IR request re Exchanges Relating to Suspension of NSoRC

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,

I refer to my request of 06/11/2019 in respect of which you sought clarification and provided reference FOI 100507. In brief, I have sought all exchanges with insurers and your contractors about the implementation of the process and termination of it.

The original request is below.

I am without any information and am seeking an Internal review

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

Sent: 06 November 2019 14:55
To: FOI Advice FOIAdvice @ highwaysengland.co.uk
Subject: NSORC pilot outcome

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Freedom of Information Act Request

191105 Suspension of the NSORC - National schedule of repair costs for network damage, Green Claims) – pilot outcome

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/thirdparty...

I am seeking the following information:

8. The pre-implementation and ongoing assessment of the benefit to Third Parties and HE

I am particularly interested in the information indicating the recovery rates is £1 in every £5 and how, given HE are bringing claims in-house, the benefit is perceived as being other than for HE and HE alone.

9. Engagement with the insurance industry; information to and from

10. Responses for and feedback against the NSORC; all feedback from those involved. I anticipate personal data will be redacted but the identity of commercial entities will remain

11. Questions raised by all parties (within and without HE) about the process and the responses

12. Examples in Areas 9, 10 &12 of 'The contractual arrangements between Highways England and its service providers, containing separate regimes for claims above and below a £10,000 threshold, and different pricing methodologies, leading to varying labour and equipment rates and therefore significantly different repair costs being applied to similar repairs'

The defined cost process has been described to us and the Courts as an ‘actual cost’ or ‘base rate’ to which an uplift is applied. The defined cost (however it is arrived at) is common to both TP and HE.

13. How could the difference ever be more than the difference between ‘fee’ to HE and TPCO to a Third Party i.e. no more than 20% approx.. as opposed to the stated ‘significant’?

14. How it was determined the costs did not sufficiently reflect the ‘open market’,

a. which ‘open’ market and
b. the data relating to this

15. Your better understanding of the he requirements which will need to be met to enable a National Schedule to be successfully implemented

16. Your engagement with contractors following implementing NSORC; all information to and from, to this date. This will include all information to and from contractors setting out the suspension of NSORC; notification, feedback, implications How it affects them, their charging and claims), actions and intentions

17. The final assessment of NSORC, all reports and feedback.

NORSC explained ‘By introducing a national schedule, we had hoped to provide the insurance industry the benefit of the rates that we had been able to secure in a competitive market.’

18. the rates you have been able to secure in a competitive market

I note you will revert to pursuing claims based on the ‘actual cost’ of carrying out the repairs and will continue to explore options for a transparent and equitable set of rates.

19. What is meant by ‘actual cost’ and the actual costs of carrying out the repairs in Areas 6, 9 10 & 12 (as at 01/03/2019) and if different, the:

20. ‘actuals’ for re-pricing any claims that have been priced under the National Schedule of Repair Costs

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
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Kind regards

 

Highways England Customer Contact Centre

 

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 |
[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]

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

please advise the present position with regard to the information sought and the IR

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

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

to ICO 31/05/2020

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

2 Attachments


Dear Mr Swift,

Thank you for your email to Highways England dated 31 May 2020 regarding
an FOI request.

Can you please advise in some detail what your enquiry is so we me pass
this to the relevant department.

Alternatively if this is in relation to an existing case that you have
made recently please can you provide the reference number.

Kind regards,

Aries

Customer Contact Centre | Advisor
Highways England | National Traffic Operations Centre | 3 Ridgeway,
Quinton Bus. Park | Birmingham | B32 1AF

[1]Twit
Highways England Company Limited | Registered Office: Bridge House, 1
Walnut Tree Close, Guildford GU1 4LZ | Registered in England and Wales No.
9346363
[2]cid:image003.png@01D43318.B87D0620

 
 

------------------- Original Message

show quoted sections

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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 |
[11]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
<[12]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...> |
[Highways England request email] <[13]mailto:[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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Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[14]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[15][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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15. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear Highways England,

FOI 100507
Please see the 1st submission on this thread:

'I refer to my request of 06/11/2019 in respect of which you sought clarification and provided reference FOI 100507. In brief, I have sought all exchanges with insurers and your contractors about the implementation of the process and termination of it. The original request is below ...'

What is unclear?

Yours sincerely,

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

Mr P Swift left an annotation ()

29/05/2020 from Highways England

Dear Mr Swift

Internal Review

Further to your email dated 28 April 2020 regarding an internal review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, it has been passed to me to conduct an internal review of the way in which your request (FOI 100507) was handled.

In your e-mail on 6 November 2019 you made the request about the National Schedule of Repair Costs (NSORC) which consisted of 13 numbered points you wished to obtain the information for.

On 29 November 2019 Highways England responded stating that a portion of the request required clarification, namely questions 4 and 7, and that the request was estimated to exceed the appropriate cost to comply with and asked that you reduced the scope of the request especially question 9.

On 30 November 2019 you responded to Highways England setting out your clarification and questioning our application of Section 12.

On 3 December 2019 Highways England wrote to you again setting out its reasoning behind applying Section 12.

Following our 3 December 2019 e-mail, you wrote back again questioning our application of Section 12 and at this point rather than reducing the scope proceeded to request further information such as ‘Please explain what part of my request would not be in the locations described, or possibly with Tim Reardon i.e. why you are encountering difficulty.’ and following us notifying you of a meeting to determine what information might be held and where ‘Please advise the date of the meeting and ensure I am provided all notes from same’.

On 28 April 2020 as you had not received a response following your 3 December e-mail, you requested an internal review.

I have now had the opportunity to review the chain of events and correspondence and have found given that you refused to reduce the scope of the request but instead chose to question our application of Section 12 to obtain this and ask further questions in the mean time that the request should, at that point, have been refused under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. As this response was not issued, and I apologise that it wasn’t, please refer to this response as Highways England’s refusal of your request dated 6 November 2019 under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

As noted above, I do acknowledge that this should have been issued in a response to you within 20 working days of your 3 December 2019 e-mail and I apologise that this did not happen. I also acknowledge that by failing to do so means that Highways England has breached Section 10 of the Freedom of Information Act.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of this 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

Jonathan Drysdale
Freedom of Information Officer

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Dear Mr Drysdale

You acknowledge that I wrote 03/12/2019. This is the same day that you had written:

‘We are currently reviewing your clarifications, we currently believe that there may be a need for further clarification or reduction in scope but we will assess further and if there is further need for this we will do this as soon as possible.’

And

‘Please note that as we have sought clarification and to avoid double handling or confusion we will be responding to the request in one response. Following your clarification the 20 working day deadline is re-set and therefore our current due date to respond 30 December 2019.

We will be in contact in due course regarding the other points raised in you 30 November e-mail but I wanted to explain the Section 12 and timescale process prior to that to ensure the Highways England’s position was understood.’

Your time line is lacking, it distorts the facts.

Where is the response, due on or before 30/12/2019?

The fact is the NSoRC was overseen by Martyn Gannicott @ Highways England. The team was to collate information from insurers/adjusters and place these online. This did not occur. The team was liaising with the ABI. The team was reporting to your General Counsel.

The information is all in one place, relates to one process and should be readily available. Given your belief that the process had not come to an end by was to be reassessed, it further follows the information is held in one place.

It appears there is a concerted effort to prevent release of information to me, to withhold. My suspicion is that the demise of the NSoRc does not arise from the conduct or concerns of insurers or their representatives but from your contractors.

Yours,

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
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 my information.

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
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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]