Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywChristine Gibson mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

Electricity Infrastructure Upgrade Across Northern Ireland

Christine Gibson made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland)

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Dear Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland),

Pursuant to the FOI Act 2000, I would like to request the following information:
NIE is currently undertaking an "upgrade of low voltage cables" across Northern Ireland.
1) What is the a) purpose and b) the main drivers of this regional upgrade?
2) What are the materials that are being removed and what is their composition?
3) What will the new materials be comprised of?
4) What are the potential impacts of this upgrade to the a) network, b) supply, c)voltage and d) cost to the consumer?
5) Can you provide information on the safety of the installation of these new materials (in combination with other street furniture and/or electrical or other type of devices within buildings) to consumers in our homes and in the streets and what are the precautions that should be taken to mitigate any risks?
6) Who is the public body or bodies responsible for the new infrastructure and its potential impact on the public?

Yours faithfully,

Christine Gibson

DfI Information Management Unit, Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland)

Dear Ms. Gibson

 

I would like to confirm with you that you intended to send this request to
the Department for Infrastructure, rather than the Department for the
Economy (on whose website a search for “Northern Ireland Electricity”
returns 1619 items).

 

The Department for Infrastructure does not have oversight responsibility
for Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, the infrastructure for which we
have responsibility are roads & railways, public transport, ports &
airports, rivers & waterways and certain planning functions.

 

I do not believe that this Department is the correct public authority to
process your request.

 

Thank you.

 

Hugh Murnaghan

DfI Information Management Unit

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear DfI Information Management Unit,

Many thanks for your prompt response and advice. Can you please confirm that your Department is not aware of any of the installations or matters listed in this communication and that you have no responsibility for any of these matters even though they are being installed in our roads?

Yours sincerely,

Christine Gibson

DfI Information Management Unit, Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland)

Dear Ms Gibson

 

I apologise for the delay.  I have confirmed the position with staff in
DfI Roads.

 

Northern Ireland Electricity, in common with a number of other utility
companies, is a statutory street works undertaker and a member of the
Northern Ireland Road and Utility Committee.

[1]Northern Ireland Road Authority and Utility Committees (NIRAUC) |
Department for Infrastructure (infrastructure-ni.gov.uk).

 

DfI Roads is notified of street openings/street works being undertaken by
statutory utilities via NISRANS, the Northern Ireland Street Works
Register and Notification System.

 

Utilities carry out street works in compliance with the relevant NIRAUC
Codes of Practice. Utility companies however also have to meet their own
regulatory requirements for their apparatus.

 

DfI Roads staff inspect the carriageway on a regular basis and if a defect
is discovered the utility involved makes good the defect at their own
cost.

 

DfI Roads will only be aware of any infrastructure upgrade being carried
out by NIE if it requires the opening up and reinstatement of the
carriageway.

 

The six questions that you have asked yesterday morning are for
information that the Department will not hold.

 

Thank you.

 

Hugh Murnaghan

DfI Information Management Unit

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear DfI Information Management Unit,

Thank you for your response in attempting to further clarify your remit as regards to my request. However, so that I am fully aware of the situation and am correct in my assumptions can you please respond and confirm the following statements to ensure accuracy.

1) That you are not aware of any electricity upgrade across NI nor its purpose
2) That you have not closed/ opened any carriageways for the purposes of 1)
3) That you hold the remit of safety of street furniture but are not aware of the composition or safety (my original questions 2 and 5) of recent (in the last year) new installations and
4) That the DfI does not monitor each job after it has been completed and you only assess ;it; if requested to do so. (please confirm whether this be from a member of the public or only a corporation).

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Gibson

DfI Information Management Unit, Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland)

Dear Ms. Gibson,

I apologise for the delay in contacting you.

I have discussed matters with DfI Roads, and can advise as follows:

1)     Any upgrade of the electricity network is a matter for the
statutory undertaker and the utility regulator.

2)     Responsibility for any carriageway openings associated with utility
works, generally rests with the utility involved, but DfI Roads can
authorise lane or road closures under the Road Traffic Regulation
(Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

3)     DfI Roads is the Highway Authority for Northern Ireland and is
responsible for the maintenance of over 25,000km of public roads together
with about 9,700km of footways, 5,800 bridges, 290,000 street lights, etc.
 It also has responsibility for the development of the transport network
and a range of transport projects designed to improve network safety,
sustainability and efficiency.

4)     DfI Roads routinely inspects public roads on a cyclical basis and
notes any actionable defects for repair, either by the Department, under
its current road maintenance guidelines, or the relevant utility, where
the defects arise from their street-works. 

The link below gives more details on road openings by utility companies.

[1]Road openings by utility companies | Department for Infrastructure
(infrastructure-ni.gov.uk)

The Code of Practice for Inspections contains more detail on the various
inspection types and when they are carried out.

We are not the appropriate public authority for those seeking recorded
information relating to NIE operational activities, including any upgrade
across the Northern Ireland electricity network.

Thank you.

Hugh Murnaghan

DfI Information Management Unit

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear DfI Information Management Unit,

I am still not in receipt of any of the information that I had requested from your Deparment to date. I have requested information from the DfI and you have signposted me (non specifically) to another section within your own Department for some of your responses and others you have not indicated who will hold the information as per FOI regulations.

i therefore still await for your responses to each of my question or to be signposted to another Department outwith the DfI who is responsible and who will respond to my questions under FOI.

Can you also explain why the DfI would not hold the information I have requested given that it is your responsibility to oversee all activities in our public areas? Or please correct me if I am mistaken in this matter and provide me with who is ultimately responsible for the infrastructure across NI.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Gibson

Dear DfI Information Management Unit,

Further to my previous letter I have received a response from the Department of the Economy to whom I sent the same questions upon your advice sent to me on 26 November 2020.

Their response is found here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7...

and you will note that they do not hold the information nor are responsible for the infrastructure that is referred to in my request. Although you stated that the Councils are responsible for the planning applications in their District. If this is the case how does your Department oversee the infrastructure across NI as being consistent without having any influence as is inferred in your response?

I have been searching on the Council's website and have not yet found any applications regarding electricity upgrades. Could you please signpost me to one of these in Newry Council? it seems irrational that your Department is unaware of any developments in this regard when you are responsible for the infrastructure across NI and would have to ensure that works carried out were undertaken to a satisfactory level across NI. Please explain why this is not the case.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Gibson

DfI Information Management Unit, Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland)

1 Atodiad

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    RE Freedom of Information request Electricity Infrastructure Upgrade Across Northern Ireland.txt

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Dear Ms. Gibson

Please accept this as a response to both of your emails.

The previous emails from the Department for Infrastructure were responses
to your request (that response being that we are not the appropriate
public authority to handle your queries).

As you have already been informed, the Department for Infrastructure is
not responsible for electricity networks in Northern Ireland - the
infrastructure for which we have responsibility are roads, railways,
rivers, canals, public transport, water networks ( these two via our
sponsorship relationship with the Northern Ireland Transport Holding
Company/Translink and NI Water) ports and airports.

The Department would only have involvement with matters relating to
electricity generation and/or transmission where significantly
economically and regionally important planning applications are made (as
in the case of some windfarms and the proposed North-South
Interconnector).

You are asking for information about a country-wide electricity network
upgrade, which appears to be operational in nature, and is probably only
held by those companies with responsibility for the networks (NIE Networks
Ltd., SONI Ltd. and the island’s Single Electricity Market Operator) , or
possibly the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator.

If there were to be any new construction, or any other change that
required planning applications, the information should be published on the
PlanningNI portal.  The Council may be able to help identify any planning
applications that they have received on behalf of any electricity
companies.

Other than that, I can only advise you to try contacting the Utility
Regulator
([1]https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/con...).

I reiterate that this Department is not the appropriate public authority
to handle your request.

Thank you.

 

Hugh Murnaghan

DfI Information Management Unit

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear DfI Information Management Unit,

Many thanks for the clarification of the structure, albeit a very complex one for the purposes of this request.

I will contact the Utility Regulator as advised.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Gibson

Dear DfI Information Management Unit,

Further to my last email, I would like to ask which Department this upgrade would fall under? as I have contacted yourselves and DoEcon and my council and none have ANY information.

These are the FOIs from each:
1) Dof Econ https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7...

and 2) Newry Council
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours sincerely,

Christine Gibson

DfI Information Management Unit, Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland)

Dear Ms Gibson

 

I am afraid that, if what we are talking about is an operational matter,
the upgrade will be unlikely to be information held by a Government
Department.

 

I believe that the Department for the Economy has an oversight role for
the electricity industry, while DfI has no particular involvement.

 

Even if not public authorities under FOI, it may be that the electricity
companies are themselves public authorities under the Environmental
Information Regulations ([1]Regulation 2, paragraph 2 (d) specifies the
circumstances where this might be the case).  If the upgrade has an impact
on the state of the environment, use of EIR would seem appropriate.

 

The Utility Regulator is listed as a public authority in Schedule 1 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

If I was making the request, I would direct my questions to the Utility
Regulator and the electricity network companies, the worst thing that can
happen will be that they will say no.  But before that, I would do a
search for the companies on Whatdotheyknow.com, to see if they have
responded to such queries before.

 

I’m not really in a position to help, other than to confirm that the
information is not held by DfI.

 

Thank you.

 

Hugh Murnaghan

DfI Information Management Unit

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywChristine Gibson mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.