Correspondence with the Garden Bridge Trust

tom francis made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Transport

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Transport,

Please provide full details of all correspondence (including correspondence by email) with the Garden Bridge Trust since 23rd June 2016, including all information about Trust accounts and details of contracts signed by the Trust that has been sent from the Garden Bridge Trust to the Department for Transport.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Francis

Department for Transport

Dear Mr Francis,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0013949.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

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

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Dear Department for Transport,

Just to note that you should have responded to this request by today.

Thanks very much.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Francis

Rupert Furness, Department for Transport

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Francis,

 

Please find attached a response to your FOI request of 20 August.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1][IMG]          Rupert Furness 
Deputy Director, Head of London Transport Division 

5/22 GMH, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR  

020 7944 3234       07825 193634
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk 

 

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Dear Mr Furness,

Thanks very much for the information you've sent.

I would like to appeal the decision to withhold some information under exemption 43

This is on the grounds that

i) Most of the public money that has been given to the Garden Bridge Trust has already been spent by the Trust, so making the information public will have very little if any adverse effect on its efficient spending of public money.

ii) The matter of the financial health of the Trust is a matter of very significant public interest. The Trust is intending to build a large piece of infrastructure in the middle of the Thames, but has no financial resilience. Further, the Trust appears to have removed the optimism bias (some tens of millions) from the estimates of total project costs when it took over the project from TfL. Given this, and the amount of money it still has to raise to reach even the estimated cost without optimism bias, it's clear that if the Trust starts construction, there is a significant possibility that it will run out of funding part way through - in which case it will leave a part-constructed bridge in the middle of the river, which will need to be completed or removed at public expense. Given this risk of very high further public expenditure on the project (and the further risks implied by the maintenance guarantee from the GLA). there is a very strong case that the finances and activities of the trust should be entirely transparent, in order that outcomes that might be very expensive to the public purse can be avoided.

Given these points, I would argue that the public interest here over-rides exemption 43. I would accept. however, that there may be arguments for redacting some exact figures from these communications

Thanks very much

Yours sincerely,

Tom Francis

Rupert Furness, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Francis,

Thank you for your email asking for an internal review of the Department's
handling of your FOI request, and in particular appealing the decision to
withhold some information under exemption 43.

I have passed this to the team in the Department who handle these reviews,
and they will no doubt be in touch with you with their findings in due
course.

Yours sincerely,

Rupert Furness
Department for Transport

Rupert Furness
Department for Transport
[1]020 7944 3234
[2]07825 193634

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FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Francis

 

Thank you for your email requesting an internal review into the handling
of your recent FOI request (case reference number F0013949).

 

I am writing to confirm that the Department will now undertake an internal
review of our decision letter dated 19 September.

 

We aim to respond to your complaint within 20 working days.

 

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me for further help. 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

P Parr

FOI Advice Team

Department for Transport

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FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Francis

 

You requested an internal review into the Department for Transport’s
handling of your recent FOI request. I have now completed an independent
review and attach a letter which sets out my findings.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

P Parr

FOI Advice Team

Department for Transport

 

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