Confidentiality Agreement TfL has signed with Imperial College's International Bus Benchmarking Group

The request was refused by Imperial College London.

Dear Imperial College London,

Please provide me with a copy of the Confidentiality Agreement TfL and/or London Bus Services Limited has signed with Imperial College's International Bus Benchmarking Group that allows it to participate as a member.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Kearney

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Kearney,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request below, made under the Freedom of Information Act. The College aims to respond to your request within twenty working days of receipt of your request.

We will contact you again in due course.

Kind regards,

Bryony Greenfield

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IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Kearney,

 

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request.

 

Please find below the College's response to your questions:

 

"Please provide me with a copy of the Confidentiality Agreement TfL and/or
London Bus Services Limited has signed with Imperial College's
International Bus Benchmarking Group that allows it to participate as a
member."

 

We confirm that we hold the information requested however the College has
determined that it is exempt from disclosure under Section 43 (2) and
Section 41 of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Section 43 (2) states that information is exempt if its disclosure “would
or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person
(including the public authority holding it).” The College has determined
that the Confidentiality Agreement is commercially sensitive and to
release this information would prejudice the commercial interests of the
IBBG Members, as well as the IBBG project itself, and thus ultimately
prejudice the commercial interests of the College.

 

The Confidentiality Agreement forms part of the framework and overall
Collaboration Agreement for the IBBG project. It contains the detailed
inter-workings of the Group and the College considers these to be
commercially sensitive. To disclose the terms on which the IBBG project
operates would enable new competitors to replicate the Group's framework
and potentially damage its position in the market. Prejudice is also
likely to occur as existing consultancies of a similar nature could offer
different or more favourable terms of membership than the IBBG and thus
draw away both current and new potential Members, damaging the ability of
the Group, on behalf of the College, to compete in the market. This in
turn would result in a loss of revenue for the Group and ultimately for
the College itself.

 

As such, the College does not believe that the public interest in the
release of this information outweighs the potential negative impact of the
disclosure for the reasons outlined above.  

 

Section 41 states that “information is exempt information if (a) it was
obtained by the public authority from any other person (including another
public authority), and (b) the disclosure of the information to the
public…by the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of
confidence actionable by that or any other person.”

 

The College deems that the Confidentiality Agreement constitutes
confidential information as it is confidential under the terms of the
wider Collaboration Agreement. The founding principle of the IBBG is that
there is complete confidentiality outside of the IBBG and it is on this
basis that Members sign the Agreement and agree to share information
within the Group. TFL and/or London Bus Services Limited therefore have a
reasonable expectation that any information provided by them, and the
terms of their involvement within the Group, will remain confidential.

 

If the College were to release information provided to the Group in
confidence by its Members, this would impact on the willingness of Members
to participate in an honest and open exchange within the Group in future.
The honest and open exchange of Members’ experiences and performance would
therefore be lost, undermining and negatively impacting the primary
function and overall purpose of the IBBG project.

 

I am obliged, under the Freedom of Information Act, to inform you of our
complaints procedures in case you are unhappy about the way in which your
request has been dealt with. If you wish to complain about this response,
you should contact the College Secretary at the address below.

 

The College Secretary

Imperial College London

Exhibition Road

London

SW7 2AZ

E-mail: [1][email address]      

 

If you are unhappy about the way in which the College Secretary handles
your complaint then you may have recourse to the official regulator for
the Freedom of Information Act who is:

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[2]http://www.ico.gov.uk       

 

Kind regards,

 

Bryony Greenfield

 

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