Delay Repay scheme adoption

Ganesh Sittampalam 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 successful.

Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Department for Transport,

I understand that new rail franchises are being specified with the "Delay Repay" scheme for compensating passengers for specific delays, replacing the old scheme where season ticket holders were automatically compensated according to the performance statistics for the entire line.

I am interested in how and why you decided to adopt the new scheme, and how it has turned out in practice. Please could you therefore provide copies of:

- Any analysis you did comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the old scheme, Delay Repay and any other possibilities you considered. This might include things like the impact on passengers and on the train company, for example in financial terms and convenience.
- Any analysis of how Delay Repay has turned out in practice, for example the actual costs of providing compensation, the level of takeup by passengers of compensation they are entitled to, how it has been perceived.

I realise that this request is a little vague and if there are potentially a huge number of documents relating to it then it is not my intention to request all of them, but rather anything that is particularly relevant to the request. If this is difficult to isolate or define then please let me know what sorts of things you hold and I will try to clarify my request in light of that.

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Ivan Pocock, Department for Transport

Dear Ganesh Sittampalam,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which has been allocated the above reference number. A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
Department for Transport
Information Rights Unit
D/04, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

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Peter Lepper, Department for Transport

Peter Lepper
Fares, Ticketing & Passenger Benefits Team
Department for Transport (Rail)
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SWIP 4DR

Direct Line: 020 7944 4253
Fax: 020 7944 2177
[email address]
Our Ref: RFTPB/002/001/001

Dear Mr Sittampalam

Thank you for your request for information about the adoption of Delay/Repay. I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Yours sincerely

Peter Lepper

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Peter Lepper, Department for Transport

Extension of time - public interest test

Dear Mr Sittampalam

Thank you for your request for information which we received on 22 December. The Department does hold some of the information you are seeking.

The FOI Act obliges us to respond to requests promptly, in any case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request. However, when a qualified exemption applies to the information, the public interest test needs to be considered. We are not required to comply with your request until such time as is reasonable in the circumstances. We do, of course, aim to make all decisions within 20 working days, including in cases where we need to consider where the public interest lies in respect of a request for exempt information. Your request, however, raises complex public interest considerations which must be analysed before we can come to a decision on releasing the information.

The exemptions that apply to the information you have requested are: formulation of government policy; information provided in confidence and; commercial interests.

In your case we need to extend our response time limit by 10 working days in order to assess whether the public interest is in withholding the information or disclosing it. Therefore, we plan to let you have a response by 8 February 2010. If there is a need for any further delay we will keep you informed.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

If you are unhappy with the way the Department has handled your request or with the decisions made in relation to your request you may complain within two calendar months of the date of this letter by writing to the Department's Information Rights Unit at:

Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
Hastings
East Sussex TN37 7GA
E-mail: [email address]

Please see attached details of DfT's complaints procedure and your right to complain to the Information Commissioner. You should contact me if you wish to complain.

Yours sincerely

Peter Lepper
Passenger Benefits Manager
Fares, Ticketing & Passenger Benefits Team
Rail Service Delivery
Department for Transport
Zone 3/33, Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR

Tel: 020 7944 4253
Fax: 020 7944 2177

Your right to complain to DfT and the Information Commissioner

You have the right to complain within two calendar months of the date of this letter about the way in which your request for information was handled and/or about the decision not to disclose all or part of the information requested. In addition a complaint can be made that DfT has not complied with its FOI publication scheme.

Your complaint will be acknowledged and you will be advised of a target date by which to expect a response. Initially your complaint will be re-considered by the official who dealt with your request for information. If, after careful consideration, that official decides that his/her decision was correct, your complaint will automatically be referred to a senior independent official who will conduct a further review. You will be advised of the outcome of your complaint and if a decision is taken to disclose information originally withheld this will be done as soon as possible.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

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Peter Lepper, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Sittampalam

Unfortunately it has not been possible to complete the response to your request by the planned response date of 8 February referred to in my email of 22 January. Please accept my apologies for this delay.

The delay is due to the completion of the consideration of the complex public interest tests relating to:

35 Formulation of government policy, (1) Information held by a government department or by the National Assembly for Wales is exempt information if it relates to-
(a) the formulation or development of government policy,

43 Commercial interests
(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).

We do plan to let you have a response by 12 February 2010.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Peter Lepper
Passenger Benefits Manager
Fares, Ticketing & Passenger Benefits Team
Rail Service Delivery
Department for Transport
Zone 3/33, Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR

Tel: 020 7944 4253
Fax: 020 7944 2177

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Peter Lepper, Department for Transport

5 Attachments

Peter Lepper
Fares, Ticketing & Passenger Benefits Team
Department for Transport (Rail)
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SWIP 4DR

Direct Line: 020 7944 4253
Fax: 020 7944 2177
[email address]

Web Site: www.dft.gov.uk
Your Ref:
Our Ref: RFTPB/002/001/001
12 February 2010

Dear Mr Sittampalam

I am writing to confirm that the Department for Transport (DfT) does hold some of the information you requested on 22 December 2009 but has decided that some of this information cannot be disclosed for the reasons given below. The information that can be released is:

* Report detailing season ticket renewal discounts (where applicable) and Void Days (discretionary), by Train Operating Company (TOC) service groups between 01/04/07-28/04/07.
* Summary of compensation arrangements for single, return and weekly season ticket holders in April 2007.
* Research findings on season ticket holders knowledge of entitlements and expectations for compensation.

A copy of the above information is enclosed.

By way of further background, I have prepared a compensation summary which provides further detail on the introduction of Delay/Repay, and on the discount system.

We have concluded that two exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the "Act") apply to withhold disclosure of that information. They are that information:

* Leading to the decision to adopt Delay/Repay would inhibit discussion within Government - Section 35 (1) of the Act.
* On compensation paid, claims and complaints relating to Delay/Repay on Train Operating Companies (TOCs) which operated versions of Delay/Repay prior to the DfT adopting the Delay/Repay policy, and compensation costs on TOCs which have adopted the Department's Delay/Repay policy, would prejudice the commercial interests of the train operators - Section 43(2) of the Act.

In applying these exemptions we have had to balance the public interest in withholding the information against the public interest in disclosure.

The attached Annex A to this letter sets out each exemption in full and details why the public interest test favours withholding the information.

The exemptions are qualified exemptions. This means that the DfT having identified the exemptions has to consider in relation to each exemption whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption (and not disclosing the information) outweighs the public interest in disclosing the Information. In determining the competing public interest exemptions, the DfT has evaluated the nature of the prejudice that might result from disclosure against the need for public bodies to exercise their statutory functions in a visible way. Weighing the issues up, it is the opinion of the DfT that the public interest in maintaining the exemptions, and therefore not disclosing the information, is overriding.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.

Most documents supplied by the DfT will have been produced by government officials and will be Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown copyright on the Office of Public Sector Information website at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/click-use/index.htm.

The information provided may now be published on our website together with any related information that will provide a key to its wider context.

If you are unhappy with the way the DfT has handled your request or with the decisions made in relation to your request you may complain within two calendar months of the date of this letter by writing to the DfT's Information Rights Unit at:

Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
Hastings
East Sussex TN37 7GA
E-mail: [email address]

Please see attached details of DfT's complaints procedure and your right to complain to the Information Commissioner.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Peter Lepper

Your right to complain to the DfT and the Information Commissioner

You have the right to complain within two calendar months of the date of this letter about the way in which your request for information was handled and/or about the decision not to disclose all or part of the information requested. In addition a complaint can be made that DfT has not complied with its FOI publication scheme.

Your complaint will be acknowledged and you will be advised of a target date by which to expect a response. Initially your complaint will be re-considered by the official who dealt with your request for information. If, after careful consideration, that official decides that his/her decision was correct, your complaint will automatically be referred to a senior independent official who will conduct a further review. You will be advised of the outcome of your complaint and if a decision is taken to disclose information originally withheld this will be done as soon as possible.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

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Ganesh Sittampalam

Dear Department for Transport,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Transport's handling of my FOI request 'Delay Repay scheme adoption'.

I disagree with the balance of the public interest test in the exemptions you have claimed.

For section 35, I note that the adoption of Delay Repay seems to be a settled policy that is being rolled out to new franchises without significant modification and therefore the arguments in favour of the exemption seem quite weak. On the public interest side, the Delay Repay scheme has generated significant annoyance from people who are regularly subjected to sub-30 minute delays or who dislike having to actively claim compensation rather than receiving it automatically. See for example http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/Mai...

As far as section 43 goes, you have not provided any specific explanation why release of this information in particular would even be likely to prejudice the interests of the train operators. I do not believe that the details of the compensation payments they are liable to, which in effect forms part of the fares structure, is something that would have any such effect.

In addition, in cases where information continues to be withheld, please ensure that you have given adequate consideration to redacting documents rather than withholding them entirely. At the very least I would expect a full list of what documents have been withheld.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/de...

Yours faithfully,

Ganesh Sittampalam

Peter Lepper, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    100326 Sittampalam FOI appeal internal review acknowledgement letter.pdf

    49K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Sittampalam

I attach acknowledgment letter.

Yours sincerely

Peter Lepper

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Ian McBrayne, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sittampalam,

Please see attached letter in response to your e-mail of 27 February.

Yours sincerely,
Ian McBrayne

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Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

FS50313962

Ganesh Sittampalam left an annotation ()

Just received a decision notice in the post dated 29th June 2011 ordering release of all information.

Peter Lepper, Department for Transport

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Sittampalam

I attach a letter and the released information.

Yours sincerely

Peter Lepper

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