Those with long memories will remember how Labour London Assembly Members led on efforts to pressure Boris Johnson into proactively publishing the Transport for London advice which underpinned his annual fares decision.
Assembly Members have always claimed the information is essential if they’re to properly scrutinise the TfL and City Hall budgets, but until 2014 the official mayoral stance was that the advice is privileged and exempt from publication.
Boris eventually backed down and agreed that all future advice would be routinely placed into the public domain.
But when new Mayor Sadiq Khan announced his fares freeze back in June he failed to publish the advice which he’d relied on and is now failing to deliver on his pledge “to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration London has ever seen”.
Following the announcement I asked, via a Freedom of Information request, for “copies of all emails, briefing documents and other paperwork between TfL and City Hall relating to the fares freeze announcement made on Wednesday 8th June 2016“
An answer should have been supplied by July 5th but on the 15th of that month City Hall told me it was “still considering” the request. A response was promised “by 3rd August” but still hasn’t been received.
TfL is also woefully behind. Having been chased, it eventually told me on July 29th:
“Regrettably it took longer than expected to extract and collate the emails covered by your request but I can confirm that you response is in the final stages of sign off to ensure accuracy. I am hopeful that we will be in a position to issue your response early next week.”
But three weeks later the requested information still hasn’t reached me.
The information should be easily retrievable – it relates to the current administration and a major manifesto pledge. So why has it taken in excess of two months to bundle it together and hand it over?