House, Sedlescombe Road North, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7GA

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Dear Ivan Pocock,

Are there any updates on this request? It's been over a month since I requested a review.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Crawford

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Sam Crawford

 

Please find attached a letter relating to your request for an Internal
Review into the Department for Transport's handling of your recent FOI
request.

 

Kind regards

 

 

P Parr

FOI Advice Team

Department for Transport

 

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Secretary, Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association left an annotation ()

Sam

It is to be hoped that you will pursue the internal review and press for release of all the Franchise Agreement - including the parts which have been redacted in the published version. As always it is difficult to know exactly what it is that has been redacted, but some of the redactions appear to be non-financial elements such as contractually binding dates for the installation of new customer information displays at specified stations - where there is a clear and special public interest and it is hard to see what the commercial or other confidentiality is.

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Crawford

I have now completed my Internal Review into the Department for Transport's handling of your recent FOI request. My findings are set out in the attached letter. I apologise for the length of time that it has taken to complete this Review.

Yours sincerely

P Parr
FOI Advice Team
Department for Transport

---------------------------
From: Sam Crawford [mailto:[FOI #229132 email]]
Sent: 07 October 2014 12:38
To: FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Award of four year contract to Southeastern

Dear FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT,

Thank you for your recent reply regarding the Southeastern franchising agreement.

However, I am dissatisfied with the response provided regarding performance targets. I would like to request an internal review regarding this request. My reasons are as follows:

1) I did not request the complete franchise agreement, yet the response appears to be basing its rejection on the premise that I did. I limited my query to requesting information about the performance targets. I do not need, nor am I requesting, the entire franchise agreement. The key points/metrics which Southeastern must satisfy and the penalties for failing to do so is all I want.

2) I fail to understand how the request, when limited in scope to the performance targets only, could require a response that contains commercially sensitive information and therefore requires redacting.

3) The public interest in revealing this limited data vastly outweighs concerns about coordinating publication of the franchise agreement. As the minister noted in her letter to customers [0], Southeastern have provided a poor service to customers, and therefore customers (like myself) would very much like to know what new standards that Southeastern are being held to. The minister has attempted to appease customers by promising tough new performance targets, but there is no evidence to back this up. I'm sure I don't need to provide evidence of the poor service, but just in case, please see [1], [2], [3], [4] below, which are taken from four separate surveys in recent years. Moreover, the sheer fact that passengers are resorting to making FOI requests (I know of at least one other person who has requested similar information independently of me) regarding performance figures should tell you just how strong the public interest is in this matter!

Lastly, I would like to add that the transport minister welcomed questions about the new franchise agreement [0], yet has so far failed to acknowledge or respond to any of the questions put to her via social media.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Crawford

[0] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
[1] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/...
[2] http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/so...
[3] http://data.passengerfocus.org.uk/train/...
[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-174...

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