Recently one of our correspondents, Dave Thomas, sent the following FOI Act request to BW;
I would like please, figures for the yearly cost of the BW enforcement team for the south west region, to include;
the cost of executive management of the team
salaries of permanent staff (as a total),
the number of such permanent enforcement officers in the south west region
salaries or wages of people employed to cycle taking boat numbers (as a total),
the cost of administration and back office support and
expenses directly attributable to the team, such as tyvek envelopes, cost of cycles, lifejackets, hand held computers and maintenance of the database.
I would like the figures for the most recent year available and I would also like, please, the budgetary allowances for the year 2009-2010.
and received the following reply from Sarina Young, Sarina.Young@britishwaterways.co.uk who deals with all FOI requests;
I am writing further to my acknowledgement to you below and your request for information on 23 September 2009.
I am now able to answer your request for information and will do so in the order you have requested the information for clarity:
Cost of the Executive management of the team
I am not clear on what you consider to be ‘executive management’. However, in order to answer this request we have made calculations based on the percentage of time spent by the direct line managers of the South West enforcement team. This equates to £14,000 for 2008/09.
the total combined salary of permanent staff
The total combined salary of permanent staff in the South West enforcement team was £132,000 for 2008/09.
the number of permanent Enforcement Officers in the South West
There are four permanent staff in the South West enforcement team who are employed as ‘Enforcement Officers’.
the total combined salary of people employed to cycle and take boat numbers
The total combined salary of people employed to cycle and take boat numbers is £30,000 (these salaries are also included in the figure given to point 2 above)
the cost of administration and back office support
The answer to this request is based on an approximate calculation of time currently spent on enforcement administration support by the waterway office administration staff. There are no staff directly dedicated to the enforcement team and the time that is spent by these staff varies from day to day and week to week. However, we have calculated an approximate figure would have been in the region of £5,000 for 2008/09.
cost of expenses directly attributable to the team, such as tyvek envelopes, cost of cycles, lifejackets, hand held computers and maintenance of the database
We are unable to give exact figures for this request as certain items such as the hand held computers and cycles we are unable to obtain exact value of for the year. However, we have calculated that the cost of directly attributable expenses would have been in the region of £1,500 for 2008/09. The database you refer to is a centrally maintained business database and is not specific to enforcement procedures; I am unable to include this figure in my response as the cost of maintaining the enforcement processes within the database is minimal but not separate.
Thus the cost of the enforcement team to the boaters for the year 2009-9 is a whopping £152,500. Or, to put it another way, with the average boat license costing £600 the same as 255 boat licences.