What is Freedom of Information?

 
The Freedom of Information Act (2000) provides public access to information held by public bodies. It also requires public bodies to make certain information routinely available by way of a publication scheme. The Act was designed to ensure that public bodies operate in an open and transparent manner to inspire the trust and confidence of the public. It also ensures that public bodies are held accountable for the way in which they spend taxpayer money and allows public debate to be better informed and more productive. 
 
As a public body wholly owned by the Welsh Government, Transport for Wales is subject to this Act. The Act covers any recorded information held by Transport for Wales, including:

  • Raw Data and meta data 
  • Printed documents
  • Digital documents
  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Photographs and images
  • Sound recordings

The Act does not cover information that is in someone’s head and a public authority does not have to create new information in order to answer a request.

 

Disclosure log 

 

FAQ

  • Who can make a Freedom of Information Request?

    • Anyone can make a Freedom of Information request to Transport for Wales. However, you must provide your full legal name and a contact address (this may be an email address) for the request to be valid.

  • What are my rights?

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      • Everyone has a right to access official information
      •  Each request must be processed in favour of disclosure (this is referred to as 'assumption in favour of disclosure') unless the information in question is covered a stated exemption of the Act
      • Applicants do not need to provide a reason for requesting information
      • Each request must be treated equally, unless vexatious
      • You can make a request in Welsh. This will not lead to a delay in responding
  • How do I make a Freedom of Information request?

    • Please be sure to check our Publication Scheme, disclosure log, transparency page and projects page in case the information you require is already readily available.
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    • If it is not, please email us at: freedomofinformation@tfw.wales
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    • Alternatively, you can:
      Call us on 029 2167 3434
      Write to:
      Freedom of Information Officer
      Transport for Wales
      3 Llys Cadwyn
      Pontypridd
      Rhondda Cynon Taf
      CF37 4TH
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      • Do provide your full legal name and a contact address (this may be an email address).
      • Do provide a clear description of the information you require, using straightforward language.
      • Do send your request directly to the Freedom of Information team using the contact details above.
      • Do state clearly that you are making a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
      • Don't utilise the Freedom of Information process as a means to make a customer complaint or raise a concern. Instead, please contact our Customer Relations Team here.
      • Don't make overarching requests for 'all' information relating to a particular matter. Instead, please be sure to specify exactly what recorded information you require.
      • Don't 'fish' for potential commercial opportunities. All information relating to Transport for Wales' procurement activity can be found here.
      • Don't make repeat requests unless circumstances have changed.
    •  
    • Upon receipt of your request, we’ll respond to your request within 20 working days.
  • Will I always get the information I request?

    • We can refuse to disclose information if:

      • Providing the information exceeds £600 (based on 24 of hours of staff time at a standard rate of £25 per hour).
      • The information in question is exempt from disclosure under the Act. In this instance, we will explain our application of the relevant exemption. A list of the exemptions that can be applied under the Act can be found here
      • Your request is considered vexatious or repeated.
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    • We’ll also advise if we don’t hold the information you require, or if the information is held by another public body.
  • Are there charges for providing information?

    • The Freedom of Information Act allows Transport for Wales to recover some of the administrative costs incurred when processing a request which costs less than £600. There is no flat fee, but we may consider recovering communication costs such as photocopying, printing and postage on a case-by-case basis. However, if complying with the request would exceed the cost limit stated in the Act of £600, we may offer to supply the information and recover the full cost, rather than refusing the request. If we decide to charge a fee, we will issue you with a fees notice. The decision to charge a fee, whether the request exceeds the stated cost limit of £600 or not, is at our sole discretion. 

  • What if I'm not happy with TfW's response?

    • If you are unhappy with our response to your Freedom of Information request, you have the right to request an internal review. The review will be completed within 20 working days by a member of staff more senior than the initial decision-maker. If you remain unhappy following the outcome of the internal review, you will be directed to contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), who will investigate your complaint. 

  • Environmental Information Regulations

    • The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give members of the public the right to access environmental information held by public authorities. The Regulations apply only to environmental information, whilst the Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives access to most other types of information.
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    • What is Environmental Information?

    • The regulations cover any recorded information concerning the state of the environment, such as:

      • Information about the state of air, water, soil, land, flora and fauna

      • Information about emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste

      • The state of human health and safety

      • Policies, plans and agreements

    • The regulations do not cover information that is in someone’s head.

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    • Who can make a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations?

    • Anyone can make an Environmental Information Regulations request to Transport for Wales. To make a request you must provide your full name and contact address (this may be an email address).

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    • How can a request be made?

    • You make a request using the same contact information as that listed for Freedom of Information requests above. Requests made in Welsh will not lead to a delay in responding.

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    • How long will I have to wait for a response? 

    • As with a Freedom of Information request, an Environmental Regulations Request must usually be answered within 20 working days of receipt of the request. However, the regulations state that this time period can be extended to 40 working days if the request is substantial or complex.

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    • Will I always get the information I request? 

    • We may refuse to disclose information if one of the exceptions outlined in the regulations applies. All the exceptions are subject to the public interest test.

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    • Are there charges for providing information?

    • The Environmental Information Regulations do not define a ‘reasonable’ amount of money or time that a public authority should spend on a request; however, we may charge a reasonable fee disclosing information where requests place significant demand on our resources.

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    • What if I'm not happy with TfW's response?

    • If you are unhappy with our response to your Environmental Information Regulations request, you have the right to request an internal review. The request for review must be received within 40 working days of receiving our refusal; and the review itself will be completed within 40 working days by a more senior initial decision-maker. If you remain unhappy following the outcome of the internal review, you will be directed to contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), who will investigate your complaint. 

 

Our Publication Scheme

As well as responding to requests for information made by the public, the Freedom of Information Act requires us to proactively publish information on our website. This is the minimum amount of information we must disclose under the Act. Our Publication Scheme can be found here

 

Requesting your personal information

Personal data (information about yourself) cannot be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. If you wish to request this information, you must make a Subject Access Request. Please send your request to: contact@tfw.wales

 

Useful links