Dear Merseytravel,

I would like to make the following requestion for "environmental information" as defined by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Please could you provide electronic copies of the below numbered 133 invoices paid during the 2017-18 financial year by either Merseytravel or the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. By invoice I mean all pages of a multi-page invoice including attached schedules of costs or breakdown of costs where applicable. Where there is not an accompanying invoice, I'd like to see some record of what the payment is for.

I also remind you of your s.16 duty to provide advice and assistance to those making requests.

Yours faithfully,

John Brace

=============================================================================

Number Name Vendor Invoice Date Subjective Name Cost Centre Code Cost Centre Name Line Amount Incl VAT

1 Datrix Learning Services Ltd 18/01/17 Officers Course Fees S-301- T & D General 1195

2 Key Travel 15/03/17 Officers Rail X-0150- Operations 1195.86

3 Social Marketing Partners Ltd 31/03/17 Campaigns K-2201- Liverpool City Region/Combined Authority 1200

4 Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service 11/04/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 1300

5 CRITIQOM LTD 31/03/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 1307.73

6 Swift Despatch Ltd 28/02/17 Mobile Messenger P-6503- Mann Island Office Services 1366.2

7 Swift Despatch Ltd 31/03/17 Mobile Messenger P-6503- Mann Island Office Services 1571.13

8 C AND G O'NEILL (THE BACKBEAT BEATLES) 10/03/17 Cost of Sales X-0160- Functions 1710

9 RSG Engineering Ltd 17/03/17 Operational Equipment T-0101- Police 1815

10 CIPFA 29/03/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 2045

11 The Very Helpful Service Company 31/03/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 2145

12 Helloevery1 Ltd 22/03/17 Social marketing J-1943- Social Marketing 2580

13 PRGloo Ltd 30/03/17 Media Monitoring Service J-5201 Media & PR General 3000

14 Veale Wasborough Vizards 10/04/17 Legal Fees S-7108- HQ Relocation 4000

15 DLA Piper UK LLP 31/03/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 4403.66

16 Weightmans LLP 31/01/17 Consultants Fees A-3001- Combined Authority General 4410

17 Weightmans LLP 31/03/17 Consultants Fees A-3001- Combined Authority General 4813.5

18 Wirral Borough Council 19/04/17 Basic Allowance K-2101- Members Expenses 5675.04

19 PRGloo Ltd 29/03/17 Group Alpha Service Contract N-1618- Email Marketing – Core Motices 6000

20 Marine Metallurgical Consultants Ltd 31/03/17 Consultants Fees F-0401- Headquarters/Support Services 8848

21 Wirral MBC 27/04/17 Wirral BC Z-2361-302 Wirral Waters Eastern Portal 9796.6

22 BDRC Continental Ltd 20/02/17 Market Research J-1701- Transport Policy 10000

23 Local Partnerships LLP 08/02/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 17000

24 Alta Innovations Ltd 14/03/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 22400

25 Wirral Chamber of Commerce 03/04/17 Wirral Chamber of Commerce Z-2318- ERDF – Business Support 25523.29

26 Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Ltd 13/03/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 63787.79

27 Countryside Neptune LLP 10/01/17 Main Contractor S-7108- HQ Relocation 100064

28 Liverpool City Council 27/04/17 Liverpool CC Z-2355-201- The Knowledge Quarter Portal 643602.43

29 Clearwater Technology Ltd 01/04/17 Legionella Testing P-6501- Mann Island 567.5

30 Veale Wasborough Vizards 24/04/17 Legal Fees S-7108- HQ Relocation 660

31 Kenyon Fraser 02/03/17 Corporate Publications J-5201- Media & PR General 700

32 Develop Training Ltd 11/05/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 826

33 Second Skin Events Ltd 19/04/17 Events F-0401- Headquarters/Support Services 1025

34 Epstein Theatre Ltd 09/05/17 Venue Hire S-0332- Staff Awards 1039.17

35 Critiqom Ltd 28/04/17 Mail Shot H-3330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 1068.63

36 Roberts & Son Plumbing and Heating Ltd 31/03/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 1500

37 Veale Wasborough Vizards 27/04/17 Legal Fees S-7108- HQ Relocation 1695

39 CrITIQOM LTD 28/04/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 2496.93

40 Commission for the New Economy Ltd 22/03/17 Rent J-1850- Liverpool City Region Brussels Office 5322.25

41 The Very Helpful Service Company 02/05/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 5720

42 BDRC Continental Ltd 20/02/17 Market Research J-1701- Transport Policy 10828

43 Agent Marketing Ltd 28/04/17 Agent Marketing Z-2319- ERDF – New Markets 2 16771.07

44 The University of Liverpool 28/04/17 UOL Z-2319- ERDF – New Markets 2 88290.6

45 The Women's Organisation 28/04/17 The Women's Organisation Z-2319- ERDF – New Markets 2 90776.74

48 Critiqom Ltd 31/05/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 1105.11

49 Improvement Development & Growth Ltd 25/05/17 Specialist Fees S-0501- Gen – General 1650

51 Northwest Employers 28/04/17 General Subscriptions S-0501- Gen – General 3375.9

52 The Very Helpful Service Company 01/06/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 6581.25

53 DLA Piper UK LLP 31/05/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor R-0205- Rolling Stock Legal Challenge Costs 45726.5

54 Urban Transport Group 26/05/17 PTEG K-2501- L.A. Subscriptions etc. 81885

56 Cafe Cross the Mersey Ltd 22/06/17 Cost of Sales X-0160- Functions 500

57 Radio City Cash for Kids 06/06/17 Cost of Sales X-0450- Pier Head Cafe 539.83

58 Wirral Borough Council 09/03/17 Consultants Fees R-0100- Administration (Planning & Monitoring) 750

59 Hill Dickinson LLP 18/07/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 775

60 Try & Lilly Ltd 12/06/17 Uniforms T-0101- Police 950.64

61 Kaplan Financial Ltd 27/06/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 1190.83

63 Critiqom Ltd 31/05/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 1316.31

65 Cafe Cross the Mersey Ltd 31/05/17 Cost of Sales X-0160- Functions 2065

66 Green Blue Skies Ltd 30/06/17 Consultants Fees J-1850- Liverpool City Region Brussels Office 2400

67 Merchant Navy Resources Ltd 30/06/17 Staff Professional Fees P-1001- Management and Administration 2852.4

68 Mojo Theatre 27/07/17 Your Choice J-1401- Corporate Engagement Team 3800

69 CritiQOM LTD 01/07/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 5107.37

70 The Very Helpful Service Company 25/06/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 5525

71 Gallium Fund Solutions Ltd 04/07/17 Consultants Fees A-3001- Combined Authority General 7500

72 Systra Ltd 26/05/17 Consultants Fees S-4003- Data & Analysis 7550

73 Avon Buses Ltd 28/07/17 Compensation Misc S-2101- Ins – General 19680

75 Rawlings Safety & Training Consultancy S 27/07/17 Officers Course Fees X-0150- Operations 505

76 Delmar Press (Colour Printers) Ltd 27/07/17 Social marketing J-1943- Social Marketing 750

77 Second Skin Events Ltd 31/07/17 Other Expenses F-0402- MSC and Other Cruise Expenses 850

78 Liverpool City Region LEP Ltd 28/06/17 Officers Course Fees X-0150- Operations 1000

79 Portobello Partnership Ltd 01/08/17 Hospitality Authorised by PTE K-2501- L.A. Subscriptions etc. 1600

80 Green Blue Skies Ltd 10/03/16 Consultants Fees J-1850- Liverpool City Region Brussels Office 1700

81 Goulston Lincoln Marketing 30/06/17 Consultants Fees X-0140- Marketing 2400

82 Goulston Lincoln Marketing 30/05/17 Consultants Fees X-0140- Marketing 2400

83 Goulston Lincoln Marketing 30/07/17 Consultants Fees X-0140- Marketing 2400

84 Liverpool City Region LEP Ltd 05/07/17 Consultants Fees A-3001- Combined Authority General 20000

85 The University of Liverpool 08/08/17 UOL Z-2319- ERDF – New Markets 2 29860.31

86 Metro Dynamics Ltd 25/07/17 Consultants Fees A-3001- Combined Authority General 53515.67

87 Sefton Council 21/06/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 500

88 DLA Piper UK LLP 27/04/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 500

89 Maritime & Engineering College NW 01/09/17 Officers Course Fees P-1001- Management and Administration 500

90 Evans Marine Services Ltd 08/09/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 595

91 Cumbria County Council 08/08/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 699.53

92 Kingfisher Media 31/08/17 Media Advertising X-0140- Marketing 778

93 Wirral Borough Council 20/09/17 Employers NI Contribution K-2101- Members Expenses 787.18

94 Critiqom Ltd 31/07/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 950.27

95 Critiqom Ltd 31/08/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 987.34

96 Adept Executive Consulting Ltd 18/09/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 995

97 DAC Beachcroft LLP 31/08/17 Legal Fees R-7582- Maghull North 1000

98 Pear UK West Ltd 13/09/17 Media Advertising X-0140- Marketing 1180

99 Halcrow Group Ltd 24/08/17 Officers Foreign Travel R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 1558.16

100 Critiqom Ltd 31/08/17 Mail Shot H-330- Commercial Agents ex SIT 2081.75

101 Goulston Lincoln Marketing 30/08/17 Consultants Fees X-0140- Marketing 2400

102 Wirral Borough Council 20/09/17 Basic Allowance K-2101- Members Expenses 3783.36

103 NWTC Commercial Services 21/09/17 Officers Course Fees P-1001- Management and Administration 5955

104 DLA Piper UK LLP 31/08/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 8544

105 DLA Piper UK LLP 31/08/17 Consultants Fees A-3001- Combined Authority General 10000

106 Capita Treasury Solutions Ltd 01/09/17 General Subscriptions S-4001- Accounts 10600

107 High Performance Consultancy Ltd 25/08/17 High Performance Z-2319- ERDF – New Markets 2 15459.16

108 DLA Piper UK LLP 31/08/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 15660.35

109 Wirral Chamber of Commerce 25/08/17 Wirral Chamber of Commerce Z-2318- ERDF – Business Support 25783.5

110 The Women's Organisation 25/08/17 The Women's Organisation Z-2319- ERDF – New Markets 2 25978.38

111 The University of Liverpool 25/08/17 UOL Z-2319- ERDF – New Markets 2 35474.71

112 Wirral Borough Council 30/09/17 Interest Payable A-0501- Interest/Fees Wirral 502950

113 Red Snapper Media Limited 30/09/17 Books/Manuals T-0101- Police 501.32

114 Socialb Ltd 08/09/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 539.1

115 Wild Thang Ltd 27/09/17 Social marketing J-1943- Social Marketing 580

116 De Vere 16/10/17 Officers Course Fees T-0101- Police 623.6

117 Hill Dickinson LLP 23/10/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 675

118 Kenyon Fraser 26/07/17 Corporate Publications J-5201- Media & PR General 700

119 Masondouglas Training & Consulting Ld 11/08/17 Officers Course Fees X-0150- Operations 890

120 Second Skin Events Ltd 11/10/17 Other Expenses F-0402- MSC and Other Cruise Expenses 900

121 NWTC Commercial Services 21/09/17 Officers Course Fees P-1001- Management and Administration 1985

122 Modern Mindset Ltd 20/07/17 Hardware Other Computer Cont N-1607- Committee Management System – Modern Gov 7010

123 DLA Piper UK LLP 30/09/17 Consultants Fees A-3009- Mayoral Priorities 10000

124 DLA Piper UK LLP 28/09/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 13972

125 DLA Piper UK LLP 29/09/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 16629.08

126 Metro Dynamics Ltd 29/09/17 Consultants Fees A-3008 CA Mayors Office 18918.75

127 Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service 24/10/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 1020

128 Civica UK Ltd 07/11/18 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2231- Misc – General 1110

129 MHFA England CIC 06/11/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 1355

130 Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service 03/11/17 Officers Course Fees S-0301- T & D General 1360

131 Access UK Ltd 27/10/17 Officers Course Fees X-0150- Operations 1379.64

132 Access UK Ltd 08/11/17 Officers Course Fees X-0150- Operations 1379.64

133 Goulston Lincoln Marketing 30/10/17 Consultants Fees X-0140- Marketing 2400

134 Goulston Lincoln Marketing 30/09/17 Consultants Fees X-0140- Marketing 2400

135 Goulston Lincoln Marketing 30/11/17 Consultants Fees X-0140- Marketing 2400

136 Davies Wallis Foyster 27/10/17 Cost MTVL External Solicitor S-2071- CO – General 8952.8

137 DLA Piper UK LLP 16/10/17 Consultants Fees R-0200- Rolling Stock Programme 18394.32

138 Liverpool Vision Limited 03/11/17 Liverpool Vision Z-2396- IFB 2018 186309.51

139 QA Ltd 28/11/17 Staff Training MA003 Corporate Learning 2683.92

140 Key Travel 15/01/18 Officers Train MA051 HR Travel & Account Recharge 840.94

141 Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors 23/01/18 Legal Fees SL001 Legal, Democratic and Procurement Services 4000

Henderson, Andrew, Merseytravel

Dear Mr Brace

RSN18561

Thank you for your email to Merseytravel. Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and will be answered within twenty working days.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Henderson

Senior Information Management Officer | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [Merseytravel request email]

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Henderson, Andrew, Merseytravel

Dear Mr Brace

RSN18561

Thank you for your recent request for information.

Merseytravel note that you have stated that your request has been made under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). Without an individual assessment of each invoice and the associated supporting documents, Merseytravel is not able to determine that the requested invoices themselves would constitute 'environmental information' as defined by the EIRs.

It is acknowledged that the ICO's website (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui... states that 'financial information would be classed as environmental information if it related to the costs of redeveloping land and building a new leisure complex'. From the broad cost code categories attributed to each invoice, the overall purpose of the invoice (and therefore whether or not it relates to an environmental measure, so example) is impossible to establish.

We believe the likelihood is that the majority, if not the entirety, of the requested invoices and associated supporting documents would not be classed as environmental information, and must therefore progress on the assumption that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is the appropriate regime under which to consider your enquiry.

As defined by Section 12 of the Act, the cost limit for responding to a request under the Act for a local government body is set at £450, which is calculated at a rate of £25 per hour (totalling the equivalent of 18 hours' work). When considering the cost of responding, Merseytravel is able to take into account the time spent

a) determining whether the information is held;
b) locating the information;
c) retrieving the original record, and
d) extracting the requested data from the original record.

Merseytravel's Finance department estimate that it would take a minimum of 5 minutes to locate and retrieve each invoice and the associated documents from our system. This estimate would be reduced if the individual invoice number was known, but as it is not searches would have to be made on the invoice date. As it is a regular occurrence for suppliers to submit numerous separate invoices on the same day, a manual check would need to be carried out to find the correct document(s).

For the 132 requested invoices, this exercise would take a total of 660 minutes (5 x 132), or 11 hours, which falls within the appropriate cost limit permitted by Section 12.

This does not, however, constitute the entirety of the work needed to fulfil your request; Section 12 does not allow a public body to consider the time spent considering possible exemptions or redacting documents. From our experience, which you will appreciate given your history of similar requests, invoices are highly likely to include both personal data of third parties (Section 40(2)) and commercially sensitive information (Section 43), both of which are potentially exempt under the Act. It is also a distinct possibility that some of the details contained within the documents may have been provided in confidence (Section 41) or attract legal professional privilege (Section 42). These considerations therefore add to the overall burden placed on Merseytravel to respond.

When dealing with requests, Merseytravel is required to act in accordance with the Cabinet Office's Freedom of Information Code of Practice, issued under Section 45 of the Act. Part 3 of the Code addresses the need to consult with third parties when

. when requests for information relate to persons or bodies who are not the applicant and/or the public authority; or
. when disclosure of information is likely to affect the interests of persons or bodies who are not the applicant or the authority.

Both of these conditions are met in the case of your request, and Merseytravel would need to consult with each of the service providers who submitted the invoices to determine the sensitive of the information contained therein.

There are a total of 79 separate organisations (the data includes transactions under the headings of both Wirral Borough Council and Wirral MBC, which are the same entity). It is estimated that it would take a minimum of ten minutes to consult which each party, with some likely to take considerably longer due to the complexity of the information in question.

The consultation exercise would therefore take at least 790 minutes (10 x 79), or 13 hours 10 minutes to complete.

The Code goes on to state that

There may be occasions where information being considered by a public authority relates to a large number of third parties. If a public authority intends to release information that relates to a large number of third parties it may be helpful to contact a representative organisation who can express views on these parties' behalf rather than contacting each third party individually. Alternatively, if no representative organisation exists, public authorities can also consider only notifying or consulting a representative sample of third parties regarding the disclosure of information, but these will be case by case judgements for the relevant public authority. [3.6]

No representative organisation exists for the parties concerned, and completing a representative sampling exercise is not deemed appropriate given the wide range of businesses and organisations captured by the request. In order to be truly representative, any sampling exercise would need to be so broad that it would not save any notable amount of time.

Even in the extremely unlikely event that the consultation does not identify any commercially sensitive information, the invoices will undoubtedly contain the personal information of junior officers. This information would be exempt under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as disclosure would breach the First Principle of the General Data Protection Regulation (Article 5(1)(a)).

This personal information would therefore need to be redacted and the documents suitably quality checked and scanned. It is estimated that this would take a minimum of 5 minutes per invoice.

The total estimated redaction time would be 660 minutes (5 x 132), or 11 hours.

Based on the factors outlined above, the cumulative time to respond to you enquiry would be:

Invoice Retrieval 660 minutes
Consultation 790 minutes
Redaction 660 minutes

Total Time 2,110 minutes, or 35 hours 10 minutes

The ICO has issued guidance on requests which would impose a grossly oppressive burden but are not covered by the Section 12 cost limits at the following link: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio.... This states that an authority 'may apply section 14(1) where it can make a case that the amount of time required to review and prepare the information for disclosure would impose a grossly oppressive burden on the organisation'.

The conditions set out by the ICO for Section 14(1) to apply are

. The requester has asked for a substantial volume of information AND
. The authority has real concerns about potentially exempt information, which it will be able to substantiate if asked to do so by the ICO AND
. Any potentially exempt information cannot easily be isolated because it is scattered throughout the requested material.

Merseytravel believe that all three of these conditions are met; you have requested a substantial amount of information, and given our past experience of handling requests for invoices we have genuine concerns that the details contained within and throughout the documents will potentially be exempt.

It is Merseytravel's opinion that there is a lack of any wider substantial public interest in the invoices themselves, which could justify this burden. There is no clear theme to the invoices requested, aside from their appearance in Merseytravel's published expenditure over £500 data, nor is there any known controversy or speculation in relation to the transactions. The need for transparency is, in our view, addressed adequately in the already published.

For the reasons outlined above, your request is refused under Section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act due to the excessive burden that a response would entail.

In accordance with Section 16 of the Act, to provide you with relevant advice and assistance, Merseytravel can recommend reducing the scope of your enquiry by around 50%. We would be happy to consider any revised request under the Act.

Andrew Henderson

Senior Information Management Officer | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [email address]

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Dear Merseytravel,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews/Environmental Information Regulations reconsiderations.

I am writing to request an internal review of Merseytravel's handling of my FOI/EIR request 'electronic copies of invoices for 17-18 FY'.

Thank you for your response.

Due to past communications you will probably be unsurprised to learn that I disagree with it.

As detailed in the request the information is held "by either Merseytravel or the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority." These are two different public bodies.

Therefore it is essentially two requests made to two different bodies. For example looking through the first twenty, items 3, 16 and 17 are all to do with LCRCA expenditure.

Therefore the time limits are 18.5 hours for the LCRCA part of the request and 18.5 hours for the Merseytravel part of the request.

I could individually go through each part of the request and detail public interest arguments as to why the information should be disclosed. For the parts of the request that are an EIR request public interest arguments in favour do not need to be made as there is a presumption in favour of disclosure and as you are not claiming that any of the reasons against disclosure apply.

However, going back to your arguments about time, as you yourself point out, the time limit is 18 hours and you estimate that as only 11 hours of work can be calculated towards this that it cannot be refused on s.12 grounds.

You therefore go on to refuse on s.14 grounds.

I recently made a multi-part request to Wirral Borough Council (that ended up going to a First-tier Tribunal hearing). Essentially my arguments in favour of disclosure here are the same as those made in two decision notices dealing with s.12 and s.14. Both decision notices were in favour of disclosure and neither were challenged at the First-tier Tribunal hearing. The decision notices contain my arguments in favour of disclosure in multi-part requests such as these.

Therefore bearing in mind the public interest in transparency about how public money is spent and bearing in mind that your time estimate is half the time it took Wirral Council to respond to that request I do not believe based not just on these decision notices (which are in relation to s.12 here https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak... (FSFS50509081) and s.14 here https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak... (FSFS50569254), but on the result of First-tier Tribunal decisions, Upper Tribunal cases and the case law that this request meets the s.14 criteria.

The test to be followed is that set out in this Court of Appeal case [2015] EWCA Civ 454 https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ... which upheld an earlier Upper Tribunal case that I will refer to as the "Dransfield test".

Essentially there are four elements to that test:

1) the burden imposed by the request (on the public authority and its staff),
2) the motive of the requester,
3) the value or serious purpose of the request
and
4) harassment of, or distress to, staff.

Although your refusal deals with parts 1 and part 4, it barely touches on 2 and 3.

Essentially, as you will no doubt be aware (or at least I would hope you are by now) I am a journalist. Therefore parts (2) and (3) are for journalistic purposes as the public finance the activities of Merseytravel and the LCRCA. In respect of the LCRCA I indeed have a vote every few years as to who the LCRCA Mayor is and I can't exercise that vote in an informed way without knowing how the LCRCA and Merseytravel as its executive body are spending taxpayer's money. In a nutshell, that as well as the rest of my submission above should show that parts (2) and (3) of the Dransfield test (in conjunction with the decision notices I link to) are not met.

Therefore I would like you to conduct an internal review on the basis that:-

a) a representative sampling exercise was not undertaken therefore the estimates of time as to how long it would take are essentially a guess,

b) the "Dransfield" test is not met,

c) you claim that ICO's view is different to that expressed in decision notices and case law

d) as detailed in those decision notices without a representative sampling exercise your refusal fails on s.17(1)(c) because it does not state why s.14 applies (and even if it does it does not meet the test in case law).

e) There has been concern expressed at previous public meetings of the LCRCA that by the LCRCA is not meeting its obligations under the Transparency Code as it is not publishing a separate list of LCRCA expenditure on its website (as opposed to the combined Merseytravel/LCRCA list on Merseytravel's website). Knowing what the actual LCRCA expenditure is on (which impacts on staffing levels) would also help inform the current public debate about the LCRCA council tax precept and the level at which it is set.

I hope that helps but if there is anything further you need please contact me.

A full history of my EIR request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

John Brace

Henderson, Andrew, Merseytravel

Dear Mr Brace

Your request for an internal review has been passed to Mrs Julie Watling to be carried out.

Regards,

Andrew Henderson

Senior Information Management Officer | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [email address]

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Watling, Julie, Merseytravel

Mr Brace

I was hoping to respond to your request for an Internal Review in respect of the above today. Unfortunately due to workload I will not get to it. I will respond to your request over the next few days.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards

Julie Watling

Legal, Democratic Services & Procurement Manager | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1703 | [mobile number] | Email: [email address]

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Watling, Julie, Merseytravel

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Brace

 

I refer to your request for an internal review in respect of the above
matter.

 

Your FOI request was made specifically to the Merseytravel FOI address and
not the separate LCRCA FOI address.  It was not therefore made to two
statutory bodies and cannot therefore be treated as two separate
requests.   Merseytravel, as Executive Body for the LCRCA, provide
corporate services and in particular financial services to the LCRCA. 
Consequently Merseytravel holds the financial information for our own
administrative purposes as well as on behalf of the LCRCA.  As
Merseytravel holds the information there was no need to transfer the
request to the LCRCA.  For your information approximately only 12 of the
132 invoices requested relate to the LCRCA and not 50/50 as you suggested.

 

Whilst Section 14 is not subject to a public interest test the fact that
Merseytravel (and indeed the LCRCA) publish its expenditure over £500
shows a clear intention by Merseytravel to keep the public updated on what
it is expending its money on in any event.  With regard to your motive
under the Dransfield test as your original request (as in previous years)
was for the purpose of raising issues on the published accounts under the
Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, and when this was refused you
engaged in lengthy correspondence with ourselves and the ICO (despite the
Commissioner having no purview in this area), rather than simply make an
FOI request back in the summer as was suggested.  It has therefore been
unclear whether your motivation was purely journalistic and in pursuit of
transparency, or if it was a point-scoring exercise against the
organisation.  In my view the purpose and value of the requested
information does not therefore justify the distress, disruption and
irritation incurred by Merseytravel as a result of this request.  You have
requested a substantial amount of information and Merseytravel does have
real concerns about the exempt information scattered within such
documentation.

 

You are obviously aware of the burdensome effect your request has on
Merseytravel.  I would therefore concur with the view of the Senior
Information Management Officer that the Dransfield test is met and Section
14(1) can be applied as the amount of time required to review and prepare
the information for disclosure would impose a grossly oppressive burden on
Merseytravel. 

 

As stated in our previous email we would be happy to consider a more
targeted approach to invoices requested rather than a random large
selection of the same.

 

If you are not content with the result of your internal review, you also
have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, whose address
is

 

                The Information Commissioner’s Office,

                Wycliffe House,

                Water Lane,

                Wilmslow,

                Cheshire SK9 5AF

                [1]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Kind regards

 

Julie Watling

Legal, Democratic Services &
Procurement Manager | Merseytravel |
Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool,
L69 3HN

Office: 0151 330 1703 | [mobile number] | Email:
[2][email address]

 

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