Gatso Calibration and Training

dennis fallon made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Lancashire Constabulary

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Lancashire Constabulary,
I would like to request a FOI disclosure which is basically to understand the annual money payments to Serco and Gatso for the calibration and maintenance of cameras, staff training, and how the speed is calculated as part of the secondary check.
Q1. How many fixed post Gatso (FPG) and Gatso Red Light(GRL) cameras were in use, on an annual basis, by your partnership in the past three financial years?
Q2.For these cameras, for the past three financial years, what were the total cost amounts paid(TCAP) for the annual calibration of these cameras, identifying the TCAP to intermediate agents such as Serco and the company Gatsometer B.V, and the additional amounts of V.A.T added ?
Q3.Please confirm if the partnership have ownership of these cameras, paid in full, or any other arrangement.
Q4.Please confirm if the calibration contracts (CC) have been agreed for a fixed term with break penalty clauses or negotiated annually, if the CC are inclusive of a greater contract regarding maintenance, and who signed the contracts on behalf of the partnership.
Q5.After the cameras have been returned following calibration please confirm if, apart from the calibration certificate, Gatsometer B.V provide a report on any faults detected and items replaced and, if so, please identify the items, including batteries, that have required replacement.
Q6 After calibration, please confirm if the cameras are returned with a shutter speed of two photographs at intervals of 0.5 seconds, and if your Camera Enforcement Officers make any adjustments to the shutter speed or flash setting prior to reinstallation and, if so, what are the setting adjustments?.
Q7.Regarding the secondary check viewing, please advise how the viewing staff are trained for their task, who does the training, are certificates of completion provided, and are the staff given post training assessments or hard copy reference documentation. Is the work of the viewing staff audited or reviewed at intervals?
Q8.For FPG please confirm the distance between the calibration lines on the road which are part of the secondary check, so that one can calculate the speed if five lines are passed.

Yours faithfully,

dennis fallon

Information assurance unit,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NO: 3380/11

I write in connection with your request for information dated the 25/08/2011 which was received by Lancashire Constabulary on the same day. I note you seek access to the following information:

INFORMATION RELATING TO GATSO CAMERAS, THEIR CALIBRATION & MAINTENANCE AND ASSOCIATED STAFF TRAINING

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, known hereafter as 'the Act'. You should receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined in the Act, subject to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party. In some circumstances Lancashire Constabulary may be unable to achieve this deadline. If this is likely, you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information you request. If this is the case you will be informed and the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until we receive payment from you. If you choose not to make payment then your request will remain unanswered.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in Lancashire Constabulary.

Regards,

Bryony Hopkinson
Freedom of Information Disclosure Officer
Information Compliance & Disclosure Section - Lancashire Constabulary
Tel: 01772 413324               Fax: 01772 412123
Email: [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Information assurance unit,

The purpose behind Q2 is to calculate the unit cost of calibrating one Gatso Speed and one Gatso Red light camera.
If it is troublesome for you to add up the individual payments to Serco for calibration it will be acceptable to simply know the agreed calibration payment for each camera type over the three year period to assess the trend.

Yours sincerely,

dennis fallon

Information assurance unit,

2 Atodiad

Please find attached Lancashire Constabulary’s response to your recent
request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (our reference as
per the subject line).

 

Regards

 

Sharon Glen

Information Compliance and Disclosure Section

Lancashire Constabulary

t: 01772 412326

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

Dear Ms Glen,
Thank you for your helpful reply in which you confirm that there are no Gatso Red Light cameras in use.

Unfortunately you confirm, regarding Q2,that the totals for calibration costs are difficult to extract from a mass of data.

I quite understand this and don`t want to waste your time, so I would like clarification of the basic agreed calibration costs on a three year annual basis.

CLARIFICATION POINT ONE.
Please confirm the cost of single calibration of one Gatso Speed Camera for each of the past three years, indicating VAT if any,so that comparisons and trends may be appreciated.

You may either treat this as a clarification request or as a new FOI, whichever is appropriate.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours sincerely,

dennis fallon

Dear Ms Glen,

Thank you, and all the staff who have contributed, for the concise and highly professional response.

Part of the intention of my FOI was to calculate the change in calibration costs over a three year period, but my poorly drafted FOI did not appreciate how the invoices would incorporate miscellaneous costs.

I apologise for the inconvenience but I would like to rephrase my request to achieve this result.

CLARIFICATION POINT ONE.
Please confirm the agreed cost of single calibration of one Gatso Speed Camera, indicating any VAT, for each of the past three years so that trends may be appreciated.
Please advise if any explanation has been provided by Serco if the increase, year on year, has exceeded five percent.

I agree that,if appropriate, you may treat this as a new FOI or simply as clarification of the original.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

dennis fallon

Glen, Sharon,

Dear Mr Fallon

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your clarification emails of 25th and 27th September. This is due to a technical difficulty we are currently experiencing with our Information Assurance mailbox.

We will respond to your second clarification as the most recent one made. This will be processed as a follow-up to your original request under the same reference 3380/11.

We hope to have a response with you shortly, but in any case within 20 working days from 28th September (the date of receipt of the second clarification).

Yours sincerely

Sharon Glen
Lancashire Constabulary
Information Compliance and Disclosure Section, Police Headquarters
01772 412326 - www.lancashire.police.uk - [email address]

Information Matters - Let's Get It Right!

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Ms Glen,
Thank you for the very good service in keeping me informed.

Yours sincerely,

dennis fallon

Information assurance unit, Lancashire Constabulary

3 Atodiad

Mr Fallon,

 

Please find attached Lancashire Constabulary’s response to your follow up
enquiry in respect of the above Freedom of Information request.

 

Further to this, we would like to clarify the response provided in respect
of question 1 of your original request:

Q1. How many fixed post Gatso (FPG) and Gatso Red Light(GRL) cameras were
in use, on an annual basis, by your partnership in the past three
financial years?

 

A. In 2008-2009, 50 Gatso fixed post cameras were in use. In 2009-2010, 50
Gatso fixed post cameras were in use. In 2010-2011, 42 Gatso fixed post
cameras were in use. There are no red light cameras in Lancashire.

 

The response refers to the number of camera units in active use, which are
regularly rotated between all fixed camera housings, and not to the number
of housings which were used. The figures for 2008/09 and 2009/10 are valid
for the entirety of each year. The figure for 2010/11 is an average, as
following a review in 2010 the decision was made to reduce the number of
camera units in active use down to 30. This was done gradually over a
period of several months.

 

Kind regards,

 

Bryony Hopkinson

Freedom of Information Disclosure Officer

Lancashire Constabulary 

Information Compliance and Disclosure Section,

Police Headquarters

( 01772 413324  : [1]www.lancashire.police.uk

8: [2][email address]

 

 

 

Information Matters – Let’s Get It Right!

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.lancashire.police.uk/
http://www.lancashire.police.uk/
2. http://www.lancashire.police.uk/
mailto:[email address]

Dear Lancashire Constabulary,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Lancashire Constabulary's handling of my FOI request 'Gatso Calibration and Training'.

There has been a refusal on the grounds of `commercial interests` and for convenience I will restate the Q and A.

"CLARIFICATION POINT ONE.
Please confirm the agreed cost of single calibration of one Gatso Speed Camera, indicating any VAT, for each of the past three years so that trends may be appreciated. Please advise if any explanation has been provided by Serco if the increase, year on year, has exceeded five percent.
Your request has now been considered and the information you are seeking cannot be provided.
This is because it is felt that this information could be prejudicial to the commercial interests of both Lancashire Constabulary and Serco. As such, this information is exempt from disclosure by virtue of S.43 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and this letter serves to act as a refusal notice for this request, as per S.17 (1) of the Act.
S.43 is a qualified and class based exemption, therefore it has been necessary to consider the public interest for and against disclosure prior to applying this exemption. Details of this can be found below.
Factors Favouring Disclosure:
Disclosure would provide the public with a better understanding of how public funds are spent, which may be of particular significance during this economically difficult period.
Factors Favouring Non-Disclosure:
To disclose details of the financial arrangements agreed between Lancashire Constabulary and Serco could prejudice the force’s ability to secure the best value contract in the future. The current economic climate has placed a great deal of pressure on police forces across the country to seek ways in which to reduce the force budget without impacting upon service. As such, it is important that Lancashire Constabulary maintains its ability to negotiate prices as effectively as possible to ensure the force achieves the best value for money solution.
Further to this, the disclosure could also affect Serco’s future ability to secure other significant contracts with other similar public bodies. The figures agreed as part of this contract are specific to the nature and circumstances of the agreement. However, if disclosed out of context via the Freedom of Information Act they could be used by other companies, in particular those not chosen by us to try and gain an unfair advantage over Serco. Should this disclosure adversely affect the future business interests of Serco they would be in a position to raise a civil action against Lancashire Constabulary in respect of loss of profits and / or reputation.
Balancing Test:
On this occasion it is felt that the requested information is not suitable for disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as the factors favouring non-disclosure outweigh those favouring disclosure. It is felt that the disclosure of detailed financial information is unsuitable for disclosure, due to the potential prejudice to the commercial interests of both the force and the successful preferred supplier, as discussed above".

APPEAL POINT ONE.
Reference"This is because it is felt that this information could be prejudicial to the commercial interests of both Lancashire Constabulary and Serco".

I wish to appeal this as being an unreasonable attitude which is anticompetitive and contrary to the public interest.
The police should not be agreeing to secret financial arrangements with Serco and allowing possibly exhorbitant fees for simply putting a camera through a test procedure.There should be no shame if the fees are over £100 per camera.
In the same context there should not be the allowance of cost inflation greater than 5% without some valid explanation.

It may be possible that another supplier could provide a better alternative system and under European competive tender leglislation this should be allowed.

APPEAL POINT TWO
Quote "To disclose details of the financial arrangements agreed between Lancashire Constabulary and Serco could prejudice the force’s ability to secure the best value contract in the future"

I am shocked that anyone within Lancashire police could express such an opinion.
It displays a distorted opinion that secret deals allow for best value contracts.
I hope these secret commercial deals are not widespread within Lancashire because, in my opinion, they are at risk of corruption.

APPEAL POINT THREE
Quote " However, if disclosed out of context via the Freedom of Information Act they could be used by other companies, in particular those not chosen by us to try and gain an unfair advantage over Serco. Should this disclosure adversely affect the future business interests of Serco they would be in a position to raise a civil action against Lancashire Constabulary in respect of loss of profits and / or reputation".

I am shocked that Lancashire police have a strong bias towards any particular private business, agree to secret deals and fear prosecution if they reveal the details.It begs the question who is really in charge of these arrangements.

Quite frankly I am shocked and flabbergasted that these deals are considered to be secret and in the net public interest, and accordingly I would appreciate disclosure and response to the points raised above.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ga...

Yours faithfully,

dennis fallon

Dear Lancashire Constabulary,

I have requested a FOI appeal on 15 October but have had no acknowledgement or ETA from anyone.

This is obviously unacceptable.

The original request may be viewed at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ga...

Yours faithfully,

dennis fallon

Information assurance unit,

Mr Fallon,

Your request for a review was received by Lancashire Constabulary on the 17th October and passed to the Data Protection and Information Manager for consideration in line with the force's procedures for internal reviews.

Wherever possible, the Constabulary aims to respond to review requests within 20 working days from receipt.

Regards,

Bryony Hopkinson
Freedom of Information Disclosure Officer
Lancashire Constabulary
Information Compliance and Disclosure Section,
Police Headquarters
( 01772 413324 : www.lancashire.police.uk
8: [email address]


Information Matters – Let’s Get It Right!

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Melling, Carl, Lancashire Constabulary

1 Atodiad

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr Fallon.

 

Please find attached a response to your internal review request. 
Apologies for the delay.

 

Regards

Carl Melling

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

Dear Mr Melling,

Thank you for completing the review in which you confirm that your financial arrangements should not be disclosable,
Quote "Guidance issued by the Ministry of Justice and subsequent case law has established that certain contractual information, particularly that which relates to pricing, would constitute commercially sensitive information. Releasing the information requested under FOIA, may be misleading without full context from the supplier and may also affect the Constabulary’s ability to secure the most cost effective service in the future".

I am having difficulty sourcing your opinion, so to substantiate the response I would appreciate seeing the source material,namely the guidance issued by the MoJ and the case law detail disclosing the parties involved,including the judges, and the relevant judicial statements which are being used as a justification regarding this FOI request.

The material is acceptable as either pdf or word documents or,if the information is available online,by way of a link to the official statements.

Yours sincerely,

dennis fallon