London bus complaints - C2 route and general complaint procedures

N. Cornish made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

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

Waiting for an internal review by Transport for London of their handling of this request.

Dear Transport for London,

I would like to know the following information please:

1) All passenger complaints made in reference the C2 bus route in the last year
2) Whether TFL follow up on passenger complaints with the bus companies they employ to run services. Please note, by “follow up”, I do not mean pass on the complaint, I mean find out what the problem was and find out how the problem was resolved, and take action if needed
3) If TFL do follow up on any complaints with the bus companies, what % of complaints are followed up?
4) If TFL do follow up on any complaints with the bus companies, what is the criteria for following up Vs not following not?
5) If TFL do follow up on any complaints with bus companies, what are the potential actions that are taken with regard to the bus companies they employ, should complaints be upheld?
6) If TFL do not follow up on passenger complaints with the bus companies, I would like to know why this is the case.
7) What TFL policy is with regard to passenger complaints on buses, outside of passing on the complaints to bus companies.

Yours faithfully,

N.Cornish

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr/Ms Cornish

TfL Ref: FOI-0308-1213

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 May 2012 asking for information about the C2 bus route and customers complaints.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy.

A response will be provided to you by 25 June 2012.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Eva Rozmahelova
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team
Corporate Governance Directorate
General Counsel
Transport for London

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr/Ms Cornish

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0308-1213

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 May
2012 asking for information about the C2 bus route and customers
complaints. 

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and TfL’s information access policy. 

 

Because we are still collating the information you have requested we will
not be able to resolve your request within the statutory 20 working day.

 

We intend to provide you with a full response by 2 July 2012. Please
accept my apologies for this delay.

 

In the meantime, if you have any queries relating to your request, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Rozmahelova

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

Corporate Governance Directorate

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear N Cornish

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0308-1213

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 May
2012 asking for information about the C2 bus route and customers
complaints. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy.  I can
confirm TfL does hold the information you require. You asked for:

 

1)    All passenger complaints made in reference the C2 bus route in the
last year.

 

There has been a total of 151 complaints concerning the C2 bus route in
the last fiscal year.

 

2)    Whether TFL follow up on passenger complaints with the bus companies
they employ to run services. Please note, by “follow up”, I do not mean
pass on the complaint, I mean find out what the problem was and find out
how the problem was resolved, and take if needed.

 

As part of valuing customers and customer feedback, we will seek to
provide appropriate redress when required. This is done on a case by case
basis and this varies depending on the nature of the complaint. However,
all bus operator related complaints are passed to the operating company in
question where necessary.

 

3)    If TFL do follow up on any complaints with the bus companies, what %
of complaints are followed up?

 

Where necessary, all complaints received are passed to the relevant bus
operating company. Each bus company has their own complaints procedure
which has to be adhered to. We ensure that bus operators adhere to our
guidelines as well as their own by carrying out annual audits. The audit
looks at compliance with our code of practice including how complaints are
investigated, standards of responses and response times. TfL does not hold
the information you require as we do not record the percentage of
complaints followed up.

 

4)    If TFL do follow up on any complaints with the bus companies, what
is the criteria for following up Vs not following not?

 

Please refer to question 3 above.

 

5)     If TFL do follow up on any complaints with bus companies, what are
the potential actions that are taken with regard to the bus they employ,
should complaints be upheld?

 

Operator performance is regularly reviewed by senior London Buses staff.
They examine a range of indicators, including mileage operated,
reliability, driving and engineering standards as well as customer
complaints. Unsatisfactory performance is discussed with individual
operators, and if necessary, operators may be required to produce and
implement action plans to resolve complaints/performance issues.

 

6)     If TFL do not follow up on passenger complaints with the bus
companies, I would like to know why this is the case.

 

As noted in question 2, all complaints received are passed to relevant bus
operating companies. We ensure remedial action is being taken through our
annual audits referred to in question 3. We ensure that complaints we
follow up are resolved appropriately by the operator. However, we do not
follow up every complaint received as this isn’t always necessary,
depending on the nature of the complaint.

 

7)     What TFL policy is with regard to passenger complaints on buses,
outside of passing on the complaints to bus companies.

    

Please see the following link for TfL’s Customer Services Complaints and
Feedback
Policy: [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/c...

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Rozmahelova

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

Corporate Governance Directorate

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response. It was in some areas very vague and I don't understand when the reply contained so little in terms of detail why it took so long to respond. The time taken to respond to this request was certainly not "prompt" - 5 and a half weeks is not "prompt"! I would like you to review this message and reply again (promptly this time) on 2 points:

1 - I am not interested in the number of complaints made for the C2 bus route in the last year. I would like a copy of all the 151 customer complaints referred to above for the C2 bus route. I would like a verbatim copy. Hopefully this is now clear.

2 - I would like you to answer question 4 of my previous request fully and transparently. Here is the question again: "If TFL do follow up on any complaints with the bus companies, what is the criteria for following up Vs not following not?" Nowhere in your answer to me is the specific criteria used to follow up on complaints. I would like the specific criteria listed out for me please. Clearly as a member of the public I do not have access to your annual audits or code of practice to find these out for myself. So please can this criteria be listed out fully and clearly in the response. I do not want to be referred to documents that I do not have access to. Please be transparent in your answer.

Yours sincerely,

N. Cornish

FOI, Transport for London

Our ref: IRV-045-1213
 
3 July 2012
 
 
Dear N Cornish
 
Request for internal review
 
Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received by
Transport for London (TfL) on 2 July 2012.
 
You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act and that the
response to your request was vague.
 
The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance
with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is at
[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/f....
 
 
Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 31 July 2012.
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
do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Eva Rozmahelova
FOI Case Officer
 

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Dear Transport for London,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Transport for London's handling of my FOI request 'London bus complaints - C2 route and general complaint procedures'.

I would like to know why my request has not been answered yet. I will be filing an additional request shortly to understand the response times to Freedoms Of Information Requests, but in the meantime, I ask that you inform me, in detail, as to the specific reasons for not responding to my request in a timely manner.

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

Yours faithfully,

N. Cornish

Sloane Peter, Transport for London

Dear N Cornish

Thank you for your email, which has been passed to me for comment. I am sorry that I have not been able to provide you with an internal review response sooner, but the volume of requests and some absences have caused some delays, for which I apologise.

However, I can provide you with an update on the progress of the review. First, the review has agreed that the response was not adequate in that you should have been provided with the details of the complaints about the C2 bus, rather than just the number of complaints. I am obtaining this information and will provide it to you once I have been able to check that all personal data has been redacted in accordance with our obligations under the Data Protection Act.

As for the second point, I am still trying to establish whether there is a formal process covering when TfL will or won't follow up complaints with bus operators. As you may be aware, responses to request under the Freedom of Information Act should be made with reference to recorded information held at the time of the request, so I am checking with them whether there are any criteria that staff are expected to follow with respect to these complaints.

I assure you that I will provide you with a response as soon as I am able to, and I thank you for the patience you have shown so far.

Yours sincerely

Peter Sloane | Senior Information Governance Adviser (Enforcement and Complaints)
Information Governance | General Counsel | Transport for London
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
T: 020 7126 4912 | E: [email address]

TfL has recently adopted an ‘information security classification scheme’ to help protect its information assets. If you work for TfL or one of its subsidiaries and want to find out how this affects you, see the new Quick Guide or visit Source for more information.

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Sloane Peter, Transport for London

10 Attachments

29 August 2012

 

Our reference: IRV-045-1213

 

Dear N Cornish

 

I am contacting you further to my previous email concerning the internal
review of your request for information under the Freedom of Information
(FOI) Act 2000. I apologise for the delay in providing you with this
outcome.

 

As previously mentioned, the review has found that the response was not
adequate in that you were not provided with the requested information or a
valid reason why it should not be provided. Therefore, TfL was in breach
of section 1 of the FOI Act.

 

Please find attached the details of complaints about the C2 bus. This
information has been redacted to remove personal data. This is in
accordance with section 40(2) of the FOI Act, which provides that personal
data of third parties is exempt from disclosure where the disclosure would
breach any of the data protection principles. In this case, the review has
found that the data subjects would have a reasonable expectation that
their personal data would be held in confidence and would not be disclosed
to the general public without their knowledge or consent. This means that
the disclosure would be unfair to the data subjects and consequently a
breach of the first data protection principle.

 

The second part of your complaint concerned whether there is a formal
process covering when TfL will and won’t follow up complaints with
operators. I can confirm that in general, such decisions are determined on
a case by case basis and will depend on the circumstances of each
complaint, including whether the complainant gives their permission for
details to be passed on to the bus operator. In addition, we must also
have enough information to follow up a complaint, such as route number,
description of driver, bus registration number, direction of travel etc.
However, there are some procedures setting out when complaints will be
followed up, and these are contained in the attached document “Surface
Transport Contact Handling Procedures” . You will be able to find the
processes followed with regard to Buses in section 7.

 

In addition, the review has also found that, in failing to provide you
with a response within 20 working days, TfL has breached the requirements
of section 10 of the FOI Act.

 

On behalf of TfL, please accept my apologies for the shortcomings in the
handling of your request and I hope that this information will be of
interest and use to you. However, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome
of this internal review, 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

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website
([1]www.ico.gov.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Peter Sloane

 

Peter Sloane | Senior Information Governance Adviser (Enforcement and
Complaints)

Information Governance | General Counsel | Transport for London

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

T: 020 7126 4912 | E: [2][email address]

 

TfL has recently adopted an ‘information security classification scheme’
to help protect its information assets. If you work for TfL or one of its
subsidiaries and want to find out how this affects you, see the new
[3]Quick Guide or visit [4]Source for more information.

 

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References

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2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://source.tfl/pdfs/IA_QG1_Informatio...
4. http://source.tfl/OurCompany/Governance/...

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