Station announcements

D Wheatley made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for Wales Rail Limited Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by Transport for Wales Rail Limited.

Dear Transport for Wales,

I am writing to request a copy of on-station announcement clips in use at National Rail stations managed by Transport for Wales Rail Limited in both English and Welsh.

These will be for personal use only.

Please note that copyright alone is not a valid reason to refuse access as copyright does not prevent disclosure under FOIA, and a disclosure under FOIA does not give permission for reuse of the information disclosed. Please see this document by the ICO for more information: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

Yours faithfully,

David Wheatley

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

Diolch am eich e-bost yn gofyn am wybodaeth ynghylch Trafnidiaeth Cymru.
Mae eich cais wedi ei drosglwyddo i aelod mwyaf perthnasol y tîm i'w
weithredu.

Os bydd eich cais yn un dilys, byddwn yn cyhoeddi ymateb o fewn y cyfnod a
ganiateir dan Ddeddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth, sef 20 diwrnod gwaith o ddyddiad
derbyn y cais.

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth am ein proses Rhyddid Gwybodaeth, ewch i’n
gwefan: https://tfw.gov.wales/cy/rhyddid-gwyboda...

Thank you for your email requesting information from Transport for Wales.
Your request has been passed to a member of the team for action.

We will issue a response within the permitted deadline under Freedom of
Information Act, which is 20 working days from the day after receipt of
the request.

For more information on our Freedom of Information process, please see our
website: https://tfw.gov.wales/freedom-information

Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig
ac mae e’n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er
gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb
ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and
is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it
back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or
disseminating it.

Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni
09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd,
Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013.
Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf,
CF37 4TH

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Please find attached a reply to your recent request for information

Kind regards

Transport for Wales

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Dear Transport for Wales Rail Limited,

I am writing to request an internal review of Transport for Wales Rail Limited's handling of my FOI request 'Station announcements'.

The ICO states that when applying a Section 22 exemption, the authority should consider whether withholding the information prior to publication is "sensible; in line with accepted practices; and fair to all concerned". It is clear you have an intent to publish, but you have not made it clear what processes are required to take place prior to this publishing. You have also failed to qualify whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption is greater than the public interest in disclosing the information prior to publication.

As you may be aware, ICO guidance also states that when applying a Section 43 exemption, an authority "must show that because [the information] is commercially sensitive, disclosure would be, or would be likely to be, prejudicial to the commercial activities of a person (an individual, a company, the public authority itself or any other legal entity)".

This response does not appear to have included such details, so I am requesting that you conduct an internal review, and, if the exemption is upheld, show how the release would be prejudicial to commercial activities, and of whom.

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

Yours faithfully,
David Wheatley

Dear Transport for Wales,

I have not yet received a reply to my request for an internal review of the handling of my Freedom of Information request.

This internal review was requested on the 2 December 2022, and you should reply to this within 20 working days. As of this message, 24 working days have elapsed.

Please could you update me with the status of the internal review?

Yours faithfully,
David Wheatley

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

Good Afternoon Mr Wheatley,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your query.

If you send us a personal email address then we will be able to give you access to the announcements.

Kind Regards

Katy

Katy Griffin
Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and Compliance Manager
Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales  
3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH   
 
 
Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig ac mae e'n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.  
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or disseminating it.  
 
Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni 09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH  
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013. Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH 
 

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Good afternoon Katy,

Thanks for the update.

If able, I would appreciate if you gave access to my personal email: [email address].

Is there any update to the request for an internal review? If the request prompted a change of mind (hence your ask for a personal email to give access to), it would be good to have this clarified in writing.

Cheers,
David

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Good Morning Mr Wheatly,

Looking at our records, you were sent a response to your IR explaining our change of stance on the 5th of December.

I have attached a copy for your convenience.

Kind Regards

Katy

Katy Griffin
Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and Compliance Manager
Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales  
3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH   
 
 
Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig ac mae e'n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.  
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or disseminating it.  
 
Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni 09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH  
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013. Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH 
 

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Good afternoon Katy,

Thanks for a copy of the response, but this wasn't in response to my request for an internal review but instead my initial request.

In this initial response, it's stated that TfW have applied a Section 22 exemption due to planned future publication. This exemption is what my internal review attempted to question, in addition to the statement that some recordings would not be published. This second point has not yet been addressed as of yet, and it is not clear whether the copy of announcements you will provide will include these files or not.

I would appreciate it if this internal review could be conducted as requested.

For reference, here is a copy of the request for internal review sent and delivered on the 5 December 2022: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Cheers,
David Wheatley

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Good Afternoon Mr Wheatley,

Please see attached response to your Internal Review.

Kind Regards

Katy

Katy Griffin
Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and Compliance Manager
Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales  
3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH   
 
 
Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig ac mae e'n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.  
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or disseminating it.  
 
Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni 09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH  
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013. Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH 
 

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Good afternoon Katy,

An internal review must be more detailed than a blanket statement saying that the previous exemptions have been upheld.

The exemptions used in your initial response are not valid without the appropriate supporting information as per my request for an internal review.

Your internal review fails to address any of the points in my request. You have not stated whether a public interest test has been performed, nor have you explained the reasoning behind any failed public interest test for the Section 22 or 43 exemptions.

I understand that you have now taken steps to publish a subset of my requested information through an online portal. I have yet to receive access to this. Please note that a request for internal review should be conducted based on the response to the original request. Simply stating that you are now publishing the information does not address my contest of the original application of the exemption.

You have not addressed the original exemption, not have you conducted a public interest test to explore whether not disclosing the information prior to public publication is suitable. This is a requirement for such an exemption to be imposed. Information cannot be withheld purely under the reasoning that it will be published publicly in the future. Furthermore, public publication implies that anyone can access the information freely. Requiring people to submit a request for access to receive the information is not classed as public disclosure:

"The term ‘publication’ requires the information to be made
available to the public. It is not sufficient if a public authority or
another person only intends to make the information available
to a particular, restricted audience." (https://ico.org.uk/media/1172/informatio...)

Additionally, you have not addressed the ICO's guidance in applying Section 43(1). This provides an exemption from disclosure for information which is a trade secret. The ICO clearly states that, to be a trade secret, information should:

"
• be secret, in the sense that it is not generally known among, or readily accessible to, people within the circles that normally deal with that kind of information;
• have a commercial value, because it is secret. Its disclosure should also be liable to cause real (or significant) harm to the owner or be advantageous to any rivals; and
• be subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances, taken by the owner, to keep it secret.
"
(https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...)

The information cannot, in any way, be "secret", nor can it be argued that Transport for Wales Rail have taken reasonable steps to "keep it secret" when it is played over public address systems at almost every train station in the country of Wales. For a Section 43(1) exemption to be applied, all three points must be met. In this case, they are not. It is reasonably possible for any competition to simply make in-person audio recordings of the announcements in question and utilise them how they wish. In this case, releasing the raw audio snippets would not be exempt under Section 43(1).

Additionally, it would not be suitable for TfWRL to apply a Section 43(2) exemption. You have not done this, but I will address it in case you change the exception for the disclosure of this information. Welsh announcements are only mandatory for services and stations operating within Wales. You are the only operator managing stations within Wales, hence there is no competitive commercial activity to protect in this instance.

Furthermore, releasing such recordings under the Freedom of Information Act would not inherently allow anyone use of the recordings commercially as copyright law still applies, and the public interest would outweigh any exemption relating to copyrighted material.

It is also not clear whether the review was performed by a member of staff at least one rank higher than the original request, as is stated in your Freedom of Information policy published on your website.

If I do not receive a satisfactory internal review within 20 working days, or 40 if you notify me of an extended response period, I will lodge an appeal with the Information Commissioner's Office.

Cheers,
David Wheatley

Dear Transport for Wales Rail Limited,

As I have not heard back after my recent correspondence, I have made a formal complain to the ICO about your handling of this request.

Today, I have still not received access to the announcements you stated you would be happy to release, and you have not provided a suitable internal review at my request.

Best regards,
David Wheatley

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Good Morning Mr Wheatley,

Having taken into consideration your email below, pleased see attached, our revised Internal Review.

Kind Regards

Katy

Katy Griffin
Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and Compliance Manager
Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales  
3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH   
 
 
Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig ac mae e'n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.  
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or disseminating it.  
 
Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni 09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH  
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013. Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH 
 

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Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

2 Attachments

Good Afternoon Mr Wheatley,

Please see attached following the ICO decision notice.

Kind Regards

Katy Griffin

Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and
Compliance Manager

Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales  

3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH   

 

 

Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig
ac mae e’n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er
gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb
ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.  
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and
is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it
back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or
disseminating it.  
 
Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni
09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd,
Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH  
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013.
Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf,
CF37 4TH