September 26, 2021

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We have room for improvement

We have room for improvement

One case officer who handles all inquiries to the municipality:

When Solbråtan resident Espen Kongshaug wanted answers to some questions about traffic safety, there were bound to be four inquiries and pressure from the local newspaper, before the municipality could answer. After 66 days.

As the anxious father of a fourth grader who uses Solbråtanveien as a school road, Espen Kongshaug is tired of the increased traffic and high speeds.

At the beginning of June, he contacted the municipality of Nordre Follo to explain the problem, but also with some specific traffic safety proposals. Among other things, he wanted to reduce the speed limit at Solbråtanveien, and introduce it through restricted traffic.

The municipality responded this week, but only after Obijard Aves became involved in the case.

long silence

A little over two months ago, on June 17, Kongshaug sent your first inquiry to the municipality. Did not receive an answer.

A month later, on July 15, he sent a new inquiry, which asked when he expected a response. He did not receive an answer to that either.

On August 2, try again. It has been seven weeks since the first investigation. The tone was still realistic and constructive, but he again demanded answers to his questions. did not understand it.

Connected to the newspaper

On Tuesday of last week, namely on August 17, he called for the fourth time, and now, among others, Upgaard Avis with a copy. There are books, among others:

“I haven’t heard anything yet – despite the two reminders. (I’m also logged into your mailing lists) I can accept all the answers, but it’s hard to take the municipality seriously when you can’t give your vote in two months! The procedure I’m suggesting has very little cost / at no cost and will improve the safety of schoolchildren and all other soft road users along Solbråtanveien.”

Actions wants: One of the measures proposed by the citizen is to put a forbidden sign at the entrances to Solbråtanveien.

1 case specialist

When Oppegård Avis was made aware of the case, we contacted Gry Larsen, Director of Road and Park Works in Nordre Follo Municipality, on behalf of Kongshaug. In addition, we asked for answers about how such inquiries are handled in the municipality.

Now the municipality came to the field with an answer, 66 days exactly, four inquiries, and a few local newspapers printed, later. And when we read Larsen’s interpretation, it’s perhaps not so strange that getting answers takes time. All questions arriving at the municipal post office are handled by a single case officer.

We do not want to address specific issues in Oppegård. In general, we value the participation of our residents, and they inform us about places that are not perceived as safe in traffic. We have a large influx of this type of case into our Planning and Projects department, and I take the opportunity to report that there is a single case officer answering all inquiries from our residents, Gry Larsen begins his response to Oppegård Avis.

Take self-criticism

Responsible: Gry Larsen is the Director of Road and Park Works in the municipality of Nordre Follo.

Responsible: Gry Larsen is the Director of Road and Park Works in the municipality of Nordre Follo.

And go on with an additional explanation of the slow response, as well as a dose of self-criticism.

– Vacation settlement and tasks that had to be prioritized before summer vacation made it difficult for us to respond to all the inquiries we received. We are dealing with self-criticism that we did not send the citizen an initial response with response time estimates. We must get better at this in the future.

She also agrees that residents who come in contact with questions that will take time to answer, both deserve an answer “within a reasonable time”, but also a kind of appreciation for the time that will take.

A reasonable time depends on the number of cases we have in processing, the complexity of the case and any need to coordinate with other departments or companies. Some inquiries we can respond quickly, others take longer. In principle, we must, in accordance with the Public Administration Act, handle cases without undue delay. If it is expected that it will take a disproportionately long time before you can respond to an inquiry, we will provide a preliminary answer as soon as possible and specify when a response can be expected. As mentioned, we have room for improvement here, Larsen admits.

When it comes to Kongshaug’s input to increase traffic safety, we’ll have to wait a little longer, before we get the final answer on whether or not the municipality will take action.

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