‘Kier holds the requested information on Highways England’s behalf
and therefore for the purposes of FOIA’
16/08/2021: Following the ICO ‘s (Information Commissioner’s Office) May 2021 volt-face and acceptance DCP (Damage to Crown Property) rates exist, Highways England has now been ordered to disclose more information.
The Authority was asked to disclose the Cost Breakdown Documents for a list of 15 sub-threshold Kier Highways Ltd., claims. Highways England refused stating that the information is not held and nor it is held by Kier on its behalf. The ICO found the information IS held on behalf of the Authority.
The ‘result’ is the latest development in a series of information-hiding twists and turns by Highways England that has been too complicated for the ICO. For years, the Authority claimed rates were held but ‘commercially sensitive’ then, when required to provide them in December 2018, they stated the information was ‘not held’. But perseverance, refusing to be bullied by Authorities, saw the disclosure of this non-existent data and the evidence drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers have been abused in the name of Highways England, with their knowledge*, for years.
*11/2017 we explained the conduct to KPMG for their ‘Project Verde’ investigation.
As for the ICO, has 5 years of accepting Highways England’s every (obviously lame) excuse finally come to an end?
Read the ICO’s acknowledgement DCP rates exist here (registered users only) ICO Response – the Commissioner concedes that DCP rates exist for Area 9, as this was Judge Cragg’s finding in EA/2019/0390 the rates have existed in Area 9 since November 2015 at least – as we have evidenced for years! – with the Authority, until now, convincing the ICO and Tribunals to the contrary.
Is the Freedom of Information Act becoming fit for purpose? Is the process of diluting the FoIA by hiding behind contractors, such as those that manage our roads, being addressed? Read more here.
Why does Highways England wish to hide the information? The disclosure will reveal:
- what we have known for years – there are schedules of rates the Authority wishes to keep secret, has claimed for years do not exist but which the ICO now acknowledges are held by the Authority and
- further evidence drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers (Third Parties) have been abused by Kier for years; under the nose of Highways England , those the Authority is to serve have been subject to profiteering on an industrial scale an example can be read here. – Kier supplying false costs to the Authority, rates that include uplifts for which no authority could be found (HHJ Harrison para. 36)