, I have been sent a bill from Edinburgh Council carried out under a statutory notice from over 6 years ago. This is not a reminder or a demand, it is the first time we have been sent it. Because of the time delay I have no record of this work and because of the amount I am a bit concerned that the work was unnecessary, was not completed correctly and was over priced . I did a freedom of information request : 1) A surveyors report that the work was actually required to be done. 2) Names and addresses of companies asked to tender work. 3) At least 2 contractors quotes work, including the quote that was accepted. 4) The reasons that quote was accepted over the other quotes. 5) Evidence of completion and associated completion certificates including a surveyors report. They replied that they could not find any of this information. Obviously I am not keen to pay a bill that I have no idea if I am due, especially since Edinburgh Council were being investigated over abuse of the statutory repairs notice during the period that the bill is for. http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/council-to-write-off-5-5m-statutory-repairs-debt-1-3398976 Where so I stand here? Kind Regards Paul
Response to Freedom Of Information request:
Mr Paul Barclay
Our ref: 6174
Dear Mr Barclay
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 - Information not held
Subject: Statutory Notice - 171-175 Easter Road &*****/p>
Thank you request of 13/01/2015 which is being processed in line with the terms of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with the information requested as it is not held by the Council. The Council is therefore relying on the exception under regulation 10(4)(a) of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
You asked following information:
1) A surveyors report that the work was actually required to be done.
2) Names and addresses of companies asked to tender work.
3) At least 2 contractors quotes work, including the quote that was accepted.
4) The reasons that quote was accepted over the other quotes.
5) Evidence of completion and associated completion certificates including a surveyors report.
We have checked the files and information that would meet the scope of your request is not held.
Following a report to Property Conservation from an owner concerned about the fabric of the building, an officer from Property Conservation visited the property to assess what works were required. The officer may have taken some rough handwritten notes in his own notebook at the time. These would then be translated into the wording of the notice once he returned to the office. It was not part of our procedure the Council or the consultant to produce reports prior to the notice being issued. We have carried out a search handwritten notes which may have been taken at the time the notice was issued but have not been able to locate these. It was not practice to be retained. The notice itself is the formal record of what works were required.
There is no evidence of a tender procedure on file and therefore it cannot be established if the Contractor, Cull & Hogg were the most competitive tenderer. However, it should be noted, that the rates contained in the Final Account match Cull & Hogg’s agreed rates from the Minor Works Framework Agreement 2004-2007.
Please note that this letter constitutes a formal notice under regulation 13 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175/foi_disclosure_log.
Your right to seek a review
If you are unhappy with the way we have dealt with your request, you can ask us to review our actions and decisions by writing to the Head of Legal Risk and Compliance, The City of Edinburgh Council, Waverley Court Business Centre 2:1, 4, East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG or email: [email protected]
Please note that your request must be in a recordable format (email, letter, audio tape etc.), and that you have 40 working days upon receipt of this letter to ask review. You will receive a full response to your review request within 20 working days of its receipt. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are not content with the outcome of the review, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to review our decision. You must submit your complaint to the Commissioner within 6 months of receiving our review response. The Commissioner can be contacted at:
The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Telephone: 01334 464610
Fax: 01334 464611
E-mail: [email protected]
The Council’s Information Governance Unit is committed to providing an efficient and helpful service. To help us identify areas where we can improve, we would be grateful if you could complete a short customer survey by following the link below. Your feedback is very much valued and appreciated.
Information Compliance Officer
Information Governance Unit
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[email protected] www.edinburgh.gov.uk