University bus service subsidies

The request was partially successful.

Dear University of Southampton,

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

Support, University of Southampton

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[1]University of Southampton

Dear Adam Hodgson,

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Date of request: 15-03-2020 13:06:13 GMT
Due date: 15-04-2020 00:00:00 BST
Ref: RITM0275053

Acknowledgement of request for information

Thank you for your request for information dated 15-03-2020 13:06:13 GMT,
a copy of which is appended hereto for your ease of reference.

The University will endeavour to respond as soon as practicable and in any
event by 15-04-2020 00:00:00 BST. The reference for your request is
[2]RITM0275053: please quote this reference in any future correspondence
regarding this request.

Requested information:

Dear University of Southampton,

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

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Office

email: [University of Southampton request email]

 
Ref:MSG9825710

References

Visible links
2. https://sotonproduction.service-now.com/...

Support, University of Southampton

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[1]University of Southampton

 

Dear Adam Hodgson,

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Request for information: response

Date of request: 15-03-2020 13:06:13 GMT
Due date: 15-04-2020 00:00:00 BST
Ref: RITM0275053

We refer to your request for information dated 15-03-2020 13:06:13 GMT.

Further to your request for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (the “Act”), please accept our apologies for the delay in
responding to you.

Please find below your question, with the University’s corresponding
response.

In accordance with [2]section 1(a) of the Act, we confirm that the
University holds information of the description specified in your request.
The answers to your questions are as follows:

Question:

Dear University of Southampton,

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

 

Answer:

The answer to your request can be found [3]here

If you do not feel that we have dealt with your request in accordance with
the requirements of [4]Part I of the Act, you may request a review. Your
request for a review should specify in what respect you consider that the
requirements of [5]Part I have not been met. Please address your request
to the Chief Operating Officer at the following address:
[6][University of Southampton request email].

In accordance with section 5.3 of the [7]Code of Practice, a request for a
review must sent within 40 working days of the date of this email. The
University is not obliged to accept any requests for a review beyond 40
working days.

We will endeavour to respond to your request for a review within 20
working days of receipt.

The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing rights of access
to information and the operation of the publication scheme. You may apply
to the Information Commissioner in writing (FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution,
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF) or [8]electronically for a decision whether, in any
specified respect, your request for information has been dealt with by the
University in accordance with the requirements of [9]Part I of the Act.
The Information Commissioner will not normally take action unless they are
satisfied that the University's review procedure has been exhausted.

 

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Office

email: [University of Southampton request email]

 

 
Ref:MSG10062751

References

Visible links
2. mailto:http//www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/section/1
3. here
https://www.southampton.ac.uk/~assets/do....
4. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...
5. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...
6. mailto:[University of Southampton request email]?subject=Request%20for%20Review%20-%20Request%20For%20Information&body=RITM0125537%0A%0APlease%20specify%20in%20what%20respect%20you%20consider%20that%20the%20requirements%20of%20Part%201%20of%20the%20Freedom%20of%20Information%20Act%20have%20not%20been%20met%3A%0A%0A
7. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
8. http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns/
9. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Dear University of Southampton,

I am unable to get link [3] to work correctly - it is bringing me to a broken webpage.

Any clarification would be ideal.

Yours faithfully,

Adam Hodgson

Support, University of Southampton

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[1]University of Southampton
 

​Dear Adam Hodgson,

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Request for information: response

Date of request: 15-03-2020 13:06:13 GMT
Due date: 15-04-2020 00:00:00 BST
Ref: RITM0275053

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 29 April 2020.

Please use the following link to access the response:

[2]https://www.southampton.ac.uk/~assets/do...

You can try to open the link from your e-mail inbox or copy and paste the
direct link into your web browser.

If you experience further difficulties, please do not hesitate to let us
know.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Office

email: [University of Southampton request email]

 

 
 
Ref:MSG10109651

References

Visible links
2. https://www.southampton.ac.uk/~assets/do...

William Fitzpatrick left an annotation ()

From https://www.southampton.ac.uk/~assets/do... (also archived at http://web.archive.org/web/2021112018310... and http://archive.today/joOTD):

====

In accordance with section 1(a) of the Act, we confirm that the University holds information of the description specified in your request. The answers to your questions are as follows:

In response to question 1 and 2:

Whilst we hold the requested information, we are unable to provide it, as it is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Section 43(2) of the Act, entitled Commercial Interests.

The release of such information would likely prejudice the commercial interests of the University and other companies. The information requested contains data, which would give insight into a University activity that would be likely to prejudice its commercial interests. To disclose this detailed information into the public domain at this stage would be likely to affect its future commercial negotiating position. The University needs to maintain excellent working relationships with collaborators while successfully negotiating new contracts, enabling us to have competitive prospects in the higher education sector.

It is important that contractual negotiations allow the University to secure its future sustainability in the higher education sector. Releasing the requested information would undermine the University’s negotiating position by giving insight into its commercial strategy.

As Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption, the University has considered the public interest test:

Factors favouring disclosure
- Openness and Transparency: it is in the public interest that the University, as public authorities, is as open and transparent as possible in the way that we operate and the way in which we make decisions are made, and how the University spends public money.

Factors favouring non-disclosure
- Commercial Interests: it is not in the public interest to disclose information that would undermine the University’s capacity to effectively negotiate contractual agreements. Higher education providers are in a highly competitive market and sharing the requested information would harm our negotiating position with external transport providers.
- Efficiency and effectiveness: It is not in the public interest to disclose information that would reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of the University by eroding its ability to negotiate with companies individually, based upon the specific circumstances of the agreements with those suppliers.

Given the above considerations, the University concludes that it is in the greater public interest not to disclose the information at this time.

The University of Southampton competes globally for students, academies, research funding and accreditation and we hope you understand that there is a need to balance Freedom of Information with our ability to offer the best standards in teaching and research.

The university can however provide the following information relating to your question:
The University publishes the following procurement related contract details: contract name, dates, total contract value, service and/or goods supplied, supplier name and address on the Contracts Finder website. This is a government website for advertising contract opportunities and contracts awarded, including the overall contract value.

The University advertises all tender opportunities on our e-procurement portal called In-Tend, which is accessible to any suppliers that register on the following link: https://in-tendhost.co.uk/universityofso...

Procurement contract information is also published on the EU portal for advertising tender opportunities and contracts awarded, called SIMAP.

Question 3:
Information in response to the question is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Section 40(2) of the Act.

The University does not keep separate records for the types of complaint that are the subject of your enquiry. The University would therefore need to manually access complaint files, including personal sensitive data in order to determine the nature of received complaints and whether or not it fell within the scope of your query.

The information requested constitutes an individual's personal data as defined under Section 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018. To release the information would breach the first data protection principle of the Data Protection Principles concerning fairness.

Section 40(2) of the Act confers an absolute exemption.

Unilink encourage hearing consumer comments or queries regarding their bus services and can be contacted at the following link: https://www.unilinkbus.co.uk/customer-se...

If you do not feel that we have dealt with your request in accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act, you may request a review. Your request for a review should specify in what respect you consider that the requirements of Part I have not been met. Please address your request to the Chief Operating Officer at the following address: foi@soton.ac.uk.

In accordance with section 5.3 of the Code of Practice, a request for a review must sent within 40 working days of the date of this email. The University is not obliged to accept any requests for a review beyond 40 working days.

We will endeavour to respond to your request for a review within 20 working days of receipt.

The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing rights of access to information and the operation of the publication scheme. You may apply to the Information Commissioner in writing (FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution, Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF) or electronically for a decision whether, in any specified respect, your request for information has been dealt with by the University in accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act. The Information Commissioner will not normally take action unless they are satisfied that the University's review procedure has been exhausted.

====

William Fitzpatrick