London’s transport agency has beefed up its transparency code, promising even greater access to information and more clarity around when key data will be released.
Earlier this year Transport for London consulted Londoners, politicians in the capital and other stakeholders about how it could increase public access to the information it holds.
Today’s revised code commits the agency to publishing a log of Freedom of Information requests from next year and reviewing how information is presented on its website to make it easier to find and interpret.
TfL will also publish an online schedule detailing when regular information and datasets will be updated, a move it says will “make it easier for stakeholders to plan their scrutiny of this material.”
The organisation has also promised to make webcasts of all board meetings available for longer.
Although the meetings are already streamed via the City Hall website they’re only available for 6 months after the meeting date due to constraints in online storage capacity.
In future board webcasts will be made available via TfL’s YouTube page, making it easier for members of the public and other stakeholders to revisit key decisions.
In addition the organisation is to review whether commercially sensitive information discussed in closed sessions of the board can be made available at a later date.
The new measures, which will be reviewed twice yearly, come just two years after TfL dramatically overhauled its approach to transparency following a call from Assembly Members for improvements in how City Hall’s agencies published information and dealt with FOI requests.
Announcing the changes, Transport Commissioner Mike Brown said: “Our role is to modernise and improve London’s transport services so they continue to support new homes, jobs and economic growth.
“As we do this, we are committed to being open and transparent, and we are making more information publicly available than ever before. We want our customers and stakeholders to be able to scrutinise how we operate and how our income is spent for the benefit of London.
“For many years we have published a huge amount of information and data and this strategy is the next step in going even further.”
“These proposals are incredibly welcome, especially the decision by TfL to finally publish its freedom of information requests. This is a change I have long been calling for,” said Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly.
She added: “While all these new policies are a step forward the real test is that they are fully implemented throughout every part of TfL’s huge organisation.
“Constant vigilance will always be needed to ensure that in every corner of TfL a culture is established where as much accessible information as possible is published as quickly as possible.”