vehicle clamping policy and contracts

Heather Brooke made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

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.

Heather Brooke

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to request information about the policy regarding car clamping in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Specifically I would like:

1. A copy of the council's policy on car clamping and any amendments made (with dates of amendment) in the past 14 months up to the time this request is answered.
2. If vehicle clamping is contracted out to another organisation(s) then a list of those organisation(s).
3. A copy of any contracts, indices and appendices between the council and these organisations together with the monetary amounts of these contracts.
4. What monitoring, if any, is done to ensure clampers operate within council guidelines.
5. If any sanctions, penalties or enforcement action has been taken against a clamping firm a list of these with dates and detail of infraction.

My preferred format to receive this information is by electronic means. If one part of this request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need any clarification of this request please feel free to email me. If FOI requests of a similar nature have already been asked could you please include your responses to those requests.

Many public authorities release their contracts with private
vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public’s interest. The public have an interest in knowing the terms of contracts awarded by public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:
• When these confidentiality agreements were agreed
• All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed.
• The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements

I ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements; they go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. I would also point to the Information Commissioner’s guidance on accepting blanket commercial
confidentiality agreements: ‘Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.’

Finally, within the law of confidence there is also a public
interest test. Therefore, the contracts should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly
to charge its stakeholders.

I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request, and I look forward to hearing from you within the 20-working day statutory time period.

Yours faithfully,

Heather Brooke

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Dear Ms Brooke

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REF: 2009-397

I am writing to confirm that we received your information request on 20
July 2009. For your information and future communications your request has
been allocated the reference number FOI2009-397. Please quote this
reference in any future correspondence.

We will consider your request and respond in accordance with the
requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Our duty is to
respond promptly or at least within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Robin

Robin Yu

Information Protection Assistant

FOIA Team, Business Protection Unit

Information Systems Division (ISD)

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX

Tel: 020 7938 8226

Web: [1]http://www.rbkc.gov.uk

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/
http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/

Dear Sir or Madam,
Hello,
Just a note to remind you that this request is now overdue. When might I expect a response?

Yours faithfully,

Heather Brooke

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Dear Ms Brooke,

I apologise for the delay in responding to your request. I am still
waiting for the information in relation to question 3 and I am chasing
this up. In the meantime, I can release information in relation to your
other questions.

1. A copy of the council's policy on car clamping and any amendments made
(with dates of amendment) in the past 14 months up to the time this
request is answered.

Under section 21 of the FOI Act, we are not required to provide
information in response to a request if it is already reasonably
accessible to you.

The Key Decisions for both the vehicle clamping and removal policies are
available on the Council's website at:

[1]http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/howwegovern/keyde...

On 31/03/2008, part 6 the Traffic Management Act became affective. Section
79 refers to the requirements for the immobilisation or removal of a
vehicle. The TMA 2004 is available at this link:

[2]http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/ukp...

2. If vehicle clamping is contracted out to another organisation(s) then
a list of those organisation(s).

The service is provided by NSL (NCP Services Ltd). Currently Task
Enforcement Ltd are contracted as bailiffs to provide a clamping service
in respect of enforcement against persistent evaders.

3. A copy of any contracts, indices and appendices between the council and
these organisations together with the monetary amounts of these contracts.

To be answered separately.

4. What monitoring, if any, is done to ensure clampers operate within
council guidelines.

Daily monitoring of the contractor in line with Key Performance indicators
is undertaken by Council officers. Their feedback escalates upwards
through regular reports to management and elected members.

5. If any sanctions, penalties or enforcement action has been taken
against a clamping firm a list of these with dates and detail of
infraction.

No financial penalties have been imposed on the Contractor for clamping
over the last 14 months.

Copyright

Please note, all material provided by the Royal Borough of Kensington and
Chelsea in response to your request for information is for your personal,
non-commercial use. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea reserves
all rights in the copyright of the information provided. Any unauthorised
copying or adaptation of the information without express written
confirmation from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will
constitute an infringement of copyright. Any intention to re-use this
information commercially will require consent. Please forward any requests
for re-use of information to the FOI officer ([3][RBKC request email]).

Complaints

I trust this has satisfied your request. Should you be unhappy with the
handling of your request, the Council has an internal complaints process
for handling FOI Act complaints. Complaints are reviewed by the Town Clerk
and Chief Executive or his nominee. A form is available from our website
to lodge your complaint
[4]http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/yourcouncil/freed....
Please contact us if you do not have website access and we can provide you
with a copy of the form.

Following this review, should you still be unhappy with how your
information request has been handled, you have a further right to appeal
to the Information Commissioner who is responsible for ensuring compliance
with the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely

Robin

Robin Yu

Information Protection Assistant

FOIA Team, Business Protection Unit

Information Systems Division (ISD)

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX

Tel: 020 7938 8226

Web: [5]http://www.rbkc.gov.uk

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Heather Brooke left an annotation ()

The Daily Mail launched a campaign yesterday against vehicle clampers. See:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Brooke,

I am now in a position to provide you with a response to point 3 of your
Freedom of Information request. I apologise for the delay in providing
this information.

3. A copy of any contracts, indices and appendices between the council and
these organisations together with the monetary amounts of these contracts.

Electronic copies of the contract as well as redacted copies of Schedules
1-12 of the On Street Parking Enforcement contract are attached (over 2
emails due to file size).

Under section 43 of the FOI Act (Commercial Interests), we are permitted
to withhold information if its disclosure would prejudice the commercial
interests of any party. We believe that the information on unit rates and
item costs (not including the total tender price) contained in this
contract is commercially sensitive, and disclosure of which would
significantly affect the Council's legitimate commercial interests.

While we acknowledge the considerable public interest in transparency
around the use of public monies, it is also important that the Council is
able to participate in commercial activity freely (which also has an
impact on the effective use of public money). It would be likely to weaken
the Contractors position in a competitive environment by revealing
market-sensitive information or information of potential usefulness to
their competitors.

In this instance, we believe the latter considerations outweigh the
former.

Copyright

Please note, all material provided by the Royal Borough of Kensington and
Chelsea in response to your request for information is for your personal,
non-commercial use. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea reserves
all rights in the copyright of the information provided. Any unauthorised
copying or adaptation of the information without express written
confirmation from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will
constitute an infringement of copyright. Any intention to re-use this
information commercially will require consent. Please forward any requests
for re-use of information to the FOI officer ([1][RBKC request email]).

Complaints

I trust this has satisfied your request. Should you be unhappy with the
handling of your request, the Council has an internal complaints process
for handling FOI Act complaints. Complaints are reviewed by the Town Clerk
and Chief Executive or his nominee. A form is available from our website
to lodge your complaint
[2]http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/yourcouncil/freed....
Please contact us if you do not have website access and we can provide you
with a copy of the form.

Following this review, should you still be unhappy with how your
information request has been handled, you have a further right to appeal
to the Information Commissioner who is responsible for ensuring compliance
with the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely

Robin Yu

Information Protection Assistant

FOIA Team, Business Protection Unit

Information Systems Division (ISD)

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX

Tel: 020 7938 8226

Web: [3]http://www.rbkc.gov.uk

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[RBKC request email]
mailto:[RBKC request email]
2. http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/yourcouncil/freed...
http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/yourcouncil/freed...
3. http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/
http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

9 Attachments

Dear Ms Brooke,

See attached information in relation to part 3 of your request.

Robin

Robin Yu

Information Protection Assistant

FOIA Team, Business Protection Unit

Information Systems Division (ISD)

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX

Tel: 020 7938 8226

Web: [1]http://www.rbkc.gov.uk

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/

Norris left an annotation ()

It's a real shame that Kensington & Chelsea uses NSL Services Ltd to enforce parking in the borough.

Take a look at http://nutsville.com and http://ukfrancebikers.com to find out more about NSL Services and how they set parking ticket targets for traffic wardens (you will need to use the search function on both sites).