Potholes: stats, procedure and compensation

Oliver Lewis made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Aberdeen City Council

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Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Aberdeen City Council,

How many claims did the council receive for compensation for pothole damage in the last three years that figures are available?
How many of these claims did you pay?
What was the cost to you for claims in the last three years that figures are available?
What is the average pay out for a claim?
What was the cost to the council administratively for managing these claims in the last three years that figures are available?
What was the budget for fixing potholes in the last three years that figures are available?
What is the budget for fixing potholes this current year?
How much did you spend on fixing potholes in the last three years that figures are available?
How many potholes were fixed in the last three years that figures are available?
How many repairs were prompted by complaints?
How many repairs were because of the council's own survey work?
Did the council develop its own process for managing pothole claims, e.g. the development of a form to report claims, standards in terms of timely responses etc.

Yours faithfully,

Oliver Lewis

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

Information enquiry reference EIR-20-0167.

 

Thank you for your recent request for information, which we received on 3
February 2020. 

 

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is on
or before 2 March 2020. 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1]ACC_Crest_for Tomina Egbuson | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
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Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

Thank you for your request for information, made under Section 1(1) of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA), and received on 03 February
2020. 

 

We would like to ask you to clarify your request so that we can identify
and locate the information which you have requested. Under Section 1(3) of
the FOISA, we do not have to supply you with the requested information
until you have provided us with more detail in this respect.

 

What was the cost to the council administratively for managing these
claims in the last three years that figures are available?

 

Could you please advise if you are looking for internal costs or the costs
from our insurers in relation to handling our claims ? Could you please
provide more explanation ?

 

Clarifying these points will help us to be sure we are providing, where
possible, the information you are interested in. Please note we will keep
your request on file for 20 working days whilst we await your
clarification. It can often be helpful to discuss your request with a
member of our team who may be able to help you frame your request or
explain more about how ACC holds its information; if this is something you
feel may be helpful please do call us, and we will be happy to assist you.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

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Dear Foi Enquiries,

If there is an internal cost to the council for handling these claims, it would be great to know. If not, please disregard that question.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Lewis

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

Information enquiry reference EIR-20-0167.

 

Many thanks for your recent clarification of your information request,
which we received on 24 February 2020.

 

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is on
or before 23 March 2020.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1]ACC_Crest_for mac Tomina Egbuson | Access to Information Officer
email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  |
Broad Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

Please accept our sincerest apologies that we have failed to respond to
your information request within the statutory 20 working days. 

 

We are endeavouring to ensure you receive a response within the next 5
working days, but would like to take this opportunity to advise you that,
as we have missed the statutory deadline for responding, you are entitled
to request a review.  More information about requesting a review is
included in the Further Information section, below.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

 

If ACC has failed to respond to your information request within the
statutory 20 working days you can submit a complaint or request a review
of our response. You should do this within 40 working days after receipt
of this information. To complain or request a review, please write to:

 

Access to Information Team
Customer Feedback
Corporate Experience
Aberdeen City Council
1^st Floor South

Business Hub 6

Marischal College
Broad Street
ABERDEEN AB10 1AB

Email: [1][Aberdeen City Council request email]

Your request for review must include your name, an address, and your
reason(s) for requesting a review. You should also include the reference
number for your original request for information.

               

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for review, you
can apply directly to the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
(OSIC) for a decision. Generally, OSIC cannot make a decision unless you
have been through the Council’s review procedure. The Scottish Information
Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info

 

Should you wish to appeal against the Scottish Information Commissioner's
decision, there is an appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law
only. Any such appeal must be made within 42 days after the date of the
decision has been issued.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[3]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[4]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Aberdeen City Council request email]
2. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/
4. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

Thank you for your clarified information request of 24 February 2020 and
please accept our apologies for delay in providing the response to you. 
Aberdeen City Council (ACC) has completed the necessary search for the
information requested. Our response is now detailed below.

 

 1. How many claims did the council receive for compensation for pothole
damage in the last three years that figures are available?

Our dates work in financial years so the total number of claims from 1st
April 2017 to 24th Feb 2020 is 234.

 

 2. How many of these claims did you pay?

58

 

 3. What was the cost to you for claims in the last three years that
figures are available?

£13,981.54

please note that this figure includes both property damage and also injury
claims.  We do not record disbursements separately (eg solicitor and
investigation fees) so this is the total cost of all claims paid out.

 

 4. What is the average pay out for a claim?

We cannot provide this information (please see explanation provided for
Question 3, as the sums cannot be separated out).

 

We are unable to provide you with information on the average pay out for a
claim as it is not held by the Council.  In order to comply with our
obligations under the terms of Regulation 10(4)(a) - Information Not Held
- of the EIRs, we hereby give notice that this information is not held by
us.  We are required by Regulation 10(1)(b) of the EIRs to inform you as
to why in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in
maintaining this exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing
this information to you.  We are satisfied that we do not hold this
information and consider that, as there is no information held, the public
interest lies with the exception.

 

 5. What was the cost to the council administratively for managing these
claims in the last three years that figures are available?

Clarified as: If there is an internal cost to the council for handling
these claims, it would be great to know. If not, please disregard that
question.

We do not record internal costs so we are disregarding this question.

 

 6. What was the budget for fixing potholes in the last three years that
figures are available?

Please note these figures refer to all carriageway patching (not planned
resurfacing works) that are carried out by Roads, not strictly filling
potholes, as this is how the figures are held

  Budget Budget Budget
  2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
- Carriageway Patching 834,000 825,000 559,000
- Footway Patching 157,000 157,000 36,000

 

 7. What is the budget for fixing potholes this current year?

For this current financial year April 2019- April 2020 the budget for all
carriageway patching works is £559,000. Budgets are reviewed on an annual
basis.

 

 8. How much did you spend on fixing potholes in the last three years that
figures are available?

Please note these figures refer to all carriageway patching (not planned
resurfacing works) that are carried out by Roads, not strictly filling
potholes, as this is how the figures are held. Costings are held by
financial year from April to April, please see costs below for financial
years.

 

2017-18- £1,363,530.00

2018-19- £400,006.00

2019-20- £145,034.00 (up until October for which costs are collated)

 

 9. How many potholes were fixed in the last three years that figures are
available?

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Jan 17-|July 17-|Jan 18-|July 18-|Jan 19-|July 19-|Oct 19- |
|June 17|Dec 17 |June 18|Dec 18 |June 19|Oct 19 | |
| | | | | | |(collated up to |
| | | | | | |09/02/20) |
|-------+--------+-------+--------+-------+--------+---------------------|
|4250 |2984 |10720 |4180 |5654 |1328 |4849 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

10. How many repairs were prompted by complaints?

Please see the response to Q11.

 

11. How many repairs were because of the council's own survey work?

This type of request would require the analysis of over of 29,116 repair
orders. Due to the fact that any jobs that are raised against Roads cannot
be broken down by source, each would have to be analysed individually to
identify which were prompted by complaints and which were by inspection.

 

ACC is unable to provide you with information on repairs prompted by
complaints or Council’s own survey work as it is excepted from disclosure.
In order to comply with its obligations under the terms of Regulation 13
of the EIRs, ACC hereby give notice that we are refusing your request
under the terms of Regulation 10(4)(b) – Manifestly Unreasonable - of the
EIRs.

 

In making this decision ACC considered the following points:

 

In order for this information to be supplied over 29,116 repair orders
would have to be analysed at a pace of 5 minutes per enquiry, this would
take 2426 hours or 65 weeks to complete. It would cost £36,390.00 at an
hourly rate of £15 which is way over £600.

 

It will be a considerable burden on time and resources to remove an
officer from normal duties to focus on providing this information.
Collating all the information requested would seriously impede the
officer’s other time sensitive duties and any other requests for
information that come in would also be affected.

 

ACC would be happy to discuss ways in which you may refine your request,
so we can provide some information of interest to you within the maximum
cost limits.  We might be able to provide information on how many reports
have been made of potholes on a specific road over a much smaller time
scale. This could also be broken down by how many were made by members of
the public and how many were reported by staff. Please do contact the
Access to Information Team, who will be happy to advise you, if this is
something you would like to pursue.

 

 

12. Did the council develop its own process for managing pothole claims,
e.g. the development of a form to report claims, standards in terms of
timely responses etc.

The process for all claims has been developed in conjunction with the
requirements of our insurers and the gathering of necessary technical data
from individual Service areas to ensure that the claims process is as
simple as possible.

 

As this is a legal process, there are no defined timescales for response
(with the exception of injury claims submitted under the Pre Action
Protocol), however ACC and its insurers aim to respond as timeously as
possible.

 

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDLING OF YOUR REQUEST

 

As the information which you requested is environmental information, as
defined under Regulation 2(1) of the Environmental Information (Scotland)
Regulations 2004 (the EIRs), we considered that it was exempt from release
through FOISA, and must therefore give you notice that we are refusing 
your request under Section 39(2) of FOISA (Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002).  However, you have a separate right to access the
information which you have requested under Regulation 5 of the EIRs, under
which we have handled your request. Please refer to the attached PDF for
more information about your rights under the EIRs.

 

We hope this helps with your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1]ACC_Crest_for mac Tomina Egbuson | Access to Information Officer
email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  |
Broad Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hello,

Thank you so much for this. It would be great to know if we can ask for a couple more pieces of information about this?

Out of the claims that you have received from damage caused by potholes, would you be able to let us know how many of these are still in progress and how many have been turned down for the last three years figures are available?

Thanks again for your help with this.

Best wishes,
Oliver

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

Information enquiry reference EIR-20-0419.

 

Thank you for your recent request for information, which we received on 7
April 2020. 

 

Please note that we have logged your follow up question as a new request.

 

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is on
or before 6 May 2020.

 

Aberdeen City Council are prioritising resources to support vulnerable
citizens and essential services. As a result, we may not be able to
respond to your information request within statutory timescales. We will
keep you updated with the progress of your request. We thank you for your
patience.

 

Please refer to [1]FOISA reviews & appeals and [2]Your Data for more
information about your rights under FOISA.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[3]ACC_Crest_for mac Tomina Egbuson | Access to Information Officer
email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  |
Broad Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[4]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

                                              

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services...
2. https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/your-dat...
4. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

Thank you for your information request of 07 April 2020.  Aberdeen City
Council (ACC) has completed the necessary search for the information
requested. Our response is now detailed below.

 

Out of the claims that you have received from damage caused by potholes,
would you be able to let us know how many of these are still in progress
and how many have been turned down for the last three years figures are
available?

 

Policy year No of claims No of claims still in
repudiated progress
2017/18 42 33
2018/19 49 4
2019/20 26 40

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDLING OF YOUR REQUEST

 

As the information which you requested is environmental information, as
defined under Regulation 2(1) of the Environmental Information (Scotland)
Regulations 2004 (the EIRs), we considered that it was exempt from release
through FOISA, and must therefore give you notice that we are refusing 
your request under Section 39(2) of FOISA (Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002).  However, you have a separate right to access the
information which you have requested under Regulation 5 of the EIRs, under
which we have handled your request. Please refer to [1]FOISA reviews &
appeals and [2]Your Data for more information about your rights under the
EIRs.

 

We hope this helps with your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[3]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[4]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services...
2. https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/your-dat...
4. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/