Press Release - 12 October
BBEG reply to the
Information Compliance Officer at Lincolnshire County Council
Further to your email dated 3 October 2006 in
which you state:
"Dear Mr Fisher
I write to inform you that I have been notified by the Technical
Services Partnership (the department handling your request)
that unfortunately the information will not be ready to be sent
today as previously stated in my
e-mail to you of 6th September 2006.
You will be aware that this puts us in breach of the legislation
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which
states that we must reply within 20 working days (unless additional
time is required to apply the public interest test in the event
that an exemption is applied to the disclosure).
Unfortunately I have not been provided with an explanation for
the delay from the Technical Services Partnership, nor have
I been provided with an estimate of when the information will
be ready. I can only extend my sincere apologies for the delay
and to thank you for your patience. I will make every effect
to attempt to send a response to you by the end of this week
when I shall contact you again in any event to provide an update.
My apologies once again.
Information Compliance Officer
Lincolnshire County Council"
we would like to ask why you failed to respond
by the end of last week "in any event", as we were
expecting a reply from yourself, being the Information Compliance
Officer for the Council?
You will be aware that on 10 October we subsequently
received the following email from the Highways Department directly
(for the Director for Development) as follows:
"My Ref: MR/06510/MR
Dear Mr Fisher
REQUEST REF. NO. 06510 - FOI
Request for Information
Subject - Boston Transport Study
Further to your email dated 6 September 2006 regarding your
Freedom of Information request relating to a copy of the contract
between Jacobs Babtie and Lincolnshire County Council.
There is an overreaching Professional Services Contract between
Jacobs Babtie (now Jacobs) and Lincolnshire County Council to
cover all consultancy work undertaken by Jacobs.
The specific project to which you refer, the Boston Transport
Study, is one of the many projects undertaken through the Professional
Services Contract and therefore the project brief is effectively
the contract of work for this project. I attach a copy of this
brief for your information.
With respect to the cost of the project;
The original Project Fee was £258,000. Of which:
Jacobs fee = £240,000
Lincolnshire County Council project management fees = £18,000
Since that time there have been additions to the project, namely:
The 'rat run' and junction counts requested by the pressure
groups, additional meetings with Members, meetings with both
the pressure groups, additional testing of the Dock Link Road
and the addition of VISSIM modelling, which has totalled £60,000.
Therefore the total project cost to date is £258,000 +
£60,000 = £318,000.
With respect to your question regarding restrictions/limitations,
none have been imposed. The project brief was agreed by a joint
officer group, comprising of Lincolnshire County Council and
Boston Borough Council officers and approved by the stakeholders
as noted above.
Please note that the appendices to the brief are not included
in the attachment as this is exempt information for the purposes
of the Act under section 43(2) in that its disclosure under
the Act would or would be likely to prejudice the commercial
interests of the contractor and section 40 - Personal Information.
In relation to all applications of the exemption under section
43(2) of the Act the public interest in maintaining the commercial
sensitivity of the information is considered to outweigh the
public interests in its disclosure because the disclosure of
commercially sensitive pricing information would reduce competition
within the market and impact detrimentally on the Council's
ability to achieve value for money in the use of public money.
I apologise for the lateness of my response to your request
and trust that your questions have now been answered in full.
If you have any further queries relating to this, please quote
the Reference number above.
for Director for Development"
We would like to therefore ask the following questions:
1. We asked for a copy of the Contract between
Jacobs and LCC and have not been provided with this - only a
statement that there is an 'overreaching' Professional Services
Contract. We would like to see a copy of this. The project brief,
which we have already seen, does not include an agreement of
cost between Jacobs and LCC. We would like to see confirmation
please of the agreed cost between the two parties for the Boston
2. The statement made that in respect of restrictions/limitations,
there were 'none imposed' is not correct. This has been confirmed
by other involved parties, not just our own group. Our suggestions
of what we thought the survey needed to include were on the
whole ignored by Jacobs due to monetary restrictions imposed
by LCC. Very few of the rat-runs were included and those that
were, it is now clear that insufficient data was obtained to
get the true picture. We insist on clarification of the statement
made that 'no restrictions have been imposed'.
3. The project brief was agreed by a joint officer
group, without consultation with the Stakeholders Reference
Group. It is clear that this meeting (or meetings) in consultation
with Members (ie. Councillors) determined the scope of the study.
We therefore ask for a copy of the Minutes of this meeting(s)
and a list of attendees, together with any decisions reached
and actioned. Our original request for information asked 'by
All this information is being copied to the Local
We look forward to hearing back from you soonest.
This request is a follow up to the FOI Request No. 06510, so
we will not submit a new request until this one has been fully
Chair, Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
12 October 2006