Saturday, 20 July 2013

POPLA get to grips with backlog

As this freedom of information request shows, POPLA are getting to grips with their backlog and have hired 5 more assessors with 2 more on the way.

POPLA calculates each adjudication takes on average 20 minutes, so with each assessor working a seven hour day this means POPLA will be able to process around 3400 extra cases per month, assuming 23 working days per month. Of course, there will be slightly fewer working days what with holidays, illnesses, training and the like, so POPLA have wisely reduced this figure to take this into account.

POPLA hope that once the new assessors all get up to speed POPLA's overall decision making capacity will rise to 600 a week and they assume that new cases will arrive at the rate of 412 a week. Based on those assumptions they will be able to clear the backlog by the middle of November.

This will see them hitting their target of deciding all cases within 44 days of receipt. Currently they are hitting 0% of target. Their best recent month was April, when they hit 0.27% of target by deciding 2 cases within the timescales.

Of course these projected figures may not be correct but it is encouraging that POPLA have the process modelled via spreadsheet so that they can monitor the situation and hire more staff as necessary.

The average wait for cases to be adjudicated was 84 days back in June. This tallies with The Prankster's experience; he had to wait 70 days and 95 days for his last two adjudications.

This graph shows the number of cases logged per week. There was an interesting spike at the beginning of June, but numbers have since declined back to previous levels.
The Prankster does not know why this is. However, he also notes this statistic from the report, giving the number of appeals withdrawn by POPLA, (which he assumes actually means the Operator).

There is a sudden surge in withdrawn cases in June.

Remember that each POPLA case costs the British Parking Association (BPA) Limited £137? Perhaps stern words have been going out. The Prankster wonders if the BPA Ltd have been contacting Operators and instructing them in no uncertain terms to uphold all appeals in cases where they cannot possibly win and also to withdraw any similar cases currently in with POPLA. A withdrawn case will still cost the Operator £27, but there will be no assessor time needed and so the BPA cost will also be £27 and not £137.

The Prankster questions POPLA's statistic on replying to emails.

The Prankster has a complaint in with London Councils regarding 7 unanswered email queries from as far back as February 2013, mostly asking for confirmation that evidence has been received but also for other reasons.

Finally The Prankster applauds POPLA's 100% success rate in 'Acknowledging Operator Evidence'.

Presumably this impressive success rate will continue for as long as the auto reply feature is enabled on their evidence mailboxes.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

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