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Thank you for your e-mail of 29th May which correctly pointed out a misquotation in my e-mail of 4th May to Mike Penning.

 

From: Peter Silverman [mailto:petersilverman@cleanhighways.co.uk]
Sent: 07 June 2012 16:58
To: ‘Rashdi, Freda’
Subject: HIGHWAYS AGENCY’S NEW ASSET SUPPORT CONTRACT

Dear Ms Rashdi,

Thank you for your e-mail of 29th May which correctly pointed out a misquotation in my e-mail of 4th May to Mike Penning.

Instead of saying the new contract specifies “An Area Network that is clean and free from litter, refuse and/or obstructions”. I should have said it specifies as a Provider outcome ”The Area network  is predominantly free from litter, refuse and detritus”.  My comment that this was so vague as to be meaningless in the context of a commercial contract was meant to apply to the latter statement.  After all you could argue that if 60% of the land is free of litter and 40% is densely littered then, overall, it was predominantly free of litter.

A performance metric is defined in your documentation  as “A metric that describes the output performance relating to a Provider Outcome, Deliverable or Procedure”.  In ordinary parlance I take this to mean “a measure of the standard required” – something a man with a clip board could check.   “Restoring to grade B from grade C within 28 days etc” is not, to my way of thinking, such a measure.

In my e-mail of 4th May I quoted the Office of Government Commerce as saying that “When an organisation has awarded a contract, it must monitor whether the service is being delivered to specification” and I went on to say  “The regime laid down in the new contract cannot be monitored in any meaningful way. To decide whether a heavily littered section of verge constituted a breach of the contract an inspector would have to know both when it was last checked by the contractor and what state it was in at that time”.

If you think this analysis is flawed please explain how the Agency will be able to monitor whether or not the service,  in regard to the cleaning of non-paved areas,  is being delivered to specification?

I am sorry to create this extra work for you but hope you will agree that challenging and well-meant criticism can be constructive.

Kind regards

Peter Silverman
www.cleanhighways.co.uk

 

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