Code of Conduct

Dave Orr made this Freedom of Information request to Highways England Company Limited

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

The request was successful.

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Please supply the Code of Conduct,

Are all employees required to adhere to the Code of Conduct?

Where HE Ltd sub contract work out are contractors required to operate to the HE Ltd Code of Conduct?

Yours faithfully,

Dave Orr

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]http://www.highways.gov.uk/publications/... 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.

 

If you’ve made a request under the Freedom of Information Act we will
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dealt with in line with government guidelines:
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To help us improve our service please click [4]here to complete a short
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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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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Russell, Hannah, Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Orr,

 

I am writing to confirm that we have now completed our search for the
information, which you requested on 26th July 2017.

 

Highways England do not have a Code of Conduct. Highways England hold
ourselves to the values: Safety, Teamwork, Ownership, Passion, and
Integrity. These values and associated behaviours form part of our staff
performance management framework and all employees are required to adhere
to the values.

 

In regards to contractors, it is dependent on their contract. Third party
contractors will have their own terms and conditions which they are
expected to adhere to. Contractors which have a Highways England contract
are required to adhere to the values.

Also, as explained above, as Highways England do not have a Code of
Conduct, suppliers are not required to operate to it.

 

However, our contracts do instruct our suppliers to adhere to such
policies and codes as the following.  Please note this list is not
exhaustive:

 

·        Anti-Bribery Code of Conduct

·        Anti–Fraud Code of Conduct

·        Bullying and Harassment Policy

·        Equality Act 2010. 

·        Modern Slavery Act 2015.

·        The works information has clauses on:

o   WI 250 Consideration of Others

o   WI 255 Inclusion Action Plan

o   WI 298 Behavioural attributes

·        There are also grounds for exclusion from being selected if there
has been a:

o   breach of social obligations

o   breach of labour law obligations

o   guilty of professional misconduct.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number 753,833 in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you may ask
for an internal review within 2 months of the date of this response for
Freedom of Information requests and within 40 days for Environmental
Information Regulations requests.      

Our internal review process is available at:
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
 

 

If you require a print copy, please phone the Information Line on 0300 123
5000; or e-mail [2][Highways England request email]. You should contact me if
you wish to complain.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

               Information Commissioner’s Office

               Wycliffe House

               Water Lane

               Wilmslow

               Cheshire

               SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Hannah Russell

Hannah Russell

Tier 1 HR Advisor – One HR

Policy , Process and Wellbeing

 

Highways England | The Cube | 199 Wharfside Street | Birmingham | B1 1RN

Tel: 0300 470 3000

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
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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 |
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[4][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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4. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Russell, Hannah,

Below is a copy of my letter to my MP, Cc my Councils and other campaigning parties.

I have also referred this matter directly to my Independent Complaints Assessor (for HE Ltd).

Given the dis-ingenuity of a member of staff telling me you have a Code of Conduct and your legal team refusing access to it, then I would appreciate you referring this matter to your CEO Jim O'Sullivan for Main Board consideration.

David Orr.

=========================================================================================

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: David Orr <[email address]>
To: Rebecca Pow (MP) <[email address]>
Cc: John Cllr Williams <[email address]>; Catherine Herbert <[email address]>; Nigel Pow <[email address]>; Nigel Power <[email address]>; Mike Farrell <[email address]>; Rob & Helen Hossell <[email address]>; Michaelbaddeley <[email address]>; Vic Freir <[email address]>; Keith Read <[email address]>; David Lodge <[email address]>; John Harrison <[email address]>; "[email address]" <[email address]>; D. Fothergill <[email address]>; Hazel Prior-Sankey - Councillor <[email address]>; David Hall - Councillor <[email address]>; Louise Mackley <[email address]>; John Woodman - Councillor <[email address]>; Ian Liddell-Grainger <[email address]>; Mike Marshall <[email address]>; A. Goodchild <[email address]>; Mike O'Dowd-Jones <[email address]>; "[email address]" <[email address]>
Sent: Saturday, 26 August 2017, 9:50
Subject: Accountable public body Highways England Ltd have no Code of Conduct to follow!

Dear Rebecca,

Highways England Ltd (via the Project Manager) have in writing previously told me they have a Code of Conduct and that it is based upon the Civil Sevice Code of Conduct.

Now that I want a copy of the Code of Conduct (to see if it has been followed in the controversial one option proposal for the A358 expressway from West Hatch to Taunton) I am told that none exists!

If the Highways England Ltd were part of the Civil Service then they would have the Civil Service Code of Conduct to follow.

As an accountable public body, it has come as quite a surprise to find out that in the move to a Limited Company (via Agency status) that there is no Code of Conduct.

So, if they choose to consult with only one option, that is OK.

If a senior Mace employee acting a consultant to Highways England Ltd wants to pull the plug on the option with the best long term benefits (for the public money spent) then that can be done with a single phone call and without any accompanying explanation in the related Decision Log.

No fear of ever breaching the Code of Conduct because there isn't one!

There is a difference between Regulation and bureaucracy/"red tape" - As we have seen in in the application and operation of Fire and Building regulations relating to the appalling Grenfell Tower fire.

I think that Highways England Ltd as an accountable public body should have a Code of Conduct (preferably openly published) and that the absence of a Code of Conduct prevents MPs, Parliament and the public from holding Highways England Ltd properly to account for their behaviours and actions.

Sub-contractors cannot have their behaviours and actions codified as there is no Code of Conduct that can be included as a contract term and condition.

Therefore the behaviours and actions of every contractor and for every contract will vary and none of the organisational values held by Highways England Ltd (they list: Safety, Teamwork, Ownership, Passion and Integrity) is codified to ensure compliance and consistency across England and on every project.

Billions of £s being spent (with a £1.7 trillion national debt) and not a Code of Conduct in sight.

I would be obliged if you would, as our MP, meet with Rt Hon Sec of State Chris Grayling and draw this significant omission to his attention and ask that Highways England Ltd is compelled to have a Code of Conduct (which the DoT should approve) and that should then be published on their web site.

I have reached an age and stage of life where experience and the cynicism generated by those experiences means that I am rarely surprised.

However, I must congratulate Highways England Ltd (as an accountable public body) for solving the issue of being accountable for their behaviours and actions, via a Code of Conduct, by simply getting rid of the one they inherited and putting nothing in its place!

Is this a new low for the governance and accountability of a public body spending vast sums of public money every year (often with a high community impact)?

Regards,

David Orr

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 'Code of Conduct'.

Prior to this FOI request, I received an assurance from the A358 Project Magr David Stock that HE Ltd does have a Code of Conduct:

From: A358 Taunton to Southfields <[email address]>
To: "'[email address]'" <[email address]>
Sent: Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 15:05
Subject: Query Re: Civil service Code

Dear Mr Orr,

Thank you for your e-mail of 28 June 2017 and your observations following attendance at recent Parish Council meetings.

As a matter of clarity, Mr Bowen is a member of the Mott MacDonald SWECO JV team and not Remarkable Pendragon.

Civil Service Code

In response to your query about the application of the Civil Service Code, Highways England staff are subject to the Highways England code of conduct, which is contractual. The wording of this is similar to the Civil Service Code but not identical. Our code of conduct also adds reference to our health and safety policy (which the Civil Service Code does not mention).

========================================================================================

The HE Ltd Legal department refused to disclose the Code of Conduct on a legal basis indicating that the document existed:

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Highways England <[email address]>
To: "'[email address]'" <[email address]>
Sent: Wednesday, 26 July 2017, 11:23
Subject: Highways England response reference 184855868

Dear Mr Orr,

Thank you for contacting me yesterday regarding your Chief Executive complaint received on 30 June 2017, and I am sorry that you have not received a response within the 15 working days.

As discussed, I have contacted the relevant department on your behalf asking them to respond to you urgently because the 15 working days have elapsed.

I have also enquired with our legal department regarding publishing our code of conduct on our website.

They have provided me with the following response:

“Highways England is a limited company appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport as a strategic highways company to manage and run the strategic road network. It is a separate legal entity from the Crown. Consequently, the employees of Highways England Limited are not civil servants and the Highways England code of conduct for its’ employees is not a public document. In summary, the code of conduct is not accessible by the public and will not be published on the Highways England website.”

I understand that this may not be the response you would have preferred, but I hope it clarifies the position of Highways England.

Kind regards

Franck Morvan
Customer Contact Centre Delivery Manager
=============================================================================

In the light of the above, can you please reassure me that HE Ltd does not have a Code of Conduct or similar document?

Are there any historical versions of a Code of Conduct (or similar document) prior to this response? If so, please disclose all historical versions and state the date at which any Code of Conduct or similar ceased to be a live document and ceased to be no longer applicable to HE Ltd staff.

Did HE Ltd on formation inherit the Code of Conduct from the Highways Agency? If so please supply a copy.

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

Yours faithfully,

Dave Orr

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]http://www.highways.gov.uk/publications/... 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.

 

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:
[3]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

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

 

To help us improve our service please click [4]here to complete a short
survey.

 

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

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4. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HECCC
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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

My request for an Internal Review has only received an automated response and has not been properly acknowledged.

The Internal Review statutory response time (under the FOI Act) will be exceeded shortly.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the FOI Act with regard to an Internal Review will result in a referral to the Information Commissioners Office.

I remain of the view, from previous correspondence where HE Ltd employees confirmed that a Code of Conduct did exist, that HE Ltd does have a Code of Conduct (or similar document) and that this FOI denying the existence of any such document is incorrect.

Please also be aware that I am in the process of seeking an MP's support in sponsoring an appeal of an outstanding complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (as the DoT Independent Complaint Assessor's terms of reference are too narrow to support complaint resolution for issues of governance and conduct).

In an appeal to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the issue of the "disappearing Code of Conduct" will be brought up (in addition to asking the Information Commissioner's Office to investigate whether disclosure of a code of conduct or similar document has been wrongly withheld or the search for it inadequately conducted).

Please now disclose the Code of Conduct (or similar document).

Yours faithfully,

Dave Orr

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]http://www.highways.gov.uk/publications/... 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.

 

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:
[3]https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

 

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

 

To help us improve our service please click [4]here to complete a short
survey.

 

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,
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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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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

FOI Advice, Highways England Company Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Orr

 

Our Ref: 755,635

 

I refer to your request for an internal review in relation to your Freedom
of Information Act request. Your original request dated 26 July 2017 asked
for the following information:

 

·        Please supply the Code of Conduct,

 

·        Are all employees required to adhere to the Code of Conduct?

 

·        Where HE Ltd sub contract work out are contractors required to
operate to the HE Ltd Code of Conduct?

 

Our response stated that we do not have a Code of Conduct but that all HE
staff are required to adhere to values and behaviours which form part of
our staff performance management framework.

 

You were provided with information regarding our service providers who,
depending on the contract, may or may not be required to adhere to the
same values.

 

Highways England has been a government owned company since April 2015,
with staff joining after April 2015 being on different Terms and
Conditions to those who joined before that date.

 

The response you were provided with is correct in stating that we no
longer have a code of conduct. However, we should have made it clear that
this only applied to staff joining Highways England after April 2015.
Please accept my apologies for the confusion.

 

Individuals who joined before April 2015 are still required to adhere to a
Personal Conduct Policy as set out in their Terms and Conditions.

 

I have attached the section that relates to Personal Conduct for staff who
joined before April 2015. I apologise that this information was not
disclosed to you earlier.

 

I hope that this now fully answers your request dated 26 July 2017
regarding the Code of Conduct

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

            Information Commissioner’s Office

            Wycliffe House

            Water Lane

            Wilmslow

            Cheshire

            SK9 5AF

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Layla Beckett, Freedom of Information Officer

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

Web: http://www.highways.gov.uk

 

 

 

Dear FOI Advice,

"all HE staff are required to adhere to values and behaviours which form part of our staff performance management framework."

To close this FOI and for comparison between pre- and post-April 2015 employees can you supply copies of or links to the relevant staff performance management framework.

Does the staff performance management framework apply to all employees (incl those who were employed prior to April 2015)?

Can I also have copies of or links to the previously mentioned policies applicable to contractors for input into my complaint prior to meeting with my MP on the 27th of October for her possible sponsorship and my escalation to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (as the governance and conduct aspects of my complaint were outside the Terms of Reference for the Independent Complaints Assessor from the Dept.for Transport)?

· Anti-Bribery Code of Conduct

· Anti–Fraud Code of Conduct

· Bullying and Harassment Policy

· The works information has clauses on:

o WI 250 Consideration of Others

o WI 255 Inclusion Action Plan

o WI 298 Behavioural attributes

Yours sincerely,

Dave Orr

Johnston, Daniel, Highways England Company Limited

5 Attachments

To Mr Orr,

 

I am writing to confirm that we have now completed our search for the
information, which you requested on 26/09/2017.

 

The responses are as follows:

 

 

·         Does the staff performance management framework apply to all
employees (incl those who were employed prior to April 2015)?

 

The staff performance management framework applies to all employees of
Highways England.

 

 

 

·         Can I also have copies of or links to the previously mentioned
policies applicable to contractors for input into my complaint prior to
meeting with my MP on the 27th of October for her possible sponsorship and
my escalation to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (as the governance and
conduct aspects of my complaint were outside the Terms of Reference for
the Independent Complaints Assessor from the Dept.for Transport)?

 

·        Anti-Bribery Code of Conduct

 

·        Anti–Fraud Code of Conduct

 

·        Bullying and Harassment Policy

 

·        The works information has clauses on:

 

o   WI 250 Consideration of Others

 

o   WI 255 Inclusion Action Plan

 

o   WI 298 Behavioural attributes

 

 

Copies of the requested information is attached to the email. Please note
that the bullying and harassment information comes under the ‘Dignity at
Work’ policy.

 

Most documents supplied by Highways England will be Crown Copyright. Most
Crown Copyright information can be re-used under the [1]Open Government
Licence. For information about OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright
information please see [2]The National Archives website.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you may ask
for an internal review. Our internal review process is available at:

[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

 

If you require a print copy, please phone the Information Line on 0300 123
5000; or e-mail [4][Highways England request email].

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

            Information Commissioner’s Office

            Wycliffe House

            Water Lane

            Wilmslow

            Cheshire

            SK9 5AF

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number 755,704 in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Best regards,

 

Daniel Johnston

HR Advisor – One HR

Policy , Process and Wellbeing

 

Highways England | The Cube | 199 Wharfside Street | Birmingham | B1 1RN

Tel: 0300 470 7330

 

 

[5]ttcchampslogothumb

 

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,
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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 |
[6]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[7][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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7. mailto:[Highways England request email]

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