Unanticipated work to berths 2 and 3

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

Andrew McCulloch

Dear Thanet District Council,

On 9th November 2016 Cllrs Stummer-Schmertzing and Townend issued a “Decision of Individual Cabinet Members” relating to a revision to the description of a 2016/17 capital project. The summary of the matter stated that:

“In August 2016 an Individual Cabinet Member Decision was made to vary the description of a capital project to replace the existing berth 4/5 structure at the port of Ramsgate. This variation allowed for the inclusion of work to berth 3 which is immediately adjacent to berth 4/5. A further variation (also authorised as an Individual Cabinet Member Decision) to increase the budget in line with a revised project value of £664k was signed on 28th September 2016.As a result of the above the contractor Burgess Marine Ltd started work on site on 8th October 2016. Despite thorough pre-contract surveys, more unanticipated work has been identified on berth 3. Some of these defects have been found to be repeated on Berth 2 which shares some of the same design features and as a result it is proposed to also address the issues on berth 2 as part of this additional work.”

Berth 3 is a linkspan berth whilst Berth 2 is a conventional pontoon berth. Please provide all documentation relating to

• the discovery of this unanticipated work
• the nature of the defects leading to the unanticipated work, including any formal report into the defects
• confirmation that the defect(s) noted on Berth 2 would be likely to be present on Berth 2 as well,

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

TDC FOI, Thanet District Council

We acknowledge the receipt of your email.

If you have made a request for information, it will normally be dealt
with in the period stipulated by either the Freedom of Information Act
2000 or the Data Protection Act 2018.

Other requests or queries will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

Information Governance Officer

Andrew McCulloch

Dear Thanet District Council,

Your response to this request was due on 7th August; it is now the 9th and still nothing. I look forward to your earliest reply.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

TDC FOI, Thanet District Council

We acknowledge the receipt of your email.

If you have made a request for information, it will normally be dealt
with in the period stipulated by either the Freedom of Information Act
2000 or the Data Protection Act 2018.

Other requests or queries will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

Information Governance Officer

Thanet District Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr McCulloch,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 9/7/2019 and I
would like to apologise for the delay in providing you with a response.

We are sorry that, on this occasion, we have not been able to comply with
our statutory duty to respond to you within 20 days. This has been due to
staff shortages along with a backlog of information requests and the
holiday season..

However, we are now in a position to provide a response to your request
and this is set out below and  provided in the attached ocument, which has
been redacted to remove individuals names in line with GDPR..

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

If you are unhappy with the way your enquiry has been dealt with, you may
ask for an internal review by submitting a request within one month of the
date of this response. Further information on the internal review process
is can be found here:
[1]https://www.thanet.gov.uk/your-services/...

Your request should be addressed to the Information Governance Manager,
Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1XZ or by
emailing [2][email address].  

If you are still dissatisfied after an internal review, you may appeal to
the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9
5AF.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Governance Officer

Thanet District Council

Margate

CT9 1XZ

01843 577620

The floating pontoon and bridge which serve Berth 2 are almost identical
to the pontoon and lower bridge at Berth 3.  Both berths entered service
at the same time as single deck facilities with berth 3 being converted to
double deck at a later date.

 

The issues were identified through site inspection by the port engineer
following the dismantling of berth 3. Two quote documents (ref 16080 and
16085) were then sought from the contractor Burgess Marine Ltd which
describe the proposed works.  Examples of issues found on berth 3 which
were common to berth 2 include:

·  wear in bearings and hinge joints on transition flaps to the bridge
(item 3 on attached quote ref 16085 dated 9th November 2016)

·  wear (ovaling) of the sliding feet hinge joints (also item 3)

·  wear to the pontoon radius plate (item 4)

·  replacement of chains (item 5)

dredging beneath the pontoon footprint (item

References

Visible links
1. https://www.thanet.gov.uk/your-services/...
2. mailto:[email address]

Dear Thanet District Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Thanet District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Unanticipated work to berths 2 and 3'.

My request was in three parts and asked for documentation relating to ;

• the discovery of this unanticipated work
• the nature of the defects leading to the unanticipated work, including any formal report into the defects
• confirmation that the defect(s) noted on Berth 2 would be likely to be present on Berth 2 as well,

You have sent me quotations from a contractor. Whilst going some way into answering my questions it does not:

include documentation relating to the discovery of this unanticipated work - the first question on my list.

include the report following the site inspection by the port engineer following the dismantling of berth 3 - the second question on my list. Are you asking me to believe that no such report exists and that the site engineer reported verbally; not only to TDC but also to the contractor asked to quote for this work?

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

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

TDC FOI, Thanet District Council

We acknowledge the receipt of your email.

If you have made a request for information, it will normally be dealt
with in the period stipulated by either the Freedom of Information Act
2000 or the Data Protection Act 2018.

Other requests or queries will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

Information Governance Officer

Dear Thanet District Council,

It has now been 20 days since I lodged my request for an internal review and 56 days since my original request was submitted. One can only draw the conclusion that you have something to hide and hope that I'll just go away

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

TDC FOI, Thanet District Council

We acknowledge the receipt of your email.

If you have made a request for information, it will normally be dealt
with in the period stipulated by either the Freedom of Information Act
2000 or the Data Protection Act 2018.

Other requests or queries will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

Information Governance Officer

Dear Thanet District Council,

27 days since I lodged a request for an internal review and 63 since the original request was made. This really has gone on for too long and so I shall be passing this to the ICO for their consideration.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

TDC FOI, Thanet District Council

We acknowledge the receipt of your email.

If you have made a request for information, it will normally be dealt
with in the period stipulated by either the Freedom of Information Act
2000 or the Data Protection Act 2018.

Other requests or queries will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

Information Governance Officer

Andrew McCulloch left an annotation ()

4th October 2019. ICO have written to TDC as follows

Dear Sir/Madam

Request: 9 July 2019 request (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...)

Complaint from Andrew McCulloch
 
The Information Commissioner has received a complaint from Andrew McCulloch stating that he has not received a decision regarding the internal review he requested on 14 August 2019.
 
Guidance
 
The Commissioner has issued guidance regarding the time limits on carrying out internal reviews. The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review, and in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days.
 
A full copy of this guidance is available on our website (www.ico.org.uk) under the Freedom of Information guidance section.
 
Enforcement
 
The Commissioner wants to ensure that a complainant has exhausted a public authority’s internal review procedure, but at the same time the complainant should not be unreasonably delayed in having their complaint considered under section 50.
 
Internal reviews are referred to in the section 45 Code of Practice, and significant or repeated unreasonable delays in dealing with internal reviews will be monitored by the Enforcement team. In some instances regulatory action may be necessary.
 
Our Regulatory Action Policy is available on our website here:
 
https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d...
 
Actions
 
If it is the case that you have not issued an internal review decision to Mr McCulloch we recommend that you do so within 10 working days from the date of receipt of this letter.
 
If you have, in fact, already responded to Mr McCulloch, and believe that your response should already have been received we would recommend you contact him to confirm receipt, if you have not already done so. 
 
If you need to contact us about this complaint I can be contacted on the number below. Please quote the reference number at the top of this letter.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Jacob Seeley
Case Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office
0330 313 1818

Dear Thanet District Council,

It is now 76 days since I requested an Internal Review. I am not going away

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

Thanet District Council

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Notification from ICO complaint received from Andrew McCulloch Ref.FS50872627.html

    4K Download

Dear Mr McCulloch,

Thank you for your Request for review of your Freedom of Information
request dated 3/9/2019 and I would like to apologise for the delay in
providing you with a response to your review.

We are sorry that, on this occasion, we have not been able to comply with
our statutory duty to respond to you within 20 days. This has been due to
staff shortages along with a backlog of information requests.

However, we are now in a position to provide a response to your request
and this is set out below / provided in the attached spreadsheet.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

If you are unhappy with the way your enquiry has been dealt with, you may
ask for an internal review by submitting a request within one month of the
date of this response. Further information on the internal review process
is can be found here:
[1]https://www.thanet.gov.uk/your-services/...

Your request should be addressed to the Information Governance Manager,
Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1XZ or by
emailing [2][email address].  

If you are still dissatisfied after an internal review, you may appeal to
the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9
5AF.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Governance Officer

Thanet District Council

Margate

CT9 1XZ

01843 577620

 

We can confirm that the Council holds information that falls within the
description specified in your request.

However, we have estimated that the time required to find and prepare the
detailed information from our records would take an amount of time that
considerably exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’ for costs as set out in
section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act.

The appropriate limit specified in regulations for the Council is set at
£450.  This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 2½
working days in determining whether the Council holds the information, and
locating, retrieving and extracting the information.  Consequently the
Council is not obliged under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000 to respond to your request and we will not be processing your request
further.

However, if you are able to narrow the scope of your request the Council
may be able to provide the information free of charge because it would
cost less than the appropriate limit to do so, although we cannot
guarantee that this will be the case. 

The review decision is therefore to uphold our original reply, and
therefore we do not intend to proceed further with this request.

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.thanet.gov.uk/your-services/...
2. mailto:[email address]

Dear Thanet District Council,

And it took you 76 days to come up with this excuse?

I do not accept your contention that providing answers would take too long. Taking my three questions point by point. I asked for documentation relating to:

The discovery of this unanticipated work. Surely this is a single email?
• the nature of the defects leading to the unanticipated work, including any formal report into the defects. Since a contractor was employed to remedy these faults he must have had a report to work from.
• confirmation that the defect(s) noted on Berth 2 would be likely to be present on Berth 2 as well. A one word answer, which you have already provided earlier.

Since it now obvious, from other FoIs, that TDC have something to hide I shall be passing this to the ICO.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch

Andrew McCulloch left an annotation ()

My complaint to ICO has now been accepted as eligible for further consideration and will be allocated to a case officer as soon as possible. Case number FS50872627

TDC FOI Support, Thanet District Council

Hi Mr. McCulloch,
Can you confirm which of the three FOI requests you are referring to in
regards to requesting an internal review?   I have included all three for
your perusal:
FOI 2948
Dear Thanet District Council,

On 9th November 2016 Cllrs Stummer-Schmertzing and Townend issued a
“Decision of Individual Cabinet Members” relating to a revision to the
description of a 2016/17 capital project. The summary of the matter stated
that:

“In August 2016 an Individual Cabinet Member Decision was made to vary the
description of a capital project to replace the existing berth 4/5
structure at the port of Ramsgate. This variation allowed for the
inclusion of work to berth 3 which is immediately adjacent to berth 4/5. A
further variation (also authorised as an Individual Cabinet Member
Decision) to increase the budget in line with a revised project value of
£664k was signed on 28th September 2016.As a result of the above the
contractor Burgess Marine Ltd started work on site on 8th October 2016.
Despite thorough pre-contract surveys, more unanticipated work has been
identified on berth 3. Some of these defects have been found to be
repeated on Berth 2 which shares some of the same design features and as a
result it is proposed to also address the issues on berth 2 as part of
this additional work.”

Berth 3 is a linkspan berth whilst Berth 2 is a conventional pontoon
berth.  Please provide all documentation relating to 

• the discovery of this unanticipated work
    • the nature of the defects leading to the unanticipated work,
including any formal report into the defects
    • confirmation that the defect(s) noted on Berth 2 would be likely to
be present on Berth 2 as well,

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch
FOI 2954
Dear Thanet District Council,

On 1st September 2015 the new UKIP Cabinet approved the allocation of £1
million in the 2016/17 Budget for the replacement of berth 4/5.

Following the 2019 local council election it has been reported that the
leaders of the main parties on the new Council were told by a senior TDC
officer that the current barges constituting Berth 4/5  “would not last
another winter” and that their replacement was now “an emergency”.

Please provide;

• Engineers’ reports and/or other documentation that confirmed prior to
the 1st September 2015 Cabinet meeting that the berth needed replacing

• Engineers’ reports or other documentation to support the reported claim
in 2019 that the current barges constituting Berth 4/5 would not last
another winter

• If the reports of the “would not last the winter” briefing are untrue, 
any engineers’ reports or other documentation that would confirm that the
condition of Berth 4/5 had deteriorated since the original decision on 1st
September 2015

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch
FOI 3192
Dear Thanet District Council,

At last week’s tour of the port Mr Waite informed us that No 3 berth had
been taken out of service and was “locked out”.

Please provide the following information

1. How has the berth been “locked out”? For instance, have breakers been
permanently removed from the power supply to the hydraulic power packs?
    2. On what date was the last use of Berth 3 by a commercial ship? This
information is held by TDC since it is a requirement of the Central
European Reporting System as outlined in Merchant Shipping Notice 1841.
    3. On what date was Berth 3 declared non-operational?
    4. Who was informed that Berth 3 was non-operational?
    5. Was Berth 3 ever inspected by a Classification Society (such as
Lloyds or Norske Veritas) surveyor? If so when?  Please provide copies of
any documentation following such an inspection.
    6. Please provide copies of any other documentation that led to Berth
3 being declared non-operational.
    7. Please confirm the date on which the Port Facilities Security Plan
was revised following the declaration that Berth 3 was non-operational.
Note that I am only asking for the date (which is not security sensitive)
and not details of any changes made to the Plan.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew McCulloch
Best Wishes,
Information Governance Team

Dear TDC FOI Support,

I'm sorry but you have now confirmed that TDC have something to hide. There is surely no confusion since the FoI request is clearly labelled at the top of the page - "Unanticipated work to berths 2 and 3". The first paragraph reads "On 9th November 2016 Cllrs Stummer-Schmertzing and Townend issued a “Decision of Individual Cabinet Members” relating to a revision to the description of a 2016/17 capital project. The summary of the matter stated that:"

If you indicated a TDC reference number that I could quote on your responses there would be no confusion but that would be too easy.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew McCulloch

TDC FOI Support, Thanet District Council

Dear Mr. McCulloch,
FOI 2948 Internal Review request receipt 
This will be responded to by 17/01/2020 as we are closed from 25/12/2019
to 02/01/2020.
Best Wishes,
Information Governance Officer
Thanet District Council
Margate
CT9 1XZ
01843 577247

show quoted sections

Dear TDC FOI Support,

It is now a quarter past five on the afternoon of 17th January 2010 and unsurprisingly you have failed to live up to your promise of 12th December 2019 and delivered your response to my request of 14th August 2019 for an internal review of your decision regarding my complaint (your reference 2948) originally filed on 9th July 2019 - 135 working days ago.

Doubtles you will be hearing from the ICO, since they are following the progress of this matter with interest.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew McCulloch