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In April and May 2012 I made four informations requests to the Highways Agency.  They can be seen on the WhatDoTheyKnow web site and at Requests refused by Highways Agency April & May 2012 .

They were refused (See Refusal letter from Highways Agency 24th May 2012) as being “manifestly unreasonable” and “having the effect of harassing the teams handling them“. Fulfilling them  “would lead to 72 hours work

I replied asking for an internal review i.e. for them to reconsider their refusal. This has to be carried out before a complaint can be made to the Information Commissioner.  In my request for an internal review of 4th July 2012 I detailed the positive results of my campaign and questioned their time calculation.

In their response (see Outcome of internal review by Highways Agency 23rd July 2012 ) an Agency executive said “I have concluded that there is a legitimate interest underpinning your request...” However they still refused to provide the information.

I therefore submitted a Complaint to Information Commissioner 29th July 21012.  I pointed out that that as I am only requesting copies of documents i.e. I am not asking them to extract and collate data their estmate of 72 man hours is grossly overstated.

One of the reasons the information is being requested is to see if certain information provided to ministers by the Agency  are substantiated by evidence.  For example DEFRA minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach stated that  the Highways Agency had recently reminded their service providers of their contractual responsibilities with regard to litter. I have asked for copies of the the relevant correspondence between the Agency and it providers. Hopefully the correspondence does really exist.




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