Connect Plus Area 5 (M25) Contract - penalties applied by Highways Engalnd

The request was successful.

Peter Silverman

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Please refer to this communication from Chris Melbourne of 6th March 201:
https://www.cleanhighways.co.uk/wp-conte...

Please let me know in respect to the current and previous 4 years (you may choose financial or calendar years):

1. The total amount of the financial penalties applied by Highways England?

2. How much of this was in respect to litter clearance?

3. The total amount of performance points allocated by Highways England?

4. Again, how much of this was in respect to litter clearance?

Yours faithfully,

Peter Silverman

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

OPSSESecretariat, Highways England Company Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Silverman

 

Please find attached our response to your request for information under
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

Kind regards

 

Nancy Etheridge

 

Nancy Etheridge
Highways England | Bridge House | 1 Walnut Tree Close | Guildford | Surrey
| GU1 4LZ
Web: [1]http://www.highways.gov.uk

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3. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Peter Silverman

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 'Connect Plus Area 5 (M25) Contract - penalties applied by Highways Engalnd'.

In his communication of 9th July Chris Melbourne said he was dealing with my request under the terms of the EIR 2004. However he then says he is applying exemptions under the FOIA 2000. Did he mean to apply EIR 12 (5) (e) ?

Please clarify which legislation and exemptions you are using as part of your review. I can then provide further appropriate comments to assist you.

Please confirm that you will not use this confusion as a reason for delay. My request for an internal review should be regarded as having been made today.

On the assumption that the exemption/ exception you will be using will be subject to a public interest test the following links are provided to demonstrate the public concern about the management of this contract.

M25 - Audit Office reveals PFI contractors super profits - https://www.cleanhighways.co.uk/m25/m25

Video of A40 / J1M40 - part of M25 contract - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OfXpWDX...

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,

Peter Silverman

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

 

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Peter Silverman

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Further to my request for an internal review.

In conducting your review and, assuming you are going to continue withhold some of the information please say:

1. Why the exemption(s) / exception(s) you are using apply.

2. What factors you are considering in carrying out your public interest test.

3. Why those in favour of publication were out-weighed by those against.

Please go ahead with your review without having to refer back to me before reaching your conclusion

Yours faithfully,

Peter Silverman

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

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre.

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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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https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
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4. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HECCC
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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Barnes, Christopher, Highways England Company Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Silverman,

Please find a response to your internal review.

Yours sincerely

Chris Barnes | Lead Data & Information Governance Officer | Information and Technology
Highways England | Lateral | 8 City Walk | Leeds | LS11 9AT

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

show quoted sections

Peter Silverman left an annotation ()

From: Peter Silverman - Clean Highways
Date: Wednesday, 5 September 2018 at 16:30
To: "casework@ico.org.uk" <casework@ico.org.uk>
Subject: New compliant about Highways England

Complaint to the Information Commissioner – M25 Penalties applied to contractor

Complainant: Peter Silverman, 20 Kingsend, Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7DA 01895 625770

I am complaining about: Highways England, Bridge House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford , Surrey GU1 4LZ

I confirm that to the best of my knowledge I have given you accurate information relating to this complaint. I understand that during any necessary investigations, you may need to disclose the details I have provided to the subject of my complaint to allow them to make a proper response. I also understand that your policy is to destroy documents relating to complaints after six months. I have clearly indicated those documents that you should not destroy and should return to me.

Complaint

Please refer to https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

1. The total amount of the financial penalties applied by Highways England?

This has been refused without reference to any valid EIR exception .

2. How much of this was in respect to litter clearance?

I was sent a spreadsheet showing instances of where a Lane Availability Adjustment had been made in respect to the contractor having used road space (i.e. closed off lanes) outside of the No Charge Period (i.e. when, I presume, this would have been likely to cause delays to road users).

In some of these instances the closures were to facilitate litter-picking.

However these payments are in respect to reducing lane availability not to any failure to maintain litter standards which is the context in which my request was made as I will now explain.

I had prefaced my request by referring HE to a communication from their Chris Melbourne of 6th March 2018 https://www.cleanhighways.co.uk/wp-conte... .

This was headed “Strategic Road Network Litter Standards”. Other relevant references in it are as follows:

Para 1: “… the Connect Plus contract and its obligations in relation to maintaining litter standards”.

Para 2: “…. penalties in either a financial form or through the allocation of performance points if the standards are not upheld”

Para 6: “ Highways England monitors Connect Plus’ performance by carrying out Environmental litter tours with them. During which we score the state of the network. The target level of cleanliness is detailed within the Maintenance and Operations Environmental Plan …”

The issue is not about penalties applied because of reduced lane availability because of litter picking – indeed this would facilitate the achievement of the required litter standards. It is about penalties applied because litter standards are not being met as per para 2.

No relevant information has therefore been supplied. No exception has been cited. HE have not said whether they hold this information which would be the case if no such penalties had been applied in the period.

3. The total amount of performance points allocated by Highways England?
4. Again, how much of this was in respect to litter clearance?
I am satisfied with the response to these two enquiries.

Please deal with this complaint solely in accordance with your obligations under FOIA S 50. I am not asking you to act as a conciliator.

Kind regards

Peter Silverman
01895 625770
07799 404766
www.cleanhighways.co.uk

FOI Advice, Highways England Company Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Silverman

 

Please find attached a response to the Information Commissioner’s Office
investigation ICO Reference: FER0783247.

 

Yours sincerely

Sian Jones| Lead Information Rights Officer | Information & Technology

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

Tel: +44 (0) 300 4705240

Web: http://highwaysengland.co.uk

GTN: 0300 470 5240

 

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 |
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[2][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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2. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Peter Silverman left an annotation ()

From: Peter Silverman - Clean Highways
Date: Friday, 1 February 2019 at 13:00
To: "casework@ico.org.uk"

Subject: Ref. FER0783247

I have received a communication from Highways England in reference to this complaint.

It was attached to a note posted by them on https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c... on 1st February.

The comments they make do not mitigate my complaint in any way.

If you have any questions for me regarding what they have said please let me know.

I do not intend to submit a further request as they have suggested.

I assume you will be issuing your decision notice in due course.

Kind regards

Peter Silverman

FOI Advice, Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Silverman

 

Following your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office in
relation to your EIR request reference: 763,448 and subsequent internal
review reference: 764,640 I have discussed this matter with colleagues and
can confirm that unfortunately the exception under Regulation 12(5)(e)
(commercially sensitive) was applied in error; no penalties were in fact
incurred by the company.

 

Therefore in answer to your first question:

 

o The total amount of the financial penalties applied by Highways
England?

 

The answer should have been that no penalties have been incurred and as
such under Regulation 12(4)(a) of the EIR I can confirm that the
information is not held.

 

Please accept my apologies for any confusion this may have caused and I
hope this now satisfactorily concludes this matter.

 

Yours sincerely

Sian Jones| Lead Information Rights Officer | Information & Technology

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

Web: http://highwaysengland.co.uk

 

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 |
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[2][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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2. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Peter Silverman left an annotation ()

It has taken 9 months for Highways England to tell me that in the previous 4 years that did not apply any financial penalties to their M25 contractor.

For more on this please go to

https://www.cleanhighways.co.uk/m25/m25-...

Peter Silverman
www.cleanhighways.co.uk