Transport for London has committed to routinely publishing its most requested information, removing the need for the public and London Assembly members to file Freedom of Information requests.
The commitment follows a recent London Assembly report highlighting the culture of secrecy within TfL and other sections of the Greater London Authority.
In his response to the report Mayor of London Boris Johnson committed himself to overseeing “cultural change” within his agencies and said the entire GLA would implement the Assembly’s recommendations.
On Monday TfL said it had examined “thousands” of FOI Act (FOIA) requests and questions from both public and Assembly Members to identify the information for which it is most regularly asked.
As a result of that exercise data on Oyster card deposits, balances and incomplete journeys; road safety; Congestion Charge payments and penalty charges, including outstanding payments from embassies; Cycle Hire usage and availability; and performance on responding to FOIA requests will all be published quarterly online.
In keeping with the Mayor’s promise to Assembly Members, TfL will create a searchable website detailing all contracts above the appropriate EU procurement threshold.
TfL is also axing the practice of delaying or withholding contracts – such as the sponsorship deals with Emirates and Barclays bank – which it cites in press releases and marketing materials.
It has also published its contact with Barclays, more than three years after it was signed and despite previously claiming doing so would damage its commercial interests.
TfL also delayed publication of the Emirates contract for more than two years.
When it was finally publicised it was found to include clauses gagging the Mayor and TfL from speaking out against the UAE Government and barring any Israeli national or company from any financial involvement in the cable car project.
In future, TfL promises any contract announced in a press release will be automatically published.
Richard Bevins, Head of Information Governance, said: “These additions to the vast range of performance, financial and other data we already publish demonstrate our commitment to operating openly and transparently so that our customers and stakeholders can scrutinise what we do and hold us to account.”