Highways England Do Not Care

On 27/02/2016, a contractor was blunt about our approaches to Highways England (HE) for information:

“The only way to box some of this off and I’ve said this to you about other things before, is to speak to people at the same time, because you go to Highways England, like Highways England know exactly how our operation operates. Well they don’t. They don’t. They don’t care.”

With regard to claims retained and pursued by contractors, those which are usually below £10,000, Highways England have stated that their contractors:

“… can do what they like with their own claims,
that’s absolutely nothing to do with us”

HE have also advised:

  • “Highways England does not have oversight of, or involvement in, claims which are the sole responsibility of the contractor” 10/12/2015
  • “Our contractors are solely responsible for sub-threshold Green Claims, this is set out in the contracts entered into with Highways England (and predecessors). Any information relating to these claims is therefore not held on behalf of Highways England.”  06/11/2015 HE Chief Information Officer
  • “As I have explained on many occasions information relating to sub threshold claims is not held on behalf of Highways England (refer to my emails of the 19th and 22nd October). The information you are seeking is therefore not collected by our contractors for the purposes of FOI.” 04/11/2015 HE FoIA Officer
  • “Our contractors are subject to FOI and must provide information on information collected on our behalf. As our contract states below threshold green claims are the sole responsibility of the contractors this information is not collected on behalf of Highways England therefore it is not subject to FOI.” 04/11/2015 HE FoIA Officer

This appears to be a very different situation to that reported in a 2014/15 review that evaluated whether a Service Provider had appropriate processes in place to ensure that the public and the Agency (now Highways England), where costs are borne directly, are being charged appropriately.

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