Earl Attlee – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Earl Attlee on 2016-06-15.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on what basis local authorities are to be given powers under Clause 5 of the Bus Services Bill [HL] to demand relevant information from bus operators, particularly in cases where such relevant information is market-sensitive and providing it to any other party might be contrary to the Competition Act 1998.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Government wants to ensure that authorities considering franchising can access the information they need to accurately assess their franchising scheme. This will help to ensure that informed decisions can be made on the basis of robust evidence and analysis.

We recognise that some of the information provided by operators will be commercially sensitive. Franchising authorities will need to treat this information with care, and will be able to refuse to release such information by way of the relevant Freedom of Information exemptions. The Bill also makes clear that the information acquired by the franchising authority must only be used in connection with its franchising functions, and not for other purposes.