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Thank you for your email of 4 May to Mike Penning about the Highways Agency’s Asset Support Contract.

 

From: Rashdi, Freda [mailto:freda.rashdi@highways.gsi.gov.uk]
Sent: 29 May 2012 11:29
To: ‘Peter Silverman’
Subject: RESPONSE TO CORRESPONDENCE RE: HIGHWAYS AGENCY’S NEW ASSET SUPPORT CONTRACT

Dear Mr Silverman,

Thank you for your email of 4 May to Mike Penning about the Highways Agency’s Asset Support Contract.  I hope that you will appreciate that Ministers receive a very large amount of correspondence every day and it is not possible for them to always reply. That is why I have again been asked to reply on Mr Penning’s behalf, as my team are responsible for the Agency’s Sweeping and Cleaning maintenance requirements.

I refer to the Deliverable that you mention [to maintain non paved areas (i.e. the verges where most of the litter sits) to Litter Code grade B (predominately free of litter apart from some small items).]; it is important to understand that this is the state of the Network that the contractor must deliver.

The associated performance metric is to restore the situation, to an acceptable level, in the event of a failure (i.e. as a last resort). When delivering their sweeping and cleaning service, routinely, the contractor would not structure their service based on the performance metric. It is a ‘lagging’ performance indicator that measures (via a direct link to the Code of Practice) compliance around restoration following a failure.

The Code of Practice gives clear description of acceptable litter levels. If these have been breached then a failure has occurred.  It not relevant ‘when’ any given section of the asset was last inspected and/or maintained.  It is the duty of our contractor to understand the attributes of litter across the network and put in place an approach (effectively based around risk, i.e. the risk of litter accumulation) to maintain in accordance with the outcomes, deliverables, process and procedures in the Asset Maintenance & Operational Requirements (AMOR) that are aligned to the Code of Practice and EPA.

The statement that “the new contract also specifies “An Area Network that is clean and free from litter, refuse and/or obstructions”.” is incorrect. This is the ‘Overall Requirement’ of section 2.17 ‘Sweeping and Cleaning’ of the Routine & Winter Service Code (RWSC). The RWSC and Network Management Manual (NMM) are being replaced by AMOR. This text is not within AMOR and I would refer you to the outcome level requirements found within Sweeping and Cleaning Part 15. The statement was not mentioned in my last e-mail to you.

With regard to your suggestion to gather independent advice from the Government Efficiency section of Cabinet office; I will enquire as to the suitability and availability of such advice.

I believe that the AMOR does not place the Secretary of State for Transport in breach of her responsibility under the EPA 1990, so far as is practicable.

Yours sincerely

 Ms Freda Rashdi,

Network Management Solutions Team Leader
Highways Agency | Piccadilly Gate | Store Street | Manchester | M1 2WD

Relevant posts and links

 

 

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