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eddie1234567
Poo, Big whirly thing, Squelch

From the Evening News in Edinburgh



Parking warden dirty tricks scandal
ALAN RODEN
TRANSPORT REPORTER (aroden@edinburghnews.com)
PARKING Enforcers in Edinburgh today revealed some of the dirty tricks they have resorted to as they struggle to hit ticket targets.

The revelations come as the council said it would now interview every parking attendant in the city to get to the truth.


Current and former attendants claim workers invent foreign number plates to help reach their daily tallies, angle camera shots to make it look like cars are outside parking bays or touching yellow lines, and alter the times on tickets.

The council's investigation comes after a former parking supervisor told the News that staff were under "intense" pressure to hit daily quotas, and were hauled in front of bosses if they under-performed.

Council leader Ewan Aitken has promised to "come down like a ton of bricks" on the contractor, Central Parking System (CPS), if it is found to be setting targets.

Half-a-dozen Enforcers, past and present, have contacted the Evening News to back up the claims made by Jake Dacascos in last week's story.

One current employee claimed staff had been refused the option of working overtime if they missed out on daily targets. He said all Mr Dacascos' claims were "100 per cent accurate".

The council today said it would now speak to all 125 CPS employees in Edinburgh, starting tomorrow, while the firm has sent an auditor from its headquarters in Uxbridge, Middlesex, to oversee the investigation.

Parking attendants in the Capital are not supposed to be set targets, but former supervisor Mr Dacascos said every worker was told to ticket between ten and 12 cars a day by managers. He claimed employees were threatened with a poor performance review if they fell short of their quota, yet were ordered to tell the public targets did not exist.

The 32-year-old, from Musselburgh, today welcomed the investigation, and said the council had already contacted him to discuss the allegations.

"I will be the first to be interviewed," he said. "It's about time this was properly investigated, and thanks to the Evening News for getting this in the public domain."

Mr Dacascos said there were targets for individual areas and streets, while CPS parking chiefs set a daily target of 850 penalties across the city. Six ex-employees all claimed this meant workers resorted to desperate measures, and said it was commonplace for manually-issued tickets to be "doctored" by senior attendants, who wrote down a false time.

This underhand tactic can be used to ignore the city's five-minute grace period for drivers, or simply make it appear that a pay-and-display ticket has expired.

The city council has cancelled more than 35,000 fines since it took over responsibility for parking offences eight years ago, with most of the cash thought to be owed by foreign culprits.

But one former attendant said some workers had cottoned on to this and now invented foreign number plates to hit targets.

Jason Williams, 25, from Calder Grove, said: "The pressure was on as soon as you left the classroom to bring in ten to 12 tickets. So people would take photographs at tight angles, so it looked like the wheel was just touching a yellow line.

"I watched as attendants waited for cars to pull up and for the driver to walk away, then issue a fine immediately and change the time on the ticket. People would also make up foreign number plates, so they could reach their daily ticket tally."

Nicholas Turner, 37, from Niddrie, who worked for CPS earlier this year, said: "I was only getting five to eight tickets a day, and my supervisor told me I was going to get pulled up about it, so I resigned. I didn't mind giving out tickets, but I wouldn't use fraudulent tactics.

"Some people were issuing 30 or 40 fines a day and it was a contest to see who could get the most."

Jim Matthew, 60, a former attendant from Leith, said: "If you didn't reach your quota, the supervisors were called in by the management and given a ticking off. That then passed down to us."

City transport leader, Councillor Ricky Henderson, today stressed the contract between the council and CPS - and National Car Parks, which takes over later this year - does not include quotas.

"It is absolutely not council policy to have individual staff targets for the issuing of parking tickets," he said. "An investigation is under way and every CPS employee will be interviewed by someone from the council and a CPS auditor."

CPS today re-issued its statement from last week, in which a spokeswoman said: "In order to provide the highest possible service to the City of Edinburgh Council, 'benchmarks' or 'key performance indicators' are in place to ensure we deliver on these expectations."

Related topic
MartinHP71
QUOTE (eddie1234567 @ Mon, 30 Oct 2006 - 15:55) *
Poo, Big whirly thing, Squelch

From the Evening News in Edinburgh



Parking warden dirty tricks scandal
ALAN RODEN
TRANSPORT REPORTER (aroden@edinburghnews.com)
PARKING Enforcers in Edinburgh today revealed some of the dirty tricks they have resorted to as they struggle to hit ticket targets.

The revelations come as the council said it would now interview every parking attendant in the city to get to the truth.


Current and former attendants claim workers invent foreign number plates to help reach their daily tallies, angle camera shots to make it look like cars are outside parking bays or touching yellow lines, and alter the times on tickets.

The council's investigation comes after a former parking supervisor told the News that staff were under "intense" pressure to hit daily quotas, and were hauled in front of bosses if they under-performed.

Council leader Ewan Aitken has promised to "come down like a ton of bricks" on the contractor, Central Parking System (CPS), if it is found to be setting targets.

Half-a-dozen Enforcers, past and present, have contacted the Evening News to back up the claims made by Jake Dacascos in last week's story.

One current employee claimed staff had been refused the option of working overtime if they missed out on daily targets. He said all Mr Dacascos' claims were "100 per cent accurate".

The council today said it would now speak to all 125 CPS employees in Edinburgh, starting tomorrow, while the firm has sent an auditor from its headquarters in Uxbridge, Middlesex, to oversee the investigation.

Parking attendants in the Capital are not supposed to be set targets, but former supervisor Mr Dacascos said every worker was told to ticket between ten and 12 cars a day by managers. He claimed employees were threatened with a poor performance review if they fell short of their quota, yet were ordered to tell the public targets did not exist.

The 32-year-old, from Musselburgh, today welcomed the investigation, and said the council had already contacted him to discuss the allegations.

"I will be the first to be interviewed," he said. "It's about time this was properly investigated, and thanks to the Evening News for getting this in the public domain."

Mr Dacascos said there were targets for individual areas and streets, while CPS parking chiefs set a daily target of 850 penalties across the city. Six ex-employees all claimed this meant workers resorted to desperate measures, and said it was commonplace for manually-issued tickets to be "doctored" by senior attendants, who wrote down a false time.

This underhand tactic can be used to ignore the city's five-minute grace period for drivers, or simply make it appear that a pay-and-display ticket has expired.

The city council has cancelled more than 35,000 fines since it took over responsibility for parking offences eight years ago, with most of the cash thought to be owed by foreign culprits.

But one former attendant said some workers had cottoned on to this and now invented foreign number plates to hit targets.

Jason Williams, 25, from Calder Grove, said: "The pressure was on as soon as you left the classroom to bring in ten to 12 tickets. So people would take photographs at tight angles, so it looked like the wheel was just touching a yellow line.

"I watched as attendants waited for cars to pull up and for the driver to walk away, then issue a fine immediately and change the time on the ticket. People would also make up foreign number plates, so they could reach their daily ticket tally."

Nicholas Turner, 37, from Niddrie, who worked for CPS earlier this year, said: "I was only getting five to eight tickets a day, and my supervisor told me I was going to get pulled up about it, so I resigned. I didn't mind giving out tickets, but I wouldn't use fraudulent tactics.

"Some people were issuing 30 or 40 fines a day and it was a contest to see who could get the most."

Jim Matthew, 60, a former attendant from Leith, said: "If you didn't reach your quota, the supervisors were called in by the management and given a ticking off. That then passed down to us."

City transport leader, Councillor Ricky Henderson, today stressed the contract between the council and CPS - and National Car Parks, which takes over later this year - does not include quotas.

"It is absolutely not council policy to have individual staff targets for the issuing of parking tickets," he said. "An investigation is under way and every CPS employee will be interviewed by someone from the council and a CPS auditor."

CPS today re-issued its statement from last week, in which a spokeswoman said: "In order to provide the highest possible service to the City of Edinburgh Council, 'benchmarks' or 'key performance indicators' are in place to ensure we deliver on these expectations."

Related topic


Its interesting that although they denied having targets for tickets they fail to mention whether the contractor is able to make more money by issuing more tickets or whether its fixed priced irrespective of the number of tickets issued. Letting a contractor achieve more income, by its nature, provide an incentive to issue more tickets and more tickets which is then applied to the front line workers.
Pheasant Plucker
QUOTE (MartinHP71 @ Mon, 30 Oct 2006 - 16:28) *
Its interesting that although they denied having targets for tickets they fail to mention whether the contractor is able to make more money by issuing more tickets or whether its fixed priced irrespective of the number of tickets issued. Letting a contractor achieve more income, by its nature, provide an incentive to issue more tickets and more tickets which is then applied to the front line workers.

I suggest that an Edinburgh resident needs to ask FOI question of Edinburgh City Council along the following lines:
  • "Is the contract between the Council and Central Parking System (CPS), for the management of parking in Edinburgh, fixed price?"
  • "If not what incentive mechanisms or performance-related payments are built in to the contract between the Council and Central Parking System (CPS) for the management of parking in Edinburgh?"
  • "Does Central Parking System (CPS) have any targets, fixed or notional, for the issue of parking tickets on behalf of the Council and if it exceeds this target does it receive any additional revenue or other reward?"
It will be interesting to see their response - if they claim exemption from revealing this information, complain citing the press report and state it is in the public interest for residents to know whether the contracting behaviour of their local council has contributed to the circustances described in the report.
Teufel
pa's are crooked ? their bosses are greedy ?

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE !!

sorry but we already have 'the pope is catholic' as the lead article
Prof
Already asked the foi question regarding targets and bonuses and was told none existed.

mmmmmmmm!
Pheasant Plucker
QUOTE (Prof @ Fri, 3 Nov 2006 - 02:42) *
Already asked the foi question regarding targets and bonuses and was told none existed.

mmmmmmmm!


Prof,
Have you tried the questions I posted above. It would be very unusual for a public sector (service) contract not to include some element that is performance related - so it would be worth pressing the point. If the answer does not look credible, you can always ask intially for an internal review and if that is still vague, submit an appeal to the Information Commissioner (or the Scottish equivalent).

You could also ask the question:
"What are the key performance indicators (or similar) that are used in the contract to assess the performance of the contractor?"
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