In 2021, the ICO supported our position; information held by Kier Highways Ltd was ‘held on behalf of’ (HoBo) National Highways. The Authority disagreed and 13/09/2021, submitted an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT).
However, after more than 4 months, 01/2022 National Highways threw in the towel, withdrew their Appeal, and were to issue a new response. Clearly, the arguments the ICO and we had troubled to present were sound; the information was held on behalf of National Highways. We expected to receive the data – 14 original Kier ‘Cost breakdown Documents’ (CBD’s) excel ‘destination’ files and the ‘source’ files that held the pricing information which populated the CBD’s – or the date these were deleted (and why if this had occurred).
But the Authority has failed to provide the information.
Furthermore, National Highways now state the withdrawal ‘was not because it accepted the information requested was held by Kier on behalf of National Highways’. Instead, it did so:
‘on the basis that Kier had indicated they were content to provide the information they held on the matter and as such that it would be a waste of the resources of all parties, in particular the ICO’s and Tribunal to continue with the Appeal.’
Really? Just when Kier ‘indicate’ they were content to provide the information?
The Authority provided 14 CBD’s, copies of the originals. The properties of each indicate they were created on 15/09/2021. It therefore appears, just 2 days after they appealed, National Highways had already approached Kier for the information and the contractor appears to have more than ‘indicated’ they were content to provide the information, they created it. Why was the Appeal not withdrawn almost immediately? Why were the ICO’s and Tribunals’ resources wasted? We note our resources are not worthy of note by National Highways.
Of particular significance is that the CBD’s provided all contain links to the ‘source’ workbooks, the CBD pricing fields were populated by the source workbooks. Yet they have been withheld.
We have written to the FTT and are seeking more information from the Authority. Read more here.