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University bus service subsidies

Adam Hodgson made this Freedom of Information request to University of Kent as part of a batch sent to 16 authorities

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

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Dear University of Kent,

I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I would like to know:

1. The subsidies provided by the university, to external bus companies operating university bus routes, for the last 5 complete academic years (2014/15 to 2018/19), broken down by the following where possible:
o Student travel
o University staff travel
o Any other subsidy provided
If the breakdown is not possible, a single subsidy figure for each academic year would be acceptable.

2. The expenditure on, and income from, any university provided bus services, including shuttle buses, for the last 5 complete academic years (2014/15 to 2018/19), broken down by the following where possible:
o Student travel
o University staff travel
o Bus staff salary
o Equipment costs, covering vehicles and facilities
o Any other operating costs
If the breakdown is not possible, a single expenditure and single income figure for each academic year would be acceptable.

3. The number of complaints received by the university regarding university bus services, for the last 5 complete academic years (2014/15 to 2018/19).

If the data is collected in financial years, rather than academic years, please do provide the information in this format, for the last 5 financial years (including 2018-19 if possible), making it clear which format has been used.

Yours faithfully,

Adam Hodgson

Foi, University of Kent

Dear Mr Hodgson,

 

Thank you for your information request. We will respond within 20 working
days.

 

Kind regards

Laura

 

Laura Anthony

Information Compliance Officer

 

University of Kent

[1][University of Kent request email]

[2]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Foi, University of Kent

Dear Adam Hodgson,

 

Thank you for your information request, received on 15/03/2020. 

 

We propose to use the exemption of Section 43(2) (commercial interests) of
the Freedom of Information Act to withhold some of the information you
have requested.

 

To allow us to fully consider the public interest test in relation to the
application of Section 43(2), we have extended the timeframe of this
request as permitted by the FOI Act. We will provide a response within the
next 20 working days.

 

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review within 40 days of the date of
this email by writing to: Information Compliance Team, Darwin College,
University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ or via email to: [1][University of Kent request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. Telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk.

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Laura Anthony

Information Compliance Officer

 

University of Kent

[3][University of Kent request email]

[4]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[University of Kent request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[University of Kent request email]
4. http://www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

Foi, University of Kent

Dear Mr Hodgson,

 

Thank you for your information request, received on 15/03/2020. We
contacted you on 14/04/2020 to advise that we had extended the timeframe
of this request as permitted by the FOI Act to consider the public
interest test in relation to the application of Section 43(2).

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in response. Please find our
response as follows:

 

1.    The subsidies provided by the university, to external bus companies
operating university bus routes, for the last 5 complete academic years
(2014/15 to 2018/19), broken down by the following where possible:

 

·         Student travel

·         University staff travel

·         Any other subsidy provided

 

If the breakdown is not possible, a single subsidy figure for each
academic year would be acceptable.

 

This information is withheld under Section 43(2) (Commercial interests) of
the Freedom of Information Act.

 

The Section 43 exemptions are qualified exemptions, subject to the public
interest test.

 

There is a public interest in how the University spends public money.  It
is in the public interest that the University achieves competitive quotes
from third parties to ensure we spend public funds wisely.

 

We believe that there would be commercial detriment caused by disclosing
pricing and/or contractual information that would prejudice or harm the
commercial interests of the University in subsequent negotiations with
third parties, for example should this contract go out to tender. On
balance, we conclude that the public interest weighs in favour of
withholding this information

 

The result of the public interest test is to withhold this information.

 

 

2.    The expenditure on, and income from, any university provided bus
services, including shuttle buses, for the last 5 complete academic years
(2014/15 to 2018/19), broken down by the following where possible:

 

·         Student travel

·         University staff travel

·         Bus staff salary

·         Equipment costs, covering vehicles and facilities

·         Any other operating costs

 

If the breakdown is not possible, a single expenditure and single income
figure for each academic year would be acceptable.

 

If the data is collected in financial years, rather than academic years,
please do provide the information in this format, for the last 5 financial
years (including 2018-19 if possible), making it clear which format has
been used.

 

The University receives no income from the bus services. Student fares are
paid directly to the bus company. The University acts as a collection
agent for staff bus passes for one bus company, merely passing on funds to
the bus companies, so this income/expenditure has been excluded.

 

Financial Year* Expenditure (£)
2014/15 398,328
2015/16 424,149
2016/17 442,743
2017/18 469,607
2018/19 534,915

 

There would also be staff time associated with administering and promoting
these services, however this has not been included.

 

*Please note that the University’s financial year runs from 1^st August to
31^st July.

 

3.    The number of complaints received by the university regarding
university bus services, for the last 5 complete academic years (2014/15
to 2018/19).

 

Information not held. Complaints about the bus service would be handled by
the bus company responsible for providing that service.

 

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review within 40 days of the date of
this email by writing to: Information Compliance Team, Darwin College,
University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ or via email to: [1][University of Kent request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. Telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk.

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Laura Anthony

Information Compliance Officer

 

University of Kent

[3][University of Kent request email]

[4]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[University of Kent request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[University of Kent request email]
4. http://www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Adam Hodgson please sign in and let everyone know.