Website Costs

Michael Walden made this Freedom of Information request to Environment Agency

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.

Michael Walden

Dear Environment Agency,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, can you please provide me with the following information:

1) The cost of developing and maintaining your website at
www.environment-agency.gov.uk since the launch of its latest design to March 2010.

2) Please break these down by the following categories (as outlined in the guidance provided by COI.gov.uk - http://www.coi.gov.uk/guidance.php?page=...

a) Strategy and planning
b) Design and build
c) Hosting and infrastructure
d) Content provision
e) Testing and evaluation
f) Any other costs

3) Where these costs have been incurred with external providers, please list the companies involved.

4) Where external providers have been involved, was any tendering process involved? If there was, how many potential suppliers were consulted?

I look forward to your response within 20 working days. If some parts of this request are easier to answer than others, please provide the easiest parts first rather than hold up the entire request.

I would prefer to receive your response in electronic format.

If you decide to withhold some of the information requested using exemptions in the FOIA, please inform me which exemptions you have used.

If you need clarification of any of the points in this request, please contact me via email. Under your section 16 duty to provide advice and assistance I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Walden

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

Thank you for contacting the Environment Agency.

So when can I expect a response?

You can expect to receive a reply from us within 10 working days for any
general enquiry. Please note that bank holiday days and weekends are not
classed as a working day.

If your enquiry refers to a Waste Exemption application you can expect to
receive a response within 5 working days (If you have applied for a T11
exemption you should expect to receive a response within 25 working days)

The Customer Charter (response days) for all enquiries start from the next
working day of you receiving this auto reply from us. For example the
customer charter for an e-mail's received by us on a Friday will start on
the following Monday (providing this isn't a bank holiday).

For further information on our Customer Charter please visit our website

[1]http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/abo...

But my e-mail refers to an Environmental Incident, won't it get answered
sooner?

If you wish to report an incident i.e. pollution, fish in distress,
dumping of hazardous waste, etc please do not use this e-mail service
instead please call our free-phone 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80
70 60. For more details about incident reporting please see:

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/con...

What do I need to do if I require a response to my e-mail before the end
of the ten working days and it isn't an incident?

You can contact our National Customer Contact Team on 08708 506 506,
Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm, they will be happy to assist you.

Will I be charged for e-mail information?

Please note that there may be a charge for the provision of information in
line with the 'Charging for Information' policy, however this isn't always
the case for a general enquiry. Please visit our website for further
charging information:

[2]http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/bus...

Kind regards

National Customer Contact Team

08708 506506

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally
privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify
the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should
still check any attachment before opening it.

We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to
under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for
litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any
Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the
sender or recipient, for business purposes.

If we have sent you information and you wish to use it please read our
terms and conditions which you can get by calling us on 08708 506 506.
Find out more about the Environment Agency at
[3]www.environment-agency.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/abo...
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/abo...
2. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/bus...
3. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

Dear Michael

Thank you for your email.

I have forwarded this onto the freedom of information team who will look
into this request for you and be in contact shortly.

If you have any further questions please contact us on 08708506506.

Kind regards

Chelsea Lund
Customer Service Advisor
Environment Agency
08708506506

How would you rate the service you've received from us?

Let us know by completing our short online customer survey which is
anonymous.

https://www.questback.com/theenvironment...

show quoted sections

NE-Templeborough-Freedom-Of-Information, Environment Agency

Dear Michael

Thank you for the query that you submitted to enquiries relating to the
development and maintenance costs of our website.

This has been logged as a Freedom of Information request, your reference
number is FOI 1236.

We received your request on 9th June, we aim to respond to you within 20
working days as per the Environment Agency Customer Charter (deadline 7th
July).

Kind regards

Linda

Freedom of Information Team

National Customer Contact Centre

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally
privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify
the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should
still check any attachment before opening it.

We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to
under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for
litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any
Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the
sender or recipient, for business purposes.

If we have sent you information and you wish to use it please read our
terms and conditions which you can get by calling us on 08708 506 506.
Find out more about the Environment Agency at
[1]www.environment-agency.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

Michael Walden

Dear NE-Templeborough-Freedom-Of-Information,

In your message dated 14th June, you confirmed that you would provide your response by the 20 day deadline (7th July 2010). It is now the 10th July 2010 and I have not received your response.

You are now in breach of your obligations under the Section 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act. This states that you must respond no later than 20 working days after receipt of the request. In this case, this was 7th July 2010.

If I do not receive a reply by 5pm on Monday 12th July 2010 I will be forced to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Walden

Ross, Alex, Environment Agency

Dear Mr Walden

Please accept my apologies for our delay in responding to your query about
website costs. The figures you requested need input from different teams
and a couple of the key people that need to send information have been on
leave.

I'm confident that we will have the information by Wednesday this week and
hope this will be okay. Sorry again that it wasn't sent within the
deadline.

best wishes

Alex Ross
Head of Media and Corporate Communications
Environment Agency

(t) 020 7863 8635
(m) 07900 891700
(f) 020 7863 8621
(e) [1][email address]

25th floor - Millbank Tower | 21-24 Millbank | London | SW1P 4XL
Visit our website at [2]www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Think before you print

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally
privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify
the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should
still check any attachment before opening it.

We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to
under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for
litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any
Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the
sender or recipient, for business purposes.

If we have sent you information and you wish to use it please read our
terms and conditions which you can get by calling us on 08708 506 506.
Find out more about the Environment Agency at
[3]www.environment-agency.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/
3. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

Michael Walden

Dear Ross, Alex,

Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, despite your assurances, it is now late Wednesday evening and you have still not provided me with the information I have requested.

Please pass this correspondence to the person responsible for Freedom of Information Act internal reviews. I wish to request a review into the handling of this case and would like to know why you have failed to respond within the required deadline (7th July 2010) and your extended deadline of Wednesday 14th July 2010. I would like to draw your attention to guidance published by the Information Commissioner on conducting FOI internal reviews which states that you should complete this within 20 working days (http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...).

For your reference you can view the request and all correspondence associated with it at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/we....

I will now be passing details of this request to the Information Commissioner as you are in breach of Section 10(1) of the Freedom of Information Act.

I look forward to receiving your response to my original request as soon as possible and the outcome of the internal review no later than Wednesday 11th August 2010.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Walden

Ross, Alex, Environment Agency

Dear Mr Walden

Thank you for your email. Sorry again that we didn't meet the deadline,
or your expectations in relation to this FOI request. I fully
appreicate how frustrating it is when public organisations don't respond
in time and would do the same as you have done if I'd been asking the
FOI myself.

The reason that the response wasn't sent last night is that I wanted to
assure myself that the figures we were providing to you were accurate.
I received them yesterday afternoon, but needed to check them over
before they were sent. There was one figure that I was unable to check
yesterday and which I need to do first thing this morning. On that
basis, I'm expecting to send the figures we have to you by 10am today.

I'll happily send on your email to our FOI team and ask them to respond
to you in relation to your request for an internal review of this case.
We aim to provide great customer service every time and will look at how
we can improve our processes where this hasn't happened.

Apologies again - the information will be with you by 10am

Best wishes

Alex Ross

show quoted sections

Ross, Alex, Environment Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Walden

Following my earlier email, I have attached a reply to your FOI request
regarding website costs. It is not complete, but most of the
information you have requested is included and I have taken the decision
that is better to send an incomplete reply now than to delay further to
provide all details. The remaining information will, however, be sent
to you as soon as possible.

Best wishes

Alex Ross
Head of Media and Corporate Communications
Environment Agency

(t) 020 7863 8635
(m) 07900 891700
(f) 020 7863 8621
(e) [email address]

25th floor - Millbank Tower | 21-24 Millbank | London | SW1P 4XL
Visit our website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Think before you print

show quoted sections

Ross, Alex, Environment Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Walden

Further to my email to you yesterday, I have included some additional
figures relating to the costs of our website.

Apologies again for the delay in relation to this query and please let
me know if you require any further details

Best wishes

Alex Ross
Head of Media and Corporate Communications
Environment Agency

(t) 020 7863 8635
(m) 07900 891700
(f) 020 7863 8621
(e) [email address]

25th floor - Millbank Tower | 21-24 Millbank | London | SW1P 4XL
Visit our website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Think before you print

show quoted sections

DATAINFO,, Environment Agency

Dear Mr Walden

Our Ref: Internal Review FOI 1236

Thank you for your email of 14 July in which you asked the Environment
Agency to carry out an internal review into the reasons why we took longer
than 20 working days to respond to your request for information.

Your original request which was sent to us on 09 June, was received on 10
June 2010. Staff who receive general email enquiries at our National
Customer Contact Centre in Rotherham logged your request and, having
determined that it was a request for information, passed it to the team
that manage enquiries that are covered by the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). On 14 June you were sent an email acknowledging that we had
received your request and confirming that our intention was to provide you
with a response within 20 working days (by 07 July 2010). This team's
first priority was to identify the best person within the Environment
Agency to provide an answer to the enquiry. Alex Ross was first contacted
on 14 June to enquire whether he would be the person to provide you with a
response.

The information that you asked for had not been previously requested and
so Alex needed to consult various colleagues who were holding the facts
and figures necessary to compile a satisfactory and full response.
Despite best endeavours, a response was not provided to you by the
expected date of 07 July. On 08 July, the team who had logged your
request contacted Alex to ask whether a response had been sent to you. On
09 July Alex explained that he was still waiting for information to be
sent to him from other teams and would chase this up. On Monday 12 July,
Alex contacted you to let you know that he anticipated receiving a full
response by Wednesday 14 July. Unfortunately information was not sent to
you until Thursday 15 July. In his email to you, Alex explained that this
delay was caused because he wanted to check that the information he had
received was correct before forwarding it on to you. I understand
that Alex wrote to you expressing his disappointment at not meeting the
deadline and asked you to contact him if you had any further queries
relating to the information that he provided.

Considerations

In carrying out the review, we have considered the following points:
1) Whether we provided a response to you within 20 working days
2) Where were the delays and what caused them
3) Whether we kept you informed when it was clear that we were unlikely
to be able to meet the 20 working day deadline.
4) Whether we can improve our internal processes for responding to
requests in a timely manner.
5) Whether you have been provided with information or whether we have
withheld information from you.

Conclusions

Our conclusions are as follows:
1) We did not provide you with a full response within 20 working days.
We failed to comply with Section 10(1) of the FOIA.
2) Having spoken to the providers of the information, it appears
that the delays in providing the information were caused by a combination
of, a) multiple teams involved in compiling the figures, and b) some key
staff being away on annual leave during the period in question. Some of
the breakdowns that you asked for took unexpectedly long to provide
because they were not initially recorded in that way and so needed
further work to provide the figures in the format you requested.
3) You were clearly not kept informed of a likely delay prior to 07
July 2010. Our first email to you to let you know when you could expect
to receive a response was sent on the 12 July 2010.
4) There are always improvements we can make to our processes.
Carrying out Reviews of this nature assists us to identify the points at
which our current processes for managing requests for information do not
adequately meet the needs of our customers. We are currently exploring
the most effective ways to ensure that all staff are aware of the
obligations conferred on them by the FOIA and by the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs). We are also reviewing our procedure
for 'chasing' responses to requests for information that have initially
been received through our general email enquiry address.
5) We believe that you have now been provided with information to
satisfy your request and you have not contacted us to the contrary. We
have not relied upon any of the exemptions within the FOIA to withhold
information from you.

In light of the above, I would like to apologise again for the delay in
responding to your request for information and to assure you that we take
complaints of this nature very seriously, as does the Information
Commissioner. As you have already received the information that you
requested, I can only assure you that we will endeavour to improve our
response times, wherever possible, to deliver a better service to our
customers.

If you remain unhappy 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,

Chris Jarvis
Data Sharing Manager

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally
privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify
the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should
still check any attachment before opening it.

We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to
under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for
litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any
Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the
sender or recipient, for business purposes.

If we have sent you information and you wish to use it please read our
terms and conditions which you can get by calling us on 08708 506 506.
Find out more about the Environment Agency at
[1]www.environment-agency.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

Dear Chris Jarvis,

Thank you for your clear response to my request for internal review.

I believe the key point to take away from this is that it is important to keep in contact with the original requester during the process.

When it became clear that the deadline was not going to be met, this should have been communicated.

An alternative would be to provide some of the information to avoid delaying the entire request. This is the method that Alex Ross eventually used.

Once again, thank you for your response & for providing the data requested.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Walden