200501 Request for the Schedule(s) of Rates Stated to Exist (IR Request)

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Highways England Company Limited should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

On the one hand you write ‘there is no schedule of rates for unscheduled damage repair claims which is used by either Highways England or its contractors.’ On the other, when confronted, you now acknowledge the existence of a schedule of rates used by your contractor.

1. Please explain the contradiction.

As base rates to HE and a TP are the same, this is also a schedule of rates pertinent to you.

2. Please provide a copy of the schedule and

3. Advise when the schedule was used; from what date , to what date

I understand the schedule I have referred to features in the S Wales claims i.e. current matters being progressed in the name of Highways England. I am therefore surprised to learn that a relevant business document of this nature has been deleted (beyond recovery?). I am all the more interested to understand what was disclosed via the Judge.

Kier have used the CBD until 2020. The rates appearing upon the document have remained constant.

4. What replaced the process that gave rise to identical rates being used to bill Third Parties?

The CBD is used above and below threshold in Area 3; the schedule is used to bill you. There is a schedule and this is captured by my FoIA. Indeed, the last Tribunal matter arose from an Area 3 claim with a CBD.

5. Please provide me with the original CBD, in excel format, used to bill Highways England HE 112/003/SG219, Kier references GC19599 / INC67003. The document provided did not display the reference, it appears they had been removed.

You state the list is of ‘equipment rates’.

6. To what equipment are you referring?

7. Please explain why this was not captured by my FoIA request that resulted in a Tribunal hearing that found for me, Appeal No: EA/2018/0088.

My information about the above schedule (price list) being correct, I further understand there are other schedules, for example, ‘Area 9 DCP 35010 costs.xlsx’. Please:

8. Advise when ‘Area 9 DCP 35010 costs.xlsx’ operated (from what date, to what date) and

9. Provide a copy of the schedule and

10. The extract form your contract with Kier (Areas 3 and 9) that deals with information retention.

If the requests within this email are not to be addressed in the usual course of business, they should be consider a new FoIA request.

Yours sincerely,

P. Swift

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
assurance purposes.

 

Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
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strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
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Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

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References

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Highways England Company Limited's handling of my FOI request '200501 Request for the Schedule(s) of Rates Stated to Exist (IR Request)'.

The above request was submitted 01/05/2020. I am without the information.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
assurance purposes.

 

Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

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References

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2. https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
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4. https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...
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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

To ICO

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

please ignore the request for an IR. This is your ref. FOI 101124 and the due date for issuing a response is 25 June 2020.

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
assurance purposes.

 

Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
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References

Visible links
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2. https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
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4. https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Highways England Company Limited's handling of my FOI request '200501 Request for the Schedule(s) of Rates Stated to Exist (IR Request)'.

This is your ref. FOI 101124 and the due date for issuing a response is 25 June 2020. You have not provided the information or an update

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

to ICO re failure to respond within 20 working days

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
assurance purposes.

 

Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
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References

Visible links
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2. https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
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4. https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

From: ICO Casework <icocasework@ico.org.uk>
Sent: 07 August 2020 09:25
Subject: ICO Case Reference: IC-44033-Q9Y5

7 August 2020

Case Reference: IC-44033-Q9Y5

Dear Mr Swift

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
Your information request to Highways England Company Ltd
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Thank you for your correspondence of 19 June 2020 in which you complain that you have not received a response to your information request from the above public authority.

Under section 10 of the FOIA a public authority in receipt of a request for information has a duty to deal with it within 20 working days.

However, your request for information was received by the public authority on 19 June 2020. This is the same date as the date you submitted your complaint to us.

If the public authority has responded and you are dissatisfied with its response you should contact it again to request an internal review. If you remain dissatisfied after exhausting its internal complaints procedure you may complain to us again.

Alternatively, if you have still not received a response from the public authority then please let me know and we will address this.

If you believe the request was submitted earlier than the date of the request on the WhatDoTheyKnow website, please provide us with a copy of the your original dated request for information.

We will usually require unedited copies of email correspondence. The headers and footers contain information which we often need in order to assess a complaint.

Due to the challenging national circumstances please be aware that there may be delays which are longer than usual. The Commissioner thanks you for your patience at this time.

If you have further correspondence, please communicate by email, where possible, as the ICO is currently unable to accept post, and please ensure you quote the reference number above.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me on my direct number 0330 414 6239. If you need advice on a new issue you can contact us via our Helpline on 0303 123 1113 or through our live chat service. In addition, more information about the Information Commissioner’s Office and the legislation we oversee is available on our website at ico.org.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Anjum Iqbal
Case Officer
Information Commissioner's Office

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 414 6239 ico.org.uk twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

to ICO:
The complaint is the failure to supply information within 20 working days:

I am writing to request an internal review of Highways England Company Limited's handling of my FOI request '200501 Request for the Schedule(s) of Rates Stated to Exist (IR Request)'.
The above request was submitted 01/05/2020. I am without the information.
My request is dated 01/05/2020. I am without information.

I have submitted an IR.

Additionally, the IR to which you refer is dated 19/06/2020. The public authority has not responded. I am dissatisfied with this. I contacted it again to request an internal review. More than 20 working days have passed and I am without information or the outcome of the IR.

I have not received a response. Please address this.

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Your r ef:101124

From: Philip Swift
Sent: 28 May 2020 15:45
To: '[email address]' <[email address]>
Subject: Schedule of DCP rates - FoIA request / FS50703446 / FS50741018 / FS50875792
Dear Sirs
I remain without an update or information following my email of 01/05/2020.
(attached - http://www.englandhighways.co.uk/200528-...)
However, the attached supersedes the request adding more detail to assist you locating the DCP rates I have long sought and should have been supplied.
Please confirm the FoIA reference by close of business Monday 01/06/2020.
Yours faithfully,
Mr P Swift

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
assurance purposes.

 

Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
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References

Visible links
1. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...
2. https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
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4. https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

29/05/2020 From FOIAdvice@highwaysengland.co.uk
Subject: RE: Schedule of DCP rates - FoIA request / FS50703446 / FS50741018 / FS50875792

Thank you for your e-mail.  We can confirm it has been logged as a freedom of information request under reference FOI 101124 and the due date for issuing a response is

25 June 2020.

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

With regard to this request, the information should have been provided on or before 25/06/2020. It was not; Highways England is once again in breach of the Act - http://www.englandhighways.co.uk/200501-...

This matter refers to my response to a 30/04/2020 email from Tim Reardon. You acknowledged the request, provided reference 101124 but failed to comply with the Act. The request made is ‘FoIA request – ALL schedules’:

Mr Reardon had written:

‘there is no schedule of rates for unscheduled damage repair claims which is used by either Highways England or its contractors’

but when I presented Mr Reardon with no more than a reference, an Excel workbook file name of a price list, he wrote

‘the schedule would have contained a list of equipment rates from 2015.’

I have no interest in Mr Reardon’s excuse that this is a 5-year old schedule (yet it is in use currently). The fact is the workbook is a schedule of rates. It is utilized in cost breakdown documents (CBD )– spreadsheets, in their original format, by Kier for DCP repair matters and has been since 10/2015. The schedule may well contain a list of ‘equipment’ rates from 2015, but it cannot have been deleted because there are claims progressing to Court which rely upon those calculations. Please see (http://www.englandhighways.co.uk/kier-de...) and it existed as at the date of my 2017 request before a Tribunal.

However, following this initial ‘confession’, understanding I had been misled, that there are price lists, I sought further references understanding that the workbook was a commonly used reference process in Excel; that the presented CBD’s contained many links to other workbooks (spreadsheets) that contained the pricing data. I learned of many prefixed 'TM' used when billing Highways England and Third Parties in respect of DCP matters. Yet according to Highways England, there were no such schedules of DCP rates – there existed one and one only; the price list for pre-planned works which I have never sought and which I accept are commercially sensitive.

I was directed to other such file names:

• Area_3_equipment_Defined_Cost_latest_15.xls
• Area 9 DCP 35010 costs.xlsx’, a schedule of costs relating to the rates for operatives.
• mfoyle/Downloads/[Area 9 DCP 35010 costs.xlsx

additionally, source reference workbooks are used to populate rates for:

• Asset Inspection Watchman 1 Initial Incident'!B7) £65.75 Initial Incident'!I7
• Asset Inspection Vehicle Initial Incident'!B9) £36.91 Initial Incident'!I9

I have since learned of more spreadsheets, reference workbooks but, not seeking to confuse this request or complicate what is an obvious reference to schedules of rates, I have not further endorsed the FOIA approach.

The fact is that whilst Highways England was quick to respond (within 2 days) to my original approach about workbooks and volunteered that this was a schedule of rates, they have failed to address this latest approach that highlights further references, from a clearly reliable source to schedules of rates used for DCP matters.

I am also concerned the Authority claims schedules have been disposed of, are unavailable, being old. I much doubt this:

1. They appear in current matters before the Courts – they are potentially evidence that may need to be referred to
2. They are accountancy-related documents and should be retained 6 years
3. They are schedules of rates, which Kier and HE are aware I was seeking and should have provided, not destroyed
4. Highways England claim to have received 175 requests for rate-related information between 2013 and mid-2018 stating that the data was commercially sensitive – it is apparent this information (and likely more) is that to which they and their contractor was referring
5. Disposing of computer-managed/held files is unlikely to have caused all versions to be wiped from a system – and why would they have been? Such files take up little room, are small.

The information has been withheld, possibly destroyed

It will also be noted that the amended, superseding request, referred to Area 10 and the existence of similar schedules there.

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
assurance purposes.

 

Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
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References

Visible links
1. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...
2. https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
3. https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy
4. https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Please advise by when I can expect to receive the information requested.

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority. You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website at:
[2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

For more information on how we use your data please check our privacy
notice at: [3]https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
respond to you within a maximum of 20 working days. Your request will be
dealt with in line with government guidelines:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

Please be advised that emails may be monitored for training and quality
assurance purposes.

 

Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
need to.

References

Visible links
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2. https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
3. https://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/privacy
4. https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

14 August 2020

Case Reference: IC-44033-Q9Y5

Dear Mr Swift

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
Your information request to Highways England

Thank you for your correspondence of 11 August 2020 in which you raised a complaint about the above public authority’s handling of your request for information. As requested, see attached copy of your complaint submission form.

Your complaint has been accepted as eligible for further consideration and will be allocated to a case officer as soon as possible.

We generally deal with complaints in the order we receive them, except where we have identified a complaint that can be resolved quickly or where there is a compelling reason for a case to be accelerated. More complex complaints may involve a delay whilst waiting to be allocated to a case officer. Currently the waiting time is approximately three months before being allocated to a case officer. Once your case is allocated we will contact you and the case officer will explain how they will progress your complaint.

In the COVID-19 pandemic climate, many public authorities are facing severe front line pressures and are re-deploying their resources to meet those demands. The Commissioner’s view is that public authorities require maximum flexibility at this time, to optimally deploy those resources and best respond to a national crisis.

Therefore, as a reasonable and proportionate regulator, the Commissioner has taken the decision to amend her casework approach (whilst it is necessary) and reduce the burden on public authorities in these unprecedented times.

If you wish to send any further documents while the case is awaiting allocation, please quote the ICO case reference number at the top of this correspondence.

Please be aware that this is an automated process. The information will not be read by a member of our staff and you will not receive a reply until your case is allocated to a case officer.

If you have any specific concerns before then, please contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113, ensuring that you quote your ICO case reference number.

Yours sincerely

Sent on behalf of
Pam Clements
Group Manager
Information Commissioner’s Office

FOI Advice, Highways England Company Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Swift,

 

Please find attached the internal review ref. IR 101124 of your freedom of
information request ref. FOI 101124.

 

Kind Regards

 

Jonathan Drysdale

Freedom of Information Officer (HE)

Information & Technology

Highways England | Piccadilly Gate | Store Street | Manchester | M1 2WD

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Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

from Highways england

I understand from your email you are requesting an internal review into the handling of your Freedom of Information request reference (FOI 101124), submitted on 28 May 2020, was handled.

You requested an internal review based on no response to your request being received. I can confirm that no response was issued nor will any response to your request be issued going forward. The reasoning for this is that your request was received following a previous response from Highways England explaining that future requests, made by yourself, on the subject of Kier and the third-party claims process for the areas they operate the ASC contract for Highways England in will viewed as vexatious under Section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and that under Section 17(6) of the Act Highways England reserved the right not issue a response.

As such I find that, Highways England rights under Section 17(6) of the Freedom of Information Act has been engaged here and no further response will be issued.

Dear FOI Advice,

08/07/2020, Tim Reardon wrote: 'We are looking into the existence or otherwise of the document Area 9 DCP 35010.' I have waited patiently for the information.

However, you now state 'no response was issued nor will any response to your request be issued going forward. The reasoning for this is that your request was received following a previous response from Highways England explaining that future requests, made by yourself, on the subject of Kier and the third-party claims process for the areas they operate the ASC contract for Highways England in will viewed as vexatious under Section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000'

On the one hand, when (04/2020) I asked about a schedule of rates Area_3_equipment_Defined_Cost_latest_15.xls, I received an explanation about the price list from Mr Reardon within 2 working days with no mention the approach was considered inappropriate, vexatious.

On the other, when (05/2020) I asked about a similar schedule of rates ‘Area 9 DCP 35010 costs.xlsx’ and advised by Mr Reardon (07/2020) the schedule was being looked for, you now claim the request citing the request is vexatious.

How so?

The response of 28/08/2020 is blunt; there was clearly no intention to issue a response (despite Mr Reardon’s writing), you ignored the request without returning to me, without citing the exemption within 20 working days.

Why was this not conveyed previously?

Why was Mr Reardon, who appears to be coordinating all matters involving me, looking into the existence of the schedule of rates if there was no intention to provide these.?

I assume he has found the schedule of rates as I did not receive a ‘not held’ reply.

It again appears the Authority is inappropriately citing exemptions to withhold/hide information.

Yours sincerely,

Mr P Swift