Internal Review Request: Request for the sound files of the old 1996 stock Jubilee Line automated announcements before the 2016 changes to them.
Dear Transport for London,
I am writing this email to request that you carry out an internal review in regards to my recent FOI request that i had made which i have linked here:
TFL Reference Number: FOI-1990-2021
"Request for the sound files of the old 1996 stock Jubilee Line automated announcements before the 2016 changes to them."
As you have refused my request i understand that i am now allowed to request an Internal Review which is what i am writing to you to request.
You have refused my request because of the exemption however the exemption that you have used does not apply to the automated announcements that i have requested from you.
However this only actually applies to the Global Services automated announcements (which are used on your, Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Victoria, Waterloo & City, lines) but not to your Ketech announcements (which are used on your, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly, lines) therefore there is no issue with giving out the ones that i have requested.
In fact you have even admitted this yourself and have given out the Jubilee and Northern and Piccadilly lines automated announcements to many people on many occasions. An example of this is the request that i had linked to in my original email where you had attached all the ZIP sound files of all of the Jubilee and Northern and Piccadilly lines automated announcements. So it is clear that these ones do not come under this exemption.
All i am asking for is for copies of the old Jubilee Line 1996 stock announcements from before you made the changes in 2016 to modify them. All you did was add a few announcements and remove a few announcements and change the wording of a few announcements. But it is still the same announcement system that is provided by Ketech so it does not come under this exemption at all. Like i say you provided the current announcements before and you have even provided the old Northern Line announcement (that were changed at around the same time as the Jubilee Line announcements in around 2016 or so) so you should be able to provide the ones i am requesting.
So i would like an Internal Review carried out please in regards to this. I am still requesting the old Jubilee Line announcements sound files from before all of the 2016 changes to them took place. These ones are provided by Ketech and the exemption does not apply to these. I look forward to hopefully receiving these sound files. Please attach them as MP3 or ZIP or whatever is easiest for you.
Thank you very much and i do look forward to your reply to my Internal Review soon.
Thank you for your email. I am on leave until Monday 1 February. For FOI
enquiries please email [TfL request email]
TfL Ref: IRV-055-2021
Thank you for your email which was received by Transport for London (TfL) on 28 January 2021.
You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.
A review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following URL:
Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 25 February 2021. However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will contact you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as possible.
In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me.
Principal Information Access Adviser
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London
Dear Mr Broward
I am contacting you regarding your email concerning the response provided
to FOI-1990-2021. Following your email of 28 January 2021 a review has
been carried out by an Independent Review Panel (‘the Panel’) consisting
of individuals who were not involved in the handling of your request.
You have disputed the application of s43(2) to refuse your request, which
was applied on the basis that disclosure would be likely to prejudice the
commercial interest of TfL.
To provide a little context regarding s43(2) of the FOI Act, it allows a
public authority to exempt information whose disclosure would, or would be
likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (this can
include an individual, a company, the public authority itself or any other
legal entity). There are many circumstances in which a public authority
might hold information with the potential to prejudice commercial
interests. This could include procurement activities in relation to the
purchase of goods or services, regulatory activities or an authorities own
commercial interests in relation to activities which generate income.
The Prejudice Test.
In order to apply section 43(2), a public authority must satisfy itself
that disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice
or harm the commercial interests of any person and in this instance the
public authority holding it. This is known as the prejudice test. The term
“would…prejudice” means that prejudice is more probable than not to occur
(i.e. a more than a 50% chance of the disclosure causing the prejudice,
even though it is not absolutely certain that it would do so).
The term “would be likely to prejudice” is a lower threshold which means
that there must be more than a hypothetical or remote possibility of
prejudice occurring. There must be a real and significant risk of
prejudice, even though the probability of prejudice occurring is less than
50% and a public authority must decide the likelihood of prejudice arising
on the facts of each case.
The Public Interest Test.
Section 43 is a qualified exemption which means that a public authority
has to consider the public interest if the exemption is engaged because of
prejudice to commercial interests and has to decide whether the balance of
the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs that of
disclosing the information. Although there is a strong public interest in
openness, this does not necessarily override all other arguments.
You have stated in your email of 28 January that "this only actually
applies to the Global Services automated announcements (which are used on
your, Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City,
Metropolitan, Victoria, Waterloo & City, lines) but not to your Ketech
announcements (which are used on your, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly,
lines) therefore there is no issue with giving out the ones that i have
requested.” However whilst processing your original FOI request and during
the internal review we have been unable to confirm that this is a correct
statement of fact - namely that the automated announcements you are
referring to are produced by Ketech.
This assertion against other audio recordings and Ketech has been made to
us in the past and we have been able to ascertain the statement to be
incorrect. Therefore we are unable to take this to be accurate without
sufficient verification. We have been unable to confirm if they were
produced under licence to Global Services or any other company, agency or
individual and given that the announcements in question are no longer used
and the main voice artist has since deceased, it has created a unique
situation in regards to confirming the licence conditions under which
these announcements were provided for use by TfL. That said these
announcements would have been produced under some form of legal licencing
agreement allowing for the broadcast on London Underground and it is worth
noting that the agreement under which the announcements would have been
made pre-dated the existence of Transport for London as a public
Given that we could not definitively confirm the licencing conditions
under which these announcements fall, in this instance s43(2) was applied
to your request based on the balance of probabilities that disclosure
would be likely to lead to some form of legal action being bought against
TfL. Whilst the panel make no suggestion that you would use this
information for anything other than your own personal interest, disclosure
of this information to you has to be regarded as a disclosure to ‘the
public at large’ which elevates the risk of legal action being bought
against TfL if this information were to be widely used by members of the
public for their own financial gain. As you may know, the majority of the
London Underground audio announcements do have prohibitions against
disclosure and so it must be considered there is a reasonable likelihood
that a similar prohibition would be in place in relation to these
If legal action were to be bought against TfL for the public disclosure
and use of these announcements, the financial costs of legal resources
required to deal with legal cases can be significant. In addition to these
legal costs there is also the imposed cost of any potential compensation
that would need to be paid to a third party service provider if a court
case was ruled in their favour.
As explained above, where qualified exemptions are cited, there is an
obligation on the public authority to carry out a consideration of the
public interest test. In this instance the Panel gave consideration to
whether the information being requested was of sufficient enough value to
the wider public to mitigate the costs to the public purse that any
potential legal action would incur. However the Panel agreed that these
announcements would only be of value to a minimal amount of transport
enthusiasts and therefore the consideration for disclosure was outweigh by
the impact on public funds that would be required to provide legal
resources if legal action was bought against TfL.
Therefore in this instance your complaint has not been upheld.
The Panel appreciate that the above response will come as a disappointment
to you, however we hope the above response has provided a better clarity
in regards to the considerations given to the information requested in
FOI-1990-2021. If you are dissatisfied with the internal review actions to
date please do not hesitate to contact me or alternately you can refer the
matter to the independent authority responsible for enforcing the Freedom
of Information Act, at the following address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF
A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website (www.ico.org.uk).
Principal Information Access Adviser
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London
[TfL request email]
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